Richard Hartley on the future of risk assessment and AI driven underwriting

How can commercial insurers today improve underwriting performance and elevate the customer experience? As the market continues to become more data-driven, how can commercial insurers improve their ability to understand risk quality?

External data and artificial intelligence (AI) have a crucial role to play, opening up significant opportunities for insurers to improve loss ratios while delivering a better experience to customers.

Cytora CEO and co-founder, Richard Hartley, recently offered his views on these topics during the “From Big Data to User Engagement and Connected Insurance: Understanding Today’s Customers” roundtable, held in London by Generali Italia and Oliver James Associates.

Other panellists and attendees included Davide Consiglio, Head of Advanced Analytics, Generali Italia, Adrien Cohen, Chief Commercial Officer, Tractable, Davide Cervellin, Director of Analytics, PayPal, and Roberto Nard, Chief Data Officer, AIG Group.

AI and external data are reshaping the insurance industry. Issues such as data privacy, insurers’ ability to access external data, and building customer trust as interactions become increasing automated were top-of-mind. The panel highlighted that insurers can benefit from partnering with technology companies who have data-driven decision making at the core of their DNA and build products with privacy by design.

We believe that buying business insurance should be as simple as ordering an Uber or purchasing from Amazon. We are dedicated to making that possible by enabling questionless underwriting.
— Richard Hartley, CEO and Co-founder, Cytora

Hartley predicted that the use of AI and external data in insurance will become commonplace within the next 10 years because of the benefits it can provide to both customers and insurers. He commented that insurers are already experiencing significant improvements in loss ratio since integrating Cytora’s Risk Engine into their underwriting process.

“By using AI and external data to underwrite, insurers not only eliminate bias from the underwriting process, they are able to radically improve the customer experience,” Hartley commented.  

When asked how insurers looking to transition to questionless underwriting can prepare, Hartley said, “the first step is to engage, start a conversation. Big gains can be made with relatively small changes.”