We've heard it a thousand times: insurers are data rich and information poor, they have loads of potentially useful data and yet their access to and exploitation of it is sadly limited. It's a continuing problem but technology is enabling insurers to use their own data and combine it with external sources to gain and share valuable new insights - and to offer services that go beyond traditional insurance offerings.For example, health insurers are taking a lead role in the development of personal medical records and health information exchanges that will increase transactional efficiencies, help prevent medical errors and provide new analytical insights for patient care and disease management. In the P&C world, insurers offering telematics-driven pay-as-you-drive policies will not only gather relevant safety information to drive more precise underwriting, but they are on the verge of creating new information-sharing partnerships for personal navigation and safety applications, including other services.
We see another example with the debut of CargoNet, an information sharing and analysis network managed by ISO and developed with the collaboration of the National Insurance Crime Bureau and other parties with an interest in fighting cargo theft. CargoNet functions as a symbiotic network of law enforcement, insurance companies and the industries implicated in the shipment of goods, namely transportation, manufacturing and retail. CargoNet provides the first national network for the reporting and circulation of information about cargo thefts in order to both facilitate recovery and to mitigate shipment risks.
"Through the participation of the NICB, CargoNet works very closely with law enforcement," relates Pat Stoik, vice president, Chubb & Son, and Chubb's global commercial inland marine manager. "They are setting up networks where they keep insured, owners or truckers, aware of hot spots, dangerous places where high number of thefts occur to avoid - which truck stops are most secure. Shipping techniques that prevent theft."
In the event of a theft an independent trucker or transportation company driver might report the theft of his trailer by entering relevant information into predetermined fields within the CargoNet front end, whether by phone or over the Internet. That information is then circulated, on a need-to-know basis to law enforcement and other concerned parties. The rapidity and reach of this information sharing increases the chances of recovery of the goods dramatically.
As Chubb's Pat Stoik suggests, each incident also expands the body of theft data for analysis. Using the fruits of that analysis, insurers and their policyholders can take measures to reduce the likelihood of future theft.
"Our hope is that by encouraging our insureds to participate in CargoNet we'll offer them a value-added service that improves their performance," says Stoik. "There should be less theft, and when it does occur, [policyholders] have a much higher likelihood of recovering than before."
Those results have implications for the cargo protection business written, according to Stoik. As shipment becomes less risky, "We are able to provide more competitive premium for insureds who are not suffering losses," he says. "If we're able to offer a service such as CargoNet that allows them to ship goods and not suffer losses, it's a win for everybody concerned."CargoNet functions as a symbiotic network of law enforcement, insurance companies and the industries implicated in the shipment of goods, namely transportation, manufacturing and retail. CargoNet provides the first national network for the reporting and circulation of information about cargo thefts in order to both facilitate recovery and to mitigate shipment risks.
Anthony O'Donnell has covered technology in the insurance industry since 2000, when he joined the editorial staff of Insurance & Technology. As an editor and reporter for I&T and the InformationWeek Financial Services of TechWeb he has written on all areas of information ... View Full Bio