Big Data posts

These posts are all about the ethics of big data in insurance. It's a big and influential subject, linked to many of the exciting developments now happening in insurance.

Why insurers need to prepare for some tough scrutiny of their underwriting
Insurers have been using big data analytics to explore new underwriting techniques for several years now. Yet events are unfolding that point to the possibility of this coming under some harsh scrutiny by regulators and consumer groups.
The need for a reorientation of corporate mindsets
Digitisation is transforming more than insurance. It's changing the mindset of the public too, and how they view ethics. Insurers need to respond to both.
The Great Accountability Challenge facing Insurance Leaders
Technology is reshaping the business models of insurers. Yet this reshaping presents a new accountability challenge that needs to be addressed.
What risks does big data pose for professionalism in insurance?
Big data is starting to transform insurance. It could also transform professionalism in insurance, in ways that present some pretty new risks. So what should professional bodies around the world look out for?
Does this spell the end for insurance claims?
Aviva have a new system called Ask it Never, designed to eliminate the need to ask customers any questions when giving them a quote. The list of implications is impressive!
Is this the most controversial claims innovation of all?
With claims optimisation, are insurers abandoning all remaining hope of sustaining trust in a digitised market? It is innovative, but hardly ethical.
Accountability in an era of algorithm driven insurance – between a rock and a hard place?
There a question mark forming over the capacity of board members of insurance firms to perform their oversight duties effectively.[...]
Could algorithms make insurance firms ungovernable?
It sounds a bit scary, but could big data result in the oversight provided by board members of an insurance[...]
Is big data steering insurance towards a cliff or a superhighway?
It was great to see the panel I was on last week to debate the above question attract a full[...]
Addressing the key question for 21st century insurance head on
Europe’s leading experts on computing, privacy and data protection (CPDP) will be brought together at a conference this week in[...]
Which rules should ‘insurtech’ disruptors break?
There’s a lot of attention being given at the moment to the startup firms that are entering the insurance market[...]
It looks like the FCA really does not understand big data
A recent speech by the chief executive of the UK regulator for insurance focused on big data. It clarified one[...]
Has the UK regulator got it wrong on big data?
The UK regulator of financial services has shelved its plans for a market study into the use of big data[...]
Will life insurers show leadership on big ethical issues?
Two years ago, a senior manager at a leading reinsurer wrote an article entitled “NO wearable device = NO life[...]
Are we seeing the start of a ‘retreat from insurance’?
It’s becoming fashionable amongst insurers to talk of turning themselves into providers of lifestyle services to customers. It’s portrayed as[...]
Building a persuasive argument on fairness
A fundamental challenge facing the insurance sector is how to differentiate between risks without that turning into discriminating between risks.[...]
The atomisation of insurance
The insurance sector is on the cusp of fundamental change. And at the heart of that change is the sector’s[...]
A hugely significant decision for personal lines pricing
A landmark decision by US insurance regulators could translate into significant disruption for the UK personal lines market if the[...]
Ethics and Insurance: what to watch for in 2016
Every insurance firm should be monitoring the ethical events and trends that influence its business. This reduces the unexpected, enables[...]
Pre-approved insurance – what are the implications?
How might consumers react to recent signs of insurance being offered on a pre-approved basis? Is there a sense that[...]
A revealing window into insurer thinking on big data
A recent conference on 'big data and insurance' opened a window into the UK insurance sector's current thinking on what[...]
The dangers of unintentional discrimination
There’s concern that insurers’ use of big data will result in some sectors of society suffering discrimination. Data mining could[...]
Insurers’ right to know: a line is drawn
Do insurers have an unimpeded right to see your complete medical record? A UK regulator has just ruled that they[...]
How to challenge four common myths about privacy
There are a growing number of roundtables and conferences about insurance and big data at the moment. And at some[...]
Self driving cars: a classic ethical question for insurers
Self driving cars will transform personal travel and in doing so, will pose some interesting questions for insurers. One question[...]
How objective is the data your firm uses to make decisions?
An insurer told me recently that the only reason for a huge increase in a renewal premium was because of[...]
Why that magic element of big data could be fatal for insurers
Earlier this year, I wrote a post called ‘Data, Equality and Insurance’, about a small survey that I’d undertaken into[...]
A radical change in insurance regulation is underway
The Chartered Insurance Institute has recently published a paper by me, entitled ‘The Digital Panopticon and the New Power of[...]
Big data: has the Financial Ombudsman missed something significant?
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has been weighing up the implications that big data will have for its work. And the[...]
Data, Equality and Insurance: a small survey
The insurance market is entering a new phase, in which underwriting and claims practices are being transformed through access to[...]
Tensions evident in ABI’s view on customer data
UK insurers are recognising that their use of customer data is becoming a key reputational issue for the sector, but[...]
Why the pensions sector must address issues around big data – pt4
The pensions sector has a lot on its cards at the moment. Ethics may not appear to be a priority,[...]
Four lessons insurance firms should learn from the Wonga affair
Big data could revolutionise a firm’s understanding of its customers. Yet it could also blind the firm to common sense[...]
Why data is the key regulatory challenge in financial services
Data is the key challenge facing the regulation of UK financial services. So said a representative of the Prudential Regulatory[...]
Price optimisation – approach with care!
Questions have already been raised about the ethics of dual pricing. This started out as the practice of offering new[...]
11 principles for building ethics into your use of big data
In last week’s post, I explained why insurance firms need to integrate privacy protection into the big data dimension to[...]
The ethics of big data – a critical window of opportunity for insurance firms
Insurance has always relied on data. And with the mainstreaming now of revolutionary techniques for how data can be acquired,[...]
Could long term insurance be heading into a perfect storm – pt1
There are trends in the long term insurance market that, if seen through to their conclusion, could have significant implications, both ethical and social.
The new uncertainties that anonymised data will introduce
How insurers use anonymised data has clear ethical implications, as well as risks that could trap the unwary and lead markets astray.
The ethical minefield that is anonymised data
The way in which insurers handle anonymised data can raise all sorts of ethical questions, with implications for policyholders, underwriters and regulators
Big data, ethics and the right to know and challenge
Insurers seem to have more data than they know what to do with. How will this influence policyholders' right to know and challenge what is held about them?
The fundamentals of an ethical information economy: thoughts about the future
Jaron Lanier's book raises some innovative questions that insurers should absorb when thinking about the long term implications of big data
Privacy and Identification – pt4 – we all like to put our best side forward
Identification is one of the key privacy issues that insurers need to attend to. It is however perhaps the most difficult one for them to get right. Here's why.
Insurance and the Privacy Controversy
Over the next 5 years, I believe tensions between the insurance industry and the general public around privacy issues will grow to be as controversial as the misselling of payment protection insurance is today. This is the first of a series of posts exploring privacy and insurance.
Telematics – pt1 – data
What should insurers do to resolve the question of who will own the data created by their use of telematics in products like motor? One particular step might make a real difference, if handled properly.
Revolutionary Insurance
Big data could herald an entirely new way of thinking about the relationship between insurer and customer. It will have transparency at its heart and rely on new ways of behaving with customers. Ethics and insurance will never be more reliant upon each other than they need to be in this new world of insurance.