Transcript: Claim Central Chief Executive Brian Siemsen speaks at ANZIIF Insurtech Conference

Last month, our CEO Brian Siemsen, participated in a panel discussion at the ANZIIF Insurtech conference in Sydney, 27 February,  on: “The insurtech approach to claims”, along with other industry experts.

Some of the themes Brian spoke about were utilising virtual reality and live video streaming to capture crucial loss and damage information; and flipping the customer journey on its head, from insurance-led processes to customer-led processes.

Below is the full transcript of Brian’s responses.

Moderator: Daniel Sandaver, Managing Director, Codafication

Panellist: Brian Siemsen, Chief Executive Officer, Claim Central Consolidated

DANIEL SANDAVER (OPENING REMARKS): What technologies are driving innovation and solutions in the claims space? We’re keen to talk about what t appeals are of the technology that is driving change. I’m going to open it up to the panel to talk about the pillar and what’s the outcome of it.

Brian, you’re very close to property claims and the process involved. How do you think opportunities are presenting themselves and re-imagining the value chain?

BRIAN SIEMSEN: Some of the work we do with customers and the geographies we work, the common question comes when we’re starting to talk about the connection, people and stakeholders being digital around the customer. So, if everyone is connected, can that re-think operating models? Can that re-think the ability to do site capture, and the type of resources that do site capture and loss and damage, and collect that loss and damage information digitally?

Quick story, I was in Austin last week and talking to the Head of Uber Insurance about utilising the downtime of Uber drivers in the North American market between the hours of 10am to 2pm. This carrier was looking for an opportunity to go and have onsite presence at a lower cost than they were currently getting, for just an external capture. The reason I mention that is because this is a dynamic shift away from the traditional way of capturing loss and damage information.

So, I certainly think that there is a re-imagining of the way in which a claim can be fulfilled, and that’s driven by also the customer journey, and the top-down process which is being forced on to customers.

DANIEL SANDAVER: I’m keen to get Brian to weigh in on this, what do you think the number one pain point you are hearing in the industry is around claims?

BRIAN SIEMSEN: We are still building insurance through that process, not making customer journeys to the levels customers want, and I mentioned the car riding service before, Uber. Uber just looked at the dispatch model and said they weren’t going to build a taxi model, nor force a customer through the dispatch. They connected the customer through ride sharing and created a new model. Airbnb did the same thing. They didn’t do anything other than map the journey based on the best outcome for the customer and created a win-win for both sides.

Too frequently, insurers are still leading an insurance-led process and forcing the customer through that process, and other industries are just not doing that anymore. When you think of what Airbnb has done, over five years it has grown to one million properties, and Marriot hotels did it in 50 years. So, they built a market share, in less than a tenth of that time. Airbnb is now currently larger than the five biggest hotels in the world because they got the journey of the customer.

For insurance, I think operating models will continue to evolve. I don’t think anyone can stand here and say they’ve nailed it, but the journey doesn’t just include the customer as we have just spoken about, it also includes the supply chain, people who are insurance dependent, the customer journey, the broker journey and the insurer journey.

What about the claims managers who sit in front of 16 different systems, and are told to look after customer centricity, yet they are required to operate 16 different systems, all disparate with no connection? It’s incredibly difficult to do your job. Once we get onto ‘stop creating process for process sake’, and create journeys for journey sake, it will solve customer and stakeholder journeys. The insurance layer will take care of itself in terms of performance.

DANIEL SANDAVER: I guess there’s no way to blueprint an industry-wide solution, or a value proposition where the insurance will be different from the experience they create?

BRIAN SIEMSEN: You are 100 percent right, if we start thinking about trying to have a single magic bullet, there’s a bunch of insurtechs in this room who I have already connected with over the last couple of days, that probably have come up with reasonably connected opportunities that weren’t here a few days ago.

But it’s going to take better collaboration, and I know this word gets thrown around a lot. It’s not a true statement that everyone wants to collaborate. But there has been more collaboration over the past 12 months than there has ever been in the last five years. But it’s forums like this that help work it out. We’ve got brokers, insurers and suppliers, who can come together and think about the problem statements in our line of business or many lines of businesses, and come up with several solutions that are even better than they were today, in the next three or five years. If we think about the journey of those who are on that experience, they will be better than they are today.

DANIEL SANDAVER: Brian, I would love for you to weigh in. I know you’ve got boots on the ground in Townsville helping up there with the recovery effort. What do you see as a key driving factor of insurtech and technology that’s creating a better outcome for people in those situations?

BRIAN SIEMSEN: It’s the whole triage piece, for those who haven’t fully understood the technology that Grant Beck is talking about, there is a safety element to it and there’s also a reactive element as well. The ability to create a point in time capture, and if you’re able to see something versus being told something, and you put people around that, early intervention and mitigation, temporary accommodation can be organised, the understanding of the project schedule, pre-pricing and predictive pricing around similar or same type of loss that the predictive modelling can do around identifying those kinds of loss from the past.

