Canadian Underwriter

How insurers could centralize consumer data — and why they might not

May 5, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

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The industry could potentially evolve towards an “open insurance strategy,” similar in concept to open banking, whereby consumers allow third parties access to their insurance data, an insurtech CEO suggests.

In Europe, open banking gives consumers access to their banking data and lets them pass on that banking data to anyone they want, said Dejan Mirkovic, CEO and co-founder of Vancouver-based Goose Insurance Services, which provides an app through which consumers can buy travel insurance.

“There are discussions in Europe and other parts of the world about an open insurance strategy,” Mirkovic said Tuesday during Digital Driving Forces in Customer Experience, a panel discussion held at Virtual Symposium B.C.

With open insurance, a consumer could basically hand their insurance data over to someone who is going to evaluate and price their risk. “I think you might see something like that in the future,” suggested Mirkovic, citing auto insurance as a possible example of coverage for which consumers might shop around every year.

Moderator Tina Osen, president of Hub International Canada, asked the panelists for their thoughts on insurers centralizing data they collect in order to make a customer’s experience easy when they shop for and review their insurance polices.

“No one is ever going to want to centralize it, which is probably the biggest problem we have in the industry,” said Jeff McCann, founder and CEO of Apollo Insurance Solutions Ltd. “‘It’s my data, it’s my advantage,’ versus ‘It’s your data, it’s your advantage.’ So that is going to be a tough one but ultimately it is the customer’s data.”

Others industries are creating services that act “almost like a data wallet,” said McCann.

“Everything about me as a customer – I can go push that data into a bank application. I can push that into my mortgage.”

Ron Glozman, CEO and founder of Chisel AI, suggested one way insurers could centralize data is through a system in which they can access other insurers’ anonymized data on the condition that they also contribute their own anonymized data.

“If you anonymize the data so you remove anything that is identifiable about the business or about the person, you can actually do a lot of really cool things in aggregate without giving away your advantage,” Glozman said during the panel. “It is not meant to be sold or shared. We all put our data in, and you can only access it by putting your data in, and that is probably best way to do it.”

This would prevent a large insurer from gaining an unfair advantage by buying other insurer’s data without putting their own data in.

Virtual Symposium B.C., which is produced by the Insurance Institute of B.C., wraps up May 6.

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1 Comment » for How insurers could centralize consumer data — and why they might not
  1. Andrew Clark says:

    This has been tried in Canada, and the largest company just doesn’t play ball. They have enough data of their own, why would they need to share with others?

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