23 October 2016Insurance

Data science can give new entrants an edge

Insurtech will be one of the biggest topics for attendees at the PCI conference in Dallas, Barbara Bufkin, head of business development Hamilton USA, told PCI Today.

“It’s been interesting to me that the discussions we have had at other conferences and are likely to have at PCI are based around what we as a primary insurer are doing around the insuretech space,” Bufkin said.

“Around 1,500 people attended the InsurTech Connect conference in Las Vegas earlier this month, indicating the intense interest in this cross-industry space. There are many new entrants in insuretech, although most are intermediaries.

“In that regard, Attune, our joint venture with AIG and Two Sigma, is unique. How we’re leveraging underwriting and data science is clearly at the forefront of opportunities in the marketplace.”

According to Bufkin, technology, innovative products and new entrants will be the main topics at the PCI conference as well as market conditions. She feels companies such as Hamilton differentiate themselves regardless of the market cycle.

“Data science is being embraced by the market. Data science certainly is being applied by many well-known legacy companies, but Hamilton is a startup, and we believe our nimble ability to work with our technology partners to look at messy data and translate that into better risk selection and pricing sets us apart,” she said.

Bufkin concluded with a caveat. “The market is responding to the new, data-driven environment, but not everyone will be able to leverage the information that can be reaped from data science, because there is a vested interest in one’s traditional insurance model and it’s complicated in a large traditional insurance enterprise to unravel that.”

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