But from a responsive perspective around customers, I can see it early, I can respond to mitigation, I can look at restoration, I can look at assessment, I’m able to look at emergency service response, I can then book accommodation. In the first 24 hours of getting something like what Grant Beck does up in Townsville, we do something similar with our live streaming piece, and I’m able to respond a whole lot quicker. I don’t necessarily need to be onsite to do that.

This requires a whole bunch of stuff to be connected, and the opportunities in places like that you’re starting to challenge the cycle time of the catastrophe, from a reinsurance perspective that’s significant, but able to challenge the cycle time, hire the right type of suppliers in the right types of areas, where it’s regional or metro. There is a knock-on effect, where you start it right and can see it well, particularly in the 3D world that Grant Beck specialises in, the significant application of claim performance. We now are talking about workflow, the customer, and there is a whole lot of economics around cycle time and repair cost reduction. The opportunity to take some of the load out that happens inside catastrophes is also an opportunity for us.

DANIEL SANDAVER: I think that comes back to the new proposition too for a customer, that instead of having multiple people attend the property, looking at the same job multiple times and the asset. You’re taking action and getting the right person to you, compressing costs, you’re increasing the customer experience.

BRIAN SIEMSEN: Absolutely, if you look at it from a first response perspective. This is a traditional model, whether you like it or not. You’ve got that first response, you’ve got one to two depending on the severity, up there you’ve got a mitigation trade, multiple service providers who a turning up from a response perspective, you’ve got a specialist, you’re going to need a hygienist, you’ve got strip-out specialists who’ve taken everything from 1200 mm below.

You’ve got all these folks who are turning up for the first time onsite, Grant gives you the opportunity to be able to see the same site first time once, and every one of those stakeholders can be positioned and planned in a way that has never occurred inside first response before. If people think like that, those inside the supply chain understand the value of what could be possible with something like that being used.

DANIEL SANDAVER: Brian probably a good one for you. Are the incumbents serious about innovation in the claims space both from the technology and services perspective? If so, what is the evidence?

BRIAN SIEMSEN: Absolutely. I think if you asked me a few years ago, one of the reasons we had to go offshore is because there was a real lack of appetite from insurers to want to engage in something different. Particularly the non-tier two and three levels, it was challenging to have conversations there. There was a greater market place for us, unfortunately, in other geographies. We just had a great conversation between us four (panellists), where we were talking about the appetite and the conversations that can be had now. Rooms like this didn’t exist three years ago where people come together and solved the challenges and issues.

There’s a long way to go, I’ve seen it first hand where you get taken all the way to the wire of great-great-great to, this is transformational, great-great-great to, this is too transformational. Look I get it and I understand it, I think what is perceived as complexity particularly around claims, isn’t that complex.

Let me give you an idea. I’m designing a drone autonomous claims response process for a drone underwriter in Austin. The claims process is the same as property, you wouldn’t believe it, there’s a lot of fast track, they collect a lot of data, it goes to a claim’s decision.

You talk about property, talk about cyber, the process is the same. The complexity of what’s available to help you fast track that, that’s where the unknown is. So, where the unknown comes in, there’s a sense of caution. But at some point, you see the tier two’s and tier three’s and we see it across all the geographies we work in especially the US, they are willing to have a hot crack. They are really focused on three things: 1. What can we do to enhance the customer experience? 2. How to reduce cycle time. 3. Is there some type of cost rationalisation or claim handling expense?

We are talking to several partners who want to be a part of that ecosystem and say “listen, we can add value to your product and you’ll add value to our product, let’s go and talk to a carrier and have these conversations”. We had a great opportunity to work with AXA XL in Connecticut just a couple of days ago, and the problem statements they’re trying to solve, wow, they’re just mind-blowingly complex, but they’re all at the table trying to solve it. So, if you’ve got organisations like that, there’s big hope for more and more of that happening in the market over here.

DANIEL SANDAVER: What’s your one takeaway point that you want to part with?

BRIAN SIEMSEN: I come from a working partnership, a working relationship, where it’s the insurtech working with the incumbents or an incubator. Talking to those incubators, there are persevering insurtechs too, making sure we will agree up here that we’re not going to be in a position next year, or the year after, where a defined operating model for claims management across all the lines is going to be hitting the bullets.

It’s about being able to work with the partners, and the insurtechs working with the insurtechs, feeling welcomed to go and work with incumbents and say “we think we’ve heard you, we’ve come up with a problem, we’ve come up with a solution to the problem and we want to work with you on that line of business, or many lines of business”.

It’s that persistence and the ability for those incumbents to be able to incubate insurtechs and just say “hey listen, we think we can solve problems, but help us understand what your pain points are”. Because there is a bunch of smart people who sit inside supply chains and technology businesses with good insurance backgrounds who can just offer a different perspective of thinking.  That’s what we’re starting to experience and the customers who have incubated us, you don’t always get it right and neither do they, but I tell you what we do next month, is better than what we did the month before and I think that’s the way this iterative process of someone coming up with a reasonable operating model will be coming into existence.



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