By: Jamie Rodgers, VP and Head of Insurance, Prodigy Labs
We are thrilled to feature a special guest blogger from our innovation partner Prodigy Labs this month! Jamie Rodgers is VP and the Head of Insurance at Prodigy Labs, based in Toronto. With more than 25 years of experience in the insurance and financial services industries, Jamie has worked for Life and P&C insurance carriers and with organizations such as Gartner, CGI, IBM, PwC and BearingPoint that deliver services and solutions to them. Prior to joining Prodigy Labs in 2019, Jamie was the Chief Data Officer at Empire Life. Jamie holds a B.A. in Economics and a M.Sc. in Information Management.
“Trust, but verify” is as much the approach insurers take to underwriting and servicing an insurance contract as it is a Russian proverb. It’s critical for insurers to invest effort to validate the risk data provided to them by applicants and to collect, with consent, other material risk data before confidently extending an offer of insurance. Otherwise, with imperfect knowledge, it’s akin to gambling. This extends to the claims side too, where effort is expended to confirm the facts of the loss and the veracity of the services being paid for as a result. And yet, things do fall through the cracks from time to time.
Getting to an acceptable balance of risk and trust may very well be that famous “last mile” en route to true digital transformation in insurance. Impeding this last mile effort, however, is a lack of solutions that offer authenticated digital identity data which can be used – with consent – by applicants and that can be joined with other risk data requests. But each time trust in the risk and identity data can be moved up earlier in the process, a corresponding reduction in verification costs and duration, and an improved customer experience, should be expected.
In this ideal state, what if everything you needed to know about a risk could be collected digitally, with consent, during the initial interaction with the customer and you knew you could trust the data?
Isn’t that what “digital” is supposed to be about?
Trust is a two-way street. It’s at the core of digital citizens’ expectations and those who watch out for them. Certainly, we’re seeing a much more proactive activity from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and trust is also a foundational component of Canada’s new digital charter.
Thankfully, there is now a digital identity verification network, where consent and trust are foundational components of its architecture, that holds great potential for insurers, the broader insurance ecosystem and all Canadians.
Verified.Me is a service offered by SecureKey Technologies Inc. The Verified.Me service was developed in cooperation with seven of Canada’s major financial institutions, is a digital identity verification network that sits at the intersection of privacy, trust and consent. That consent is immutably recorded and maintained on the network by the network’s blockchain architecture, but the identity data itself flows directly from the provider(s), upon consumer consent, to the online service of their choice with the highest-grade encryption technology, and while preserving the privacy between each participant.
Picture an insurer, or broker, requesting and being given explicit consent to retrieve identity data from a financial institution that has gone through its thorough KYC processes and other regulatory authentication processes. Now think of other digital asset providers specific to the insurance industry becoming connected to the Verified.Me network. Finally, envision insurers being connected to the network as service providers for services such as proof of insurance or proof of claim coverage.
Traversing the insurance business model identifies nearly innumerable use cases for Verified.Me, from strategic through to operational with a range of benefits, including:
- Self-service onboarding for members of groups, whether in Life or P&C, leveraging authenticated identity and account information from the banks;
- New self-service transaction possibilities that previously were too sensitive to allow online;
- Accelerated underwriting on the Life side, with the availability of authenticated identity and credit;
- Product recommendations based on digital identity and pre-filling of insurance applications with data, without requiring further validation;
- Claims service authentication to service providers, augmented by confirmation that the services were received by authenticated policyholders; and
- Identity and access authentication to portals and mobile applications using online banking credentials, among many more.
These use cases are just the start1, and will grow with the growth of the service.
Verified.Me is the embodiment of what Gartner calls “Web 3.0 – The Decentralized Web,” where citizens are in control of their data and where direct, secure and private connections can be made between distributed consumers and providers. As well, blockchain is a foundational component of Web 3.0 which is a distinguishing feature of Verified.Me.
Verified.Me is the type of solution needed to pass that “last mile” to digital transformation in insurance.
It’s then that we can really start to look at and realize the potential of digital.