Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), based in New York and Mumbai, is a global IT services company with expertise in business process management in several vertical market segments. TCS's insurance experts have been exploring the impact that GIS technology will have on the insurance industry. Given that almost every element of property and casualty insurance has an intrinsic relationship to location, TCS is helping its clients to better understand how location-based information can be modeled and analyzed to visualize spatial information and trends. "The reasons for this vary, but it all comes down to the need to better analyze and predict scenarios," said Vinod Kachroo, Chief Technology Officer, Insurance and Healthcare for TCS.
"Given that so many claims are related to climate change or weather (for example, flooding, high winds, etc.), GIS related information and maps are increasingly becoming the tools that insurers are turning to for analysis and prediction. It could very well become the risk assessment tool of choice in the not so distant future."
TCS is attempting to provide a clearer view of data for its clients; in the insurance industry that includes many facets of the business including accident and claim locations, as well as real estate property and casualty claims in residential and commercial property. TCS's innovation labs have undertaken research to automate the underwriting process using GIS that will include new visualization techniques and building standardization around the entire process. In the past, Kachroo said that insurers could run analytics on underwriting for a limited number of claims but now the visualization tools allow underwriters to run "what if" scenarios to evaluate certain risk factors in an iterative methodology. Since risk management underpins the underwriting process, analysts can now more accurately establish pricing policies.
For example, Kachroo said that TCS clients can now become more proactive in business modeling. Many insurance companies are now looking at predictive analytics as they are writing the policy and determining pricing models to understand the impact in near real-time. "For example, if these geographies show a lot of 'red,' so maybe you want to price in a different way," he said.
TCS is using both in-house technology as well as Esri and Pitney Bowes geospatial solutions.
What's next for TCS? Insurance providers want to influence your driving behavior. TCS is looking at the driving habits and patterns of its clients and providing them feedback on how safe their driving really is. With technology like the "connected car," insurance companies are more likely to be able to provide instant feedback to drivers as well as incentives to improve their driving. Parents will be able to monitor the driving behavior of their teenagers with geofencing applications. Insurers will be able to show you on the map where you were speeding or where you were cornering incorrectly, for example. These innovations and insights will aid in evaluating risk more efficiently and pricing policies more effectively.
Kachroo added, "Consumers are also looking for more capabilities and interaction with their insurance company."