Advanced Data Usage in an Insurance Agency

We hear about AI, machine learning, predictive analytics and how data was put to use in some awesome way with more and more regularity. It seems difficult to see everyday use cases for some of that in an insurance agency so I thought I might throw a few out that have been on my mind. None of these have been created by me yet but I am sure there are folks who have these out there.

The challenge for the typical insurance agent becomes resources. Very few sub 30 million dollar agencies have the skillsets on staff to accomplish these currently. Agencies that thrive will have figured out how to use this technology in meaningful ways. Small agencies will have to find outside partners to bring some of this to fruition as the capability difference between organizations with more resources and those with fewer resources becomes more and more noticeable.

The first problem I think about a bit is employee retention. Every agency has some strategy in place to reduce turnover and maintain good employees. I think it would be neat to take a look at the last 30-40 employees data who left voluntarily and collect all the data available. Activities, phone calls, attachments and any other data points you have available for the employees. Most companies have quite a bit. Analyze that to see if you can see a common drop or increase in the data collected. If some pattern is determined the company could proactively approach employees that match that trend to see if there is an addressable issue. In all the strategy meetings over my career employee retention/acquisition has been a key element. You cant have a good company with unhappy people. This one seems pretty simple if the data is available.

The next is client retention. Being able to determine if a client is happy or not is key and its something that will be a huge differentiator for agencies that figure it out. The challenge with client retention today is the limited amount of data for interactions with clients. If the agency had a good historical record of all the touch points it would be easy to use that data to look at which touches were common for clients that left or that were not used. As I look a few years out I’m trying to figure out how we do a better job at this at The Crichton Group. Some form of survey out to the client will be needed as well. More frequent than an annual survey. I think a one question SMS text would be good but in a large company whom does that go to? This is the stuff that rattles around in my head.

The final one we will discuss today is revenue retention. In an insurance agency, it is not uncommon to have to do more work for less money. Especially if the agency is doing a good job at preventing losses, reducing exposures and being a true risk advisor. You could easily take a 100k account and reduce it to 75k over a few years if the account had some real problems. The agencies workload doesn’t decrease commensurately though. That’s not the only way an agency loses money. It could come from a systemic decrease across the insurance market which has been happening for a while now. It could come from the client getting smaller, it could come losing clients or policies. And it can come from taking a lot of losses. Today most agencies have their heads around some of these points but the agencies of the near future will be able to break down and analyze each nuanced piece to be able to better strategize on what resources are needed.

None of these take any magic technology to accomplish. The main problem comes from creating and capturing the data points needed to do the analyzing. That takes planning, strategy, culture, and accountability. All which are more difficult to accomplish than the tech.

As always thanks for reading. I hope you have a great day!

About Ryan Deeds

I am a insurance operations and IT executive. I work in the middle of the intersection between insurance and tech and spend the majority of my time working on building solutions based on users input and then figuring out how to implement them. I'm also building a slack community and if you are in insurance id love for you to join.

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