Synechron Releases New Version of Visual Risk Accelerator

Additions to the AI-powered platform include image recognition, topic modeling, access to relevant external information sources, a training bot and integration with Experian for business data.

(Image source: Synechron homepage.)

Synechron, Inc., a New York-based global financial services consulting and technology services provider, has announced an update on its Visual Risk Accelerator. The artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning-enabled solution is focused on improving the tedious, highly-manual insurance risk assessment processes so the underwriter can focus on more complex applications, with upwards of 80 percent of applications being automated, according to the vendor.

Bruce Polsky, Managing Director, Insurance Practice Head, Synechron.

“We wanted to address these pain points associated with old systems, and drive change to benefit our clients and an overall legacy-plagued industry,” comments Bruce Polsky, Managing Director, Insurance Practice, Synechron. “We are honored by Visual Risk’s previous wins, but strive to continue to innovate the powerful solution. By developing a solution to allow underwriting and risk assessment to be more strategic, and applying the latest innovations to increase efficiency by creating more complete and intuitive experiences, we know we are freeing the hands of clients to focus on more complex things.”

Visual Risk Accelerator gives underwriters a Dashboard view, which provides an overview of day-to-day activities, including submissions, quotes given, contracts bound, declined applications, and summary data on how many policies have been issued. Synechron says that these capabilities aims to improve efficiency for the risk-assessment process by automating up to 80 percent of all applications, freeing up underwriters to apply their valuable time to the most complex cases. The machine learning enabled model looks at over 70 data sources for a given applicant, such as local crime, industry risks, accidents, weather, lawsuits, health code violations, Yelp ratings and more, according to the vendor.

Feedback-Driven Improvements

Visual Risk Accelerator was first launched as part of Synechron’s InsurTech Accelerator program last year, a set of prototype applications built and tested in Synechron’s FinLabs, which are then customized for client use. Since then, the vendor has sought to improve the solution Visual Risk has been further built upon based on client feedback and enhancements to provide more efficiency to the underwriting process. Synechron describes the new capabilities in the latest update to Visual Risk Accelerator as follows:

  • AI Image Recognition, which is employed to analyze data from Yelp and Google reviews to identify key objects in photographers typically related to an inspection, such as alcohol
  • AI topic Modeling is used to highlight risks in reviews based on negative reviews and scoring
  • An added News section, which identifies other types of non-declared risks, including a direct feed for Osha Inspections, lawsuits, and a Twitter sentiment analysis
  • An integrated Bot has been added, which allows the underwriter to “ask me” and “train me” to access the latest available data for increased usability and an enhanced customer experience
  • Through a partnership with Experian, Visual Risk also has Business Data integrated directly into the platform covering revenue, FSR score, FEIN, Year in Business, Social Media Score, NAIC, and Employee data as complementary feeds, and additional feeds for more extraneous Experian data can be added and accessed through API access

Synchron explains that, within Visual Risk Accelerator, raw data is coupled with a firm’s own historical underwriting data and fed into predictive models that then score the potential risk associated with the application, allowing the underwriter to automate processing around low-risk applications. The Overall Risk Soring is broken down into three categories: Risk Score, Fraud Score, and Win Score. For the Win Score, Machine Learning is applied with historical data sets to determine the probability for the application to be converted, allowing the underwriter to Reject/Refer/Automate the application, with adjustable automation criteria.

Visual Risk Accelerator was honored with the Industry Disrupter Award at the ACORD Insurance Innovation Challenge in 2017 and a Commercial Insurance Award for 2018.

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Anthony R. O’Donnell // Anthony O'Donnell is Executive Editor of Insurance Innovation Reporter. For nearly two decades, 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 or (503) 936-2803.

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