4 October 2023 Insurance

Underwriters are a precious resource, protect them with AI

IntellectAI might just be the best kept secret when it comes to insurance solutions that leverage big data, AI and conversational technologies for the UK re/insurance market. But that is about to change as the service provider looks to broaden its reach across the Atlantic from its base in the US.

Megan Roche Pilcher, SVP, insurance go to market leader at IntellectAI, shared the inside story of the company, which has been operating for eight years, and outlined its products designed to drive productivity, efficiency and value, as well as saving the valuable time of underwriting talent.

IntellectAI’s parent company is Intellect Design Arena, which is known globally for fintech solutions, especially in banking. Within the group, IntellectAI offers a suite of AI powered products and data insights to the insurance market. Pilcher explained that these services help re/insurers in their strategic approach to drive efficiencies and identify new business.

“I spent 24 years on the carrier side and my colleague Sandeep Haridas, EVP, Business Head, North America, IntellectAI, spent 20 years on the carrier side, so we're both through and through insurance professional nerds.”

She said that she had helped to digitise and transform underwriting operations in her career and that this was something that she and Haridas were both passionate about “because we lived and breathed it”.

This experience has helped to shape how the products have developed, she said.
Some insurtechs are set up by technology people that have found an insurance use case. But Pilcher and Haridas are insurance people that know what insurers’ priorities are, she said.

“That's one of our key differentiators. We know the business. We worked for a carrier trying to help them to digitally transform, and now we can help a lot more carriers digitally transform.

“We really position ourselves as the only player in the insurtech space that has an entire underwriting ecosystem. Some folks think of themselves as API-first shops and technology-first shops. We think of ourselves as underwriters first.”

Pilcher said that the underwriter is a “precious resource” in any company. “It’s hard to find good ones, so you really want to protect their capacity to do those things that are the big differentiators.”

For IntellectAI, protecting the underwriter means automating the less valuable tasks using AI and big data to free up the underwriter to do the things where their expertise makes the difference. Pilcher said that for certain things only an underwriter can decide whether to write a risk, how to do it so that the company can make money, so how to craft coverage, and what pricing should look like.

She said the service provider has built tools to support that precious resource so that you can really exploit your underwriting resources by automating the mundane tasks. “We want to automate that, right. Underwriters used to have to hunt for business and then gather the information. Gathering everything took a very long time and automation and AI can do that.”

One of the products, called Magic Submission, supports this initial part of the underwriting process because the services are designed to be beginning to end.

Magic Submission takes the submissions that would go to an underwriter and ingests all the documents that came with the submission. Then it can identify every page of the submission, sort through that and start picking out what is needed.

“It pulls out the basic information like the name of the insured, the address, the effective date, line of business, who the broker is. From this, it is possible to do some quick declines and pull out things that, as an organisation, you have no appetite for.

“These are the kind of things that you would not want the underwriter to deal with, not even reach them, because you want them to focus their energy on accounts where they can write, not on things that you don't want to write. We can automate this type of clearance.”

Another service the company offers comes in the form of an underwriting workbench tool called Xponent.

Pilcher explained that Magic Submission takes all the data and it feeds it to Xponent.

“From there, we can integrate with all policy admin systems for rating or if you're still writing in Excel workbooks we can do that.”

This flexibility aids collaboration and information sharing, and offers underwriters a completely automated experience.

“If your organisation requires a specific document, and it's not there, we can automate that response back to the broker and say, ‘can't proceed until we get this information’, for example.

“Once the risk is cleared, and we have all the information that was missing, we can extract everything like limits, deductibles, exposures, all of the critical information. Then we can pass that right onto policy systems so that no one has to key in all of that information."

She said that Xponent can even run triage rules. For example, if the carrier has triage rules about what are their most preferred types of risks or who are their most preferred brokers.

“Then when an underwriter has 10 submissions on their desk, 10 new submissions and is deciding which one to pick up first, we can position them so that they're picking up the ones that have the greatest chance of winning.”

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