Digitization and data. Data and digitization. No matter what sector you are in, you almost can't use one word without the other. Insurance is no different. Gone are the days when insurance was an offline financial product disconnected from the ecosystems and risks the “paper” was meant to cover.
The ecosystem where all of this is coming together is the supply chain and transportation risk management space. Supply chains, as we all know, have been in turmoil for the better part of the past three years as crisis after crisis has rippled across suppliers, shippers, logistics service providers and transportation companies. The situation may seem dire, but there is reason for optimism. Why? Digitization and data.
The supply chain and transportation ecosystem is rapidly digitizing. According to a 2021 McKinsey report titled “How COVID-19 is reshaping supply chains,” over 93% of companies state that they intend to make their supply chains far more flexible, agile and resilient. The same report makes the case that “success of an organization's performance is strongly linked to its use of modern digital tools, especially advanced analytics. Compared with organizations that reported problems, successful companies were 2.5 times more likely to report they have adopted advanced-analytics capabilities."
In summary, the disruptions we’ve experienced have accelerated the need to digitize and create more resilient supply chains and transportation networks. Transportation management systems, fleet management systems, warehouse management systems, routing solutions, real-time transportation visibility platforms, IoT devices and telematics are all being deployed at an increasingly rapid clip. Better yet, they are being stitched together into end-to-end solutions to create value across digital siloes.
See also: Tomorrow’s Insurance Is Connected
What does this have to do with insurance? A lot. As the supply chain and transportation ecosystem digitizes, the data captured and, most importantly the insight created, is bringing real-time operational risk management closer than ever to financial risk transfer.
Loss control teams at insurance brokers and carriers desperately need new ways to de-risk day-to-day operations of high-value shippers that have had troubling losses. Enter real-time digital risk management platforms (DRMP).
Savvy loss control professionals are finding out that these platforms can and do serve as an early-warning system, complete with a set of best practices that can be translated into intelligence used to spot non-compliance issues and known leading indicators of losses. What’s more, loss prevention staff can be more prepared than ever to intervene on behalf of insureds at a moment’s notice, especially when issues escalate to high-priority concerns.
Sounds simple, right? Ha. Maybe not that simple, but entirely doable. For the hundreds of billions of dollars of freight that are now being actively monitored, it’s not unusual to see loss frequencies in the low single digits and loss ratios in the mid-teens.
The connection between real-time data and insight, loss control and underwriting is the next horizon for commercial property and casualty insurtech. In our world, that means cargo and commercial auto insurance will be programmatically fused to digital platforms that predict risk and prescribe interventions in real time. As an industry, we will connect the dots between theft and pilferage loss causes, product damage, asset conditions, operator health and safety and ever-changing operating conditions to dynamically price risk in real time and mitigate profitability killers for insurers and insureds alike.
Taken to their logical conclusion, these business models will beget innovative parametric insurance programs, “pay-how-you-orchestrate” offerings and enterprise risk transfer strategies more like digital advertising platforms and securities markets than anything resembling today’s insurance markets.