Owning, using, and protecting data: opportunities and risks for leading insurers

Innovation and technology, Regulation and supervision, Risk management and oversight
/ Insurance and Asset Management

Insurance Governance Leadership Network, January 2019

Competitive pressures are driving insurers to seek the greatest possible advantage from the large amounts of data at their disposal. At the same time, security and privacy concerns are limiting their ability to do so. Regulation and customer expectations are elevating standards for privacy and data governance, and insurers need to develop systems, personnel, and governance policies to meet these higher standards. “Both from a regulatory standpoint and from the point of view of information security and customer expectations, you need to build privacy requirements into the DNA of how you work as an organization,” one IGLN participant said.
Yet even while they face greater constraints on how customer information can be deployed, insurers are using big data to improve underwriting, risk management, operating efficiency, customer relations, and product innovation. The challenge for the industry is to manage the tension between deriving strategic value from data, safeguarding consumer rights, and maintaining industry and company reputations.

IGLN participants met in New York on December 5 to explore issues around this tension. This ViewPoints synthesizes three key themes emerging from the meeting and related discussions:

  • Big data and data analytics have the potential to generate significant business opportunities for insurers

  • Significant challenges impede insurers’ efforts to get maximum value from their data assets

  • Senior leaders are tackling the challenges of privacy and data governance