Winners of the 2015 ACORD Insurance Innovation Challenge Straddle Past and Future

Insurity’s and Livegenic’s winning solutions are interesting for their quality as innovators and disruptors—and as examples of transition that show simultaneously where the industry has been and where it is going.

(Image credit: Dollar Photo Club.)

Livegenic and Insurity were announced as winners of the inaugural 2015 ACORD Innovation Challenge earlier this month at the ACORD 2015 Conference in Boca Raton, Florida. Livegenic won in the “Disruptors” category, and Insurity took the palm for “Innovators.” The winning entries are interesting as examples of transition that show simultaneously where the industry has been and where it is going.

The 2015 ACORD Innovation Challenge considered 12 finalists whose solutions were ranked by a selection of judges and audience members at the conference in Boca Raton on criteria of ingenuity, potential impact for the industry, applicability to insurance, and quality of presentation.

“It’s very gratifying to know that the first year out of the gate we have achieved the mission of the ACORD Insurance Innovation Challenge by identifying and rewarding innovations that can begin to transform the industry and the way we do business tomorrow rather than ten years down the road,” comments Bill Hartnett, Head of Innovation, ACORD. “We are already looking forward to expanding this program and the opportunities it provides for entrants and the industry alike.”

Efficiency and Customer Experience

Livegenic (Philadelphia) was recognized as a Disruptor for its Livegenic Real-Time Guidance for Claims video platform. The solution is designed to put more control over the claim adjustment process into the hands of claimants by enabling live video, and claimant-provided photographs and audio—which the vendor’s contest submission document says eliminates the need for adjuster dispatch, speeds claim resolution and minimize the possibility of fraud. The offering also provides real-time instructions to claimants on how to photograph or video an accident or other loss site, in order to ensure quality, accuracy and completeness.

Alex Polyakov, CEO, Livegenic.

Alex Polyakov, CEO, Livegenic.

Livegenic’s solution can be seen as a continuation of improvements to the first-notice-of-loss (FNOL) process, but also as a step forward into a live-multimedia, consumer-centered customer experience: Livegenic Real-Time Guidance for Claims extends the use of mobility and data-sharing into the real-time realm, enabling carriers to see what claimants see at the same time.

The vendor’s innovation rationale was to find ways of simultaneously improving operational efficiency and customer experience, Alex Polyakov, the company’s CEO told Insurance Innovation Reporter. Livegenic Real-Time Guidance was designed, accordingly, to make maximum impact downstream from FNOL by enabling the collection of high-quality data with a digital footprint, all while better serving and engaging the customer.

“We started by developing patented technology that enables insurance organizations to gain a live video feed from the customer without disconnecting from the customer over the phone,” he relates. “We didn’t stop there: we’ve evolved our solutions to create a centralized video platform that connects every part of the claims ecosystem, improving the way crucial visual information in insurance is collected, handled and shared.”

Simultaneously Tackling Two Modernization Issues

Insurity (Hartford) won the Innovation award for its Insurance Enterprise View (IEV), a comprehensive data solution that simultaneously addresses two transformation issues: while easing the perennial legacy core system replacement challenge of data migration, it also sets carriers up to embark on their data strategy in the emerging world of big data and analytics.

Bruce Broussard, VP, Data Products & Strategy, Insurity.

Bruce Broussard, VP, Data Products & Strategy, Insurity.

“Swapping out a policy system is hard enough—it can cost tens of millions of dollars, take years and drain limited resources,” comments Bruce Broussard, VP, Data Products & Strategy, Insurity. “But insurers are under increasing pressure to not only do that but at the same time also develop a strategy and capabilities for big data and analytics.”

In addition to the basic budget and resource question, simultaneously tackling core system modernization and data strategy requires different expertise, different technologies and different applications, Broussard notes. “With IEV we have a data product that allows companies to complete a modernization project through the data solution, while at the same eliminating a lot of temporary throwaway work that has to be done in a traditional modernization program,” he says.

ACORD Standard the “Rosetta Stone”

Historically, replacement initiatives require the development of modules to facilitate the transfer of data from the legacy to the target system, Broussard elaborates. The modules have no use post-migration and they don’t solve the problem of which data should or should not end up on the target system.

“You have to figure out, ‘What do I have room for on the target system,’ and do mappings and translation—and you often lose data in the process,” Broussard says.

“We used ACORD standards as Rosetta stone to do the translation within IEV,” Broussard continues. “Instead of moving data from System A to System B, can have system A talk to IEV and IEV to System B in parallel, reducing the complexity and risk of the transaction, while capturing all of the transaction data.”

IEV not only solves key data-related problems related to core system replacement, but it also serves as the foundation of data strategy for carriers seeking to make the most of analytic capabilities, Broussard asserts. “IEV is a powerful solution for both needs, and we’ve had customers who have brought IEV in as a data platform in advance of system replacement, anticipating its use in modernization,” Broussard comments. “That flexibility provides tremendous value to insurers of all sizes.”

Establishing a Platform for Data & Analytics

Modern core systems remain crucial for the processing capabilities insurers will need in a faster-paced, consumer- and user-focused world, Broussard affirms. However, he insists, “analytics is the way insurers will increasingly differentiate themselves in the market.”

“Having data spread across a series of proprietary platforms makes that a challenge,” Broussard adds. “IEV, based on industry standard ACORD data models, provides the quickest, least costly, least risky way to address that challenge and establish the data platform that is rapidly becoming critical.”

(Related: Canopius Selects Insurity’s Insurance Suite and IEV as Strategic Growth Platform)

The reason that a data platform is an urgent necessity is that business in general is in the early stages of a transition to a data-centric world, and yet insurers still operating within an application-centric paradigm, according to Broussard. In the emerging paradigm, he elaborates, insurers will need a platform capable of consuming a wide array of external data sources, as well as liberating internal data from the confines of individual systems.

“Data has been seen as an asset specific to a given application and its functions,” Broussard says. “Insurers are beginning to understand that data is a company asset, and that they can no longer afford to have it buried in an application.”

Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For over a decade he has been an observer and commentator on the use of information technology in the insurance industry, following industry trends and writing about the use of IT across all sectors of the insurance industry. He can be reached at AnthODonnell@IIReporter.com or (503) 936-2803.

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