March 18, 2024

The Importance of Leveraging Data and Analytics to Elevate the Customer Experience


Pursuing Better Together with Jay Rajendra

As Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer, Jay Rajendra is focused on innovations that will ensure Arch is a first-choice digital partner, a leader in analytics adoption and a smart user of automation to improve efficiency and service for our brokers and customers.

The insurance industry has at times been characterised as slower on the innovation uptake than its financial services counterparts. However, as Arch Capital Group’s Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer Jay Rajendra argues, the sector has recently seen a huge increase in activity as insurance entities explore opportunities to use technology in new and different ways, with board-level discussions on the value of data analytics and the digital experience.

“People have made bold claims in the past decade or two as to where the industry would be now. The reality is that it’s a complex, highly regulated industry where there are many aspects to consider in order to protect our clients and brokers. Change happens, but it takes time as the whole ecosystem needs to change,” says Rajendra.

The opportunity to tap into different devices and sensors which generate continuous streams of data, coupled with new technologies like generative AI, is already empowering the underwriting process. As he explains, far from replacing underwriters and their relationships with brokers and clients, these innovations are freeing up more time to focus on underwriting and strengthening those relationships.

Another exciting area of change is the development of the digital customer experience. Compared to the personal lines space, where customers are increasingly able to access instant quotations, the commercial lines space still has a way to go, “particularly for specialty business which involves complex, heterogeneous risks and more nuanced policy wordings”, Rajendra explains.

However, he believes commercial business will ultimately be able to leverage innovations in the digital experience to create a lower-friction process along the value chain. Indeed, closer alignment between carriers and brokers on the digital insurance journey is wholly consistent with Arch’s philosophy of Pursuing Better Together.

Success with developing digital solutions begins with deeper engagement and a more collaborative approach with broking partners and clients. Part of that collaborative approach has involved Arch building relationships with the insurtech community. Following the initial buzz around likely disruption of the traditional insurance sector, the conversation around insurtech has now shifted to one of collaboration and partnership.

“Success with developing digital solutions begins with deeper engagement and a more collaborative approach with broking partners and clients.

“Many of those insurtechs are now effectively technology vendors, providing services to carriers and brokers to enable their digital journey. That partnership is really important for the insurance industry, because it means we don’t have to be the technology innovator in everything we’re trying to do,” Rajendra explains.

“We have a goal based around being the industry’s first-choice digital partner,” he continues, “and that includes being the carrier that an insurtech company would want to work with on any given opportunity. So, we’ve had many successful endeavours with insurtech MGAs that offer a specific type of technology that allows them to solve a problem for a particular niche area.”

Recent successes have included a significant partnership with cyber specialist Coalition in the US, and the acquisition last year of small business-focused US insurtech Thimble Insurance.

Arch’s other two key innovation targets are to become a leader in analytics adoption and a smart user of automation. The company is planning to make more of its products available digitally, across more markets, driving up broker and customer engagement and providing a slick digital experience that benefits everyone in the chain.

On the analytics side, Rajendra explains how Arch is increasing its use of AI and machine learning, having embedded these technologies throughout the organisation. In addition, its customers and brokers will benefit from a much more efficient experience as Arch automates many of the processes that were previously done manually.

His personal perspective on Arch’s theme of ‘Pursuing Better Together’ is the old adage that ‘If you want to run fast, run alone, but if you want to run far, run together’.

“If you want to achieve anything special and monumental, either as a company or as an industry, it requires that collaboration,” he says.

At a company level, that collaboration can often involve trying to reconcile the aims of two groups of people who speak different languages – the tech people, who he describes as “speaking blue”, and the businesspeople who are “speaking red”.

“What you really need to make these things work – to embrace new technologies, data analytics, automation – is someone who can speak purple. That’s where the magic happens, in the purple place. So, I’d encourage companies and people in the industry to start speaking purple.”

About Arch Insurance International Podcasts

Welcome to Arch Insurance Insights podcasts, available on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

During our Pursuing Better Together series, we’ll hear from luminaries both inside and outside of the insurance industry about how they have “pursued better” within their chosen professions.