Risk managers tap into new technology
Risk managers tap into new technology
Technology tools, including web portals and exposure mitigation techniques, have become critical parts of modern risk managers’ arsenals, helping to inform and automate a range of functions.

Employing such tools can help policyholders with day-to-day risk management and claims, and even improve insurance purchase outcomes.

“I don’t think anybody can do their jobs without using these tools nowadays,” said Alumine Bellone, vice president, risk management, at Ardent Health Services LLC in Nashville, Tennessee, referring to the portals and other technology provided by insurers, brokers, third-party administrators and others.

Ms. Bellone uses FM Global’s My Risk platform daily and uses portals from other insurers and brokers intermittently. “They all seem to be pretty much the same,” displaying a dashboard to navigate functions after accessing the system, she said. She uses broker platforms to access policies and endorsements as well as systems from TPAs.

The My Risk platform is a web portal tool that can be used by policyholders, brokers and others to access client data such as risk, policy and claims information, said John Busavage, staff vice president, product enablement, in Johnstown, Rhode Island, for FM Global. 

The platform incorporates external weather and climate data to allow policyholders to see how forecasted events such as rain might affect locations, he said. 

Flisk, a vendor-supplied technology for which Ardent pays a subscription fee, has helped with renewals, Ms. Bellone said. The management system, provided by Nashville-based Flisk LLC, “reduced the amount of time I spend collecting underwriting information and also has improved my insurance outcomes,” she said.

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In the construction practice at Axa XL, a unit of Axa SA, shifting policyholders into technology can improve their risk profile, said Rose Hall, vice president, head of construction innovation at Axa XL, in New York. “We know that when they use certain technologies, they are a better risk.”

Axa XL uses its Tech Tapas, or small bites of technology, program to offer technology briefings and demonstrations, she said. The insurer sources and vets the technologies for its policyholders and arranges for reduced fees and other deals with tech vendors. 

Information about water mitigation is among the most sought after and has applications in property lines. In addition, telematics for auto fleet management and drones reach beyond the construction practice into other businesses, Ms. Hall said.

Crawford & Co. has a 3D spatial modeling platform with a self-service workflow that allows it to “simply have the policyholder do the image capture” for a claim, such as a collision at a loading dock, said Kenneth Tolson, U.S. president of claims solutions at the Atlanta-based claims company. Platform software then “stitches together” a model of the property depicting the damage, he said.

“One of the most powerful trends underway is self-service,” Mr. Tolson said. “How do we equip the policyholder to accelerate the claims process but also participate in the documentation gathering of that process.”

A retail business policyholder or any other with a series of locations generally has an employee on site who can participate in the documentation of loss control and claims, he said.

“It’s really about acceleration and policyholder experience. We find today, especially with self-service, that the policyholder absolutely wants to push the pace of their claim,” with some 60% to 70% of customers electing to participate in the claims process with data capture or in other ways, Mr. Tolson said 

“We’re in an on-demand environment,” said Kimberly George, Chicago-based global head of product development and innovation at Sedgwick Claims Management Services Inc., which has spent about two years building a platform for use by risk managers, insurers, claimants and other stakeholders.

Sedgwick recently launched the latest iteration of its intake and incident management platform, now called smart.ly. 

The platform has evolved from a simple intake system for claims incidents to an interactive tool that can be used to verify policy and coverage details, and insured values.

Sedgwick’s platform helps accelerate the pace of a claim by allowing policyholders to participate in data capture as well as pulling in external data, such as weather information, which can be used to help verify a loss event, such as hail damage to a roof, Ms. George said. 

 “The policy information and weather data, etc., are already in the system to help inform the claim,” she said. “To be able to cut that to days is really important to policyholders.”


Automation  creates smarter buildings

While some risk management technologies are made specifically to be used by people, other tools are designed to supplant the human element.

Emerging technologies such as the internet of things, including automated sensors and communications systems that can augment or potentially replace human participation, allow for developments such as so-called smart buildings, said Kenneth Tolson, U.S. president of claims solutions at Atlanta-based Crawford & Co. 

“I believe the building will report claims, not people,” he said. “That is happening and will continue to accelerate.” 

Sensors and other technology can also be used to prevent or reduce losses without human participation. 

Property insurance policyholders can deploy water mitigation technology to inform them when they have a leak, such as at “5 p.m. Friday when everybody’s already gone home,” said Rose Hall, vice president, head of construction innovation, at Axa XL in New York.

Such a system can sense the leak and remotely shut off the water, thus avoiding potentially extensive water damage, Ms. Hall said.

“We know that piece of property will be a better risk with the technology than without,” she said.

Source: Business Insurance

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