This was highlighted in UCA NSW's most recent property insurance renewal. Previously, the asset schedule for its property insurance programme was simply a listing of all of the group’s different properties. Schools, churches, aged care homes and more were all lumped into the one portfolio. “Year on year the portfolio’s pricing had stayed very stable and it was locked into one particular market,” explains UCA NSW’s broker Penny Wasik, specialty divisional manager at JLT. “There was very scant risk information. So if you were going to market to try and create a compelling story about the organisation to insurers, it was actually quite difficult to do so.”
Last year, however, JLT was able to break down UCA NSW’s asset schedule into separate portfolios, resulting in a 30% saving to the group’s property insurance spend. “By having quality and granular information, and now having it for several years, we were able to do some really sophisticated analysis and present an alternative structure to the market that enabled us to unlock those discounts and attract other markets to the table that ordinarily wouldn’t have been interested,” Wasik says.
“We were able to cut up the asset schedule into various pools and compare how those pools of assets perform from a claims perspective. You can get a lot smarter about how you structure a policy; you may have different excesses for different pools of asset classes that reflects how they each perform, and you can be much smarter about where deductibles should really be.”
The granularity of the data also enables clients to make more informed decisions about self-insurance, Wasik says. “The more confident you can be in your under-excess loss profile, the more confident you can be about taking on greater levels of self-insurance, whether that be taking higher excesses or whether that’s looking at a captive situation or some other self-insurance vehicle,” she says.
Mathis agrees. “Information and data, providing it’s complete and accurate, is absolutely the lifeblood of making those decisions. You can’t make decisions in terms of risk transfer, strategy and service provider unless you have that information. It’s part of our arsenal,” he says.
UCA NSW also now offers its insurers the option to have regular lists of notifications against certain policies away from the renewal process.
Most organisations don’t offer that, Wasik says. “It’s the notifications that insurers are really interested in because it shows a pattern. Some clients take the view that they’d rather keep those to themselves until they turn into claims, but UCA NSW don’t; they’re very transparent. “That has given the market a lot of confidence to be able to do things from both a pricing and coverage perspective that they ordinarily would not,” she says.
As far as Mathis is concerned, insurers’ demands for quality data and information will only increase. “Insurance data is the lifeblood from which risk transfer strategies are not only set but ultimately measured and assessed. Whether you are focused upon the remarketing of a particular risk class, the calculation of optimal self-retentions or development of risk allocation strategies, such decisions must be made where the accuracy of underlying data is undisputed," he says.