Insuranceciooutlook

How StrongArm Tech Is Fundamentally Reshaping the Way the Insurance Industry Predicts, Projects and Prevents Injury

By Mike Kyrilis, Director, Insurance, StrongArm Technologies

Mike Kyrilis, Director, Insurance, StrongArm Technologies

StrongArm Technologies is the world’s leading safety science company, having pioneered a SaaS-model, Iot-enabled safety wearable technology that’s not just effective, easy to implement and scalable, but also highly proven. Right now, the FUSE Risk Management Platform is keeping tens of thousands of essential Industrial Athletes™ proud, protected and productive on the job — not despite of, but in the face of new, uncertain realities brought on by a global pandemic.

ADDRESSING THE INSURANCE SECTOR

The FUSE Risk Management Platform brings forward-looking IoT wearable and data analytics capabilities to a historical data model of predicting, measuring, controlling, and pricing risk. The result is seamless and in-depth access to robust actionable data and real-time insights that until now have been unavailable to the insurance industry.

It’s no surprise, then, that from StrongArm’s inception the insurance sector was quickly identified as a core growth industry. The access to large carriers of medical risk notwithstanding, its ability to reach and impact the highest number of Industrial Athletes makes it critical to fulfilling our mission of keeping workers safe on the job. The Platform has proven to be an integral component within the risk transfer market by creating value for insurance carriers, the brokerage community, end users, and specialty risk transfer markets.

Using real-time data the FUSE Platform has demonstrated a forward-looking and granular ability to identify, predict, and ultimately prevent injury risk. By constantly innovating our leading-edge technology and teaming up with key partners insurance and investment partners - like our enduring alliance with Max Brickman of Heartland Ventures - we can now provide the insurance industry with a transparent predictive pricing tool, a client facing injury reduction platform, real-time behavioral safety models, a data-driven risk engineering measurement, and a provable claim expense reduction tool.

ESTABLISHING CARRIER CREDIBILITY

To establish credibility quickly but thoroughly, StrongArm partnered with a major carrier to run a Risk Rate Correlation Analysis comparing the predictive output of the FUSE against 10 years of historical claims (some ~$7.5B in WC cost).  The results not only confirmed the accuracy of our model and algorithms in relation to correlating with observed claims, but also truncated the timeline required to align with leading actuaries.

“The future will be determined on technology and innovation. StrongArm is at the cutting edge of worker safety, understanding the risks and predicting injury, before it occurs, by providing vital insights to worker and safety personnel alike,” said  Anthony Lyons,  Executive Vice President at Ascot Group Ltd. (and former Global Head of Analytics & Technical Services at AIG). “The more insight we have on the causes of injury the more we can prevent the injury before it happens in the first place. StongArm at its core is laser-focused on worker safety."

In addition, Oliver Wyman published a white paper in 2019 confirming the correlation between FUSE data outputs and observed claims frequency, giving third-party validation to the power of StrongArm’s data product. Oliver Wyman’s analysis also confirmed that the FUSE can drive a significant reduction in injury risk among workers and has also reduced incidence rate across injury categories when deployed at scale.

This year alone, StrongArm has surpassed the user-base targets informed by experienced brokers and carriers. With more than 20,000 Industrial Athletes™ in any given risk category for over 12 months of use, StrongArm is the single best source of data on musculoskeletal injury risk. With that data, we are already beginning to change the way the industry predicts, projects, and prevents injury.

BUILDING RELEVANT TOOLS

The physiological and environmental risk data collected, and the subsequent corrective action tools built into the FUSE Sensor, have empowered StrongArm to provide value to all functions of an insurance cycle — from injury prevention techniques, pricing accuracy, and claims management.

To date, we have run programs with Zurich, Hartford, AIG, AXAXL, RSA Group and Travelers and are engaged with several other top casualty carriers to deliver programs. From adding new features based on client need to building out customized reporting tools to seamlessly and intuitively deliver the subsequent data, we are continuing to find innovative ways to impact the profitability of our partners and the insurance programs.

Our technology assists in driving program retention through long-term profitability by reducing claims and improving pricing accuracy through job-specific risk analysis. Real-time data tailored to the task around movement, environmental and proximity based insights also factor in prominently. Any one of these risk portfolios represents access to over 250,000 viable FUSE users, and has proven to be a win for all parties involved.

Through our partnerships we support the carriers robust risk engineering services to assist in driving client retention. There has been tremendous opportunity to strategically share data and measure ergonomic engineering adjustments. The data collected provides EHS professionals with unique insight into the impact of engineering changes