Data - Are insurance brokers sitting on an untapped goldmine?


The term ‘Big Data’ has been thrown about for a while, but what does it mean and how does it impact commercial insurance?

“Big Data”, in a nutshell, is the collection of structured and unstructured data and it’s implied that people using it can analyse statistics and derive facts that help make better decisions.

What does this mean for brokers and insurers? 

Big data can also be seen as ‘big picture’ data. What it will help brokers and insurers to do is move away from siloed information and shift towards a bigger picture view across teams, organisations and then cross-organisations. There is a massive opportunity to shape the experience and products of end customers, and customers now expect this.

Customers take experiences from their personal lives, Netflix is a good example of this, and expect businesses to join the dots for them much like Netflix does in the ‘recommended for you’ algorithms.

The point is…. Businesses need to utilise their data to the max in a world where the B2C experience is increasingly expected in a B2B world.

The different types of data out there are vast; risk data, renewals, cancelations, anonymised personal information, emerging niches, customer loyalty.  Small pieces of the big picture which on their own, might show flat patterns but embraced correctly, the big picture becomes full market trends.

Where does this take the industry? How does it impact the end customer? Are brokers sitting on an untapped goldmine of customer information?

Potential Impacts


Fundamentally, the impact will be huge for everyone. Joining the dots in data to create a big picture story, of course, helps streamline relationships. One, visible version of the truth derived from fact can’t be disputed. New products can be developed with confidence that they will sell because they reflect changing demands.

Streamlined Relationships

With everyone singing from the same hymn sheet, time and effort is massively reduced. We can see this, for example, with our broker and insurer partners and how they have placed new business.

Look at other industries and what’s happening in commercial insurance, relationships are beginning to move online and in-platform, reducing the stop start process and allowing for targeted communication in a time scale that suits all parties and with greater visibility of and confidence in information. The flow of information makes the flow of business easier.  

We’re not talking about changing existing processes or the parties involved, but rather giving the existing framework a more efficient channel through to operate through.

New Products

Insurers can start to analyse and get real time data on how, and importantly why, business is being placed as well as how products are used.  When trends and specific requests are measured, new niche products can be created and the follow up data analyses ROI, satisfaction and whether it’s fit for purpose.

Easier, Accurate Assessment of Risk

Full analysis of pay outs, customer satisfaction and cover levels can start to build a picture of what policies are effective in the market and what needs to be tweaked to meet client demands. 

Are there shortfalls in risks being assessed? Is the opportunity for value-add products to be developed for specific needs?

Or, are these products already there… but require data to help people join the dots on the accurate up-sell. The latter is what we’re seeing most.

These are the tip of the iceberg in what can be achieved.  The standout point in Big Data is that it’s not the amount of data you have, it’s what you do with it that is transformational…. And this impacts everyone, regardless of business size.

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Martin Piggot's picture

Martin has 18 years’ experience in application development, working with large volumes of data and technical support engineering. His career has focused on delivering innovative, data-led products and solutions to a broad portfolio of customers for leading brands like McDonalds. Martin is currently leading the on-going development and roll out of broker on-boarding, data ingestion and customer engagement programmes at Broker Insights.

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Interesting piece and to many, certainly in the market I work in and the clients I work for, this is a key challenge to secure continued relevance and commerciality. I am continually advising clients to 'read between the lines' and to 'mine' their data in a way that provides 'leading' and not 'lagging' indicators of performance, efficiencies and risk exposures for clients. We're moving to a world now where it is estimated that approaching 50% of an organisations 'insurable risk' is intangible so brokers need to show the value in the distribution chain that is, for the most part, severley lacking and really understand the new risks faced and look at creative ways in which any potential balance sheet exposure is adequately managed through the variety of risk management measures available to them.  

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