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Accelerating competitiveness with a digital auto insurance ecosystem

Personal auto insurers entered 2021 having provided $12 billion in policyholder dividends, rebates, and refunds—on top of significant rate reductions—as impacts of lockdowns, unemployment, and remote work altered driving patterns.1 Meanwhile, commercial auto insurers had seen nine straight years of combined ratios exceeding 100.2 They faced added disruption from the growing on-demand economy, which was shifting the market even before the watershed events of 2020.3

Innovation Strategies For Auto Insurance Underwriting

An ecosystem needs to be able to fulfill an innovation-driven formula for profitable growth.

How can auto insurance leaders adapt and accelerate competitiveness amid fast-evolving trends tied to the pandemic and its uncertain aftermath? The key to future market leadership may be leveraging a digital auto insurance ecosystem.

How do digital insurance ecosystems work in the real world?

Ernst & Young (EY) defines ecosystems as networks of companies that collaborate to produce a higher level of business value than any one company could on its own.4

For auto insurers to make the most of this approach, EY stresses the importance of working together with InsurTechs as important players to accelerate digitization through innovative workforce and sourcing strategies—all while staying true to an insurer’s core strengths.5 This can take many shapes in practice:

  • Metromile, an InsurTech auto writer, adopted Verisk’s LightSpeed® digital underwriting platform to support a pay-per-mile insurance program with a streamlined and improved customer experience, as well as higher speed to bind and conversion rates.
  • A major national insurer employed Verisk’s driving history solutions to build resiliency in underwriting and quoting and contain the cost of motor vehicle reports (MVRs). This includes an MVR Risk Indicator to guide targeted ordering of driving records—a strategy that’s helped some insurers cut driving history underwriting expenses by 25 percent to 35 percent.
  • A leading commercial auto insurer uses Verisk’s RadiusCheck to help uncover 30 percent of vehicles driven outside the declared radius, helping recapture millions of dollars of premium leakage and identify risks outside of the insurer’s underwriting appetite.
  • A large, national insurer expanded its usage-based insurance (UBI) program by scaling up telemetry connections with multiple automakers, using its existing behavior-based scoring to offer point-of-sale discounts to connected-car drivers. Verisk brought advanced capabilities via the Verisk Data Exchange to drive a 3-4x jump in bind and conversion rates.

In its paper Insurers: Go All-In on Ecosystems, Accenture found insurance leaders prone to overestimating what they can do in this area: “Insurers want a seat at the ecosystem table, but they must be careful about who joins them there.”6 With the right digital auto insurance collaboration you can move ahead—not just keep up.

What can an ecosystem do for your organization?

An ecosystem needs to be able to fulfill an innovation-driven formula for profitable growth.7

Innovation Strategies For Auto Insurance Underwriting

The foundations of a digital insurance ecosystem depend on strategic partnerships that complement your core strengths with resources and technology. Business resiliency should be at the forefront. Plug-and-play solutions can help you embed insurance offerings anywhere and react to on-demand market changes. And how can a strong digital insurance ecosystem help achieve profitable growth? There are numerous ways—for example, using risk indicators early in the quote flow to help drive one-rate acquisition and change detection to improve profitable growth. 

What to look for in an ecosystem partnership

Finding the right fit involves multiple considerations and intangibles, but here are a few must-haves.

Look for an ecosystem partner that…

  • Delivers high-quality solutions across the policy life cycle
  • Plugs you into interconnected and innovative data sources
  • Leverages scalable technologies that maximize IT capacity and streamline processes
  • Features enterprise licensing and brings overall value to optimize your spend
  • Digs deeper and drives your strategic vision to the next level

Innovation Strategies For Auto Insurance Underwriting

The stakes around ecosystems may determine who thrives—and even who survives

Among 18 industries Accenture analyzed, insurance is the most susceptible to future disruption,8 and slow-responding companies could lose market share as early as 2022.9 The leaders will be “living businesses” that adjust and innovate quickly and at scale.10

A recent Verisk survey found 89 percent of auto insurers are accelerating their digital transformation plans,11 but how important is an ecosystem to their success? Your peers and competitors are planning aggressively for how they’ll move faster in the new normal. How fast will you move, and will your digital auto ecosystem get you where you need to be?

Verisk can contribute on all of these fronts to build an ecosystem that supports profitable growth:

  • The skill of deep domain expertise from a leader in serving the property/casualty industry
  • The scale of technologies, unparalleled data, and a deep, multidisciplinary team
  • The scope of solutions that are creating the insurance value chain of the future

Download Verisk’s new whitepaper, Innovation Strategies for Auto Insurance Underwriting: Accelerating Competitiveness with a Digital Insurance Ecosystem. And watch to learn more about Verisk’s Insights on the Future of Insurance.


Mark Anquillare

Mark Anquillare is chief operating officer of Verisk. He can be reached at Mark.Anquillare@verisk.com.

Diane Injic

Diane Injic is director of ISO Commercial Auto Underwriting at Verisk. Reach her at Diane.Injic@verisk.com.

Dorothy Kelly

Dorothy Kelly is assistant vice president of product management for ISO Personal Lines at Verisk. She can be reached at dkelly@verisk.com.


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  1. Verisk analysis represents a revised estimate of full-year 2020 estimate based on insurers’ quarterly financial reports supplemented with their public statements and additional data sources, July 2021 < https://www.verisk.com/press-releases/2021-press-releases/may-2021/property--casualty-insurers-finish-2020-marked-by-global-pandemic-and-unprecedented-catastrophic-events/ >, accessed on September 10, 2021
  2. AM Best, Best’s Aggregates & Averages, 2011-2019
  3. Transport Topics, “Trucking Rises to Meet Unprecedented Challenges During COVID-19 Pandemic,” June 22, 2020 <  https://www.ttnews.com/articles/trucking-rises-meet-unprecedented-challenges-during-covid-19-pandemic >, accessed on September 10, 2021
  4. Ernst & Young, “Ecosystems in Insurance: Three Steps to a Winning Strategy,” November 12, 2020 <  https://www.ey.com/en_us/insurance/ecosystems-in-insurance-three-steps-to-a-winning-strategy >, accessed on September 10, 2021
  5. Ibid.
  6. Accenture, “Insurers: Go All-In on Ecosystems,” June 17, 2019 < https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/strategy/ecosystems-insurance >, accessed on September 10, 2021
  7. Verisk Innovation Paper, “Innovation Strategies for Auto Insurance Underwriting: Accelerating Competitiveness with a Digital Insurance Ecosystem”, 2021 < https://www.verisk.com/insurance/campaigns/innovation-strategies-for-auto-insurance-underwriting/ >, accessed on September 10, 2021
  8. Accenture, “New Research Points to Big Changes in Insurance Industry Disruption,” February 5, 2020 < https://insuranceblog.accenture.com/new-research-points-to-big-changes-in-insurance-industry-disruption >, accessed on September 10, 2021
  9. Accenture, “Insurers: Go All-In on Ecosystems,” June 17, 2019 < https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/strategy/ecosystems-insurance >, accessed on September 10, 2021
  10. Accenture, “Insurance as a Living Business,” 2018 < https://insuranceblog.accenture.com/series/insurance-as-a-living-business >, accessed on September 10, 2021
  11. Verisk Webinar Survey, “Personal Auto Insurance: Trends, Predictions, and Strategies to Compete in the New Normal,” June 23, 2020 < https://www.verisk.com/insurance/webinars/on-demand/2020/personal-auto-insurance-trends-predictions-and-strategies-to-compete-in-the-new-normal/ >, accessed on September 10, 2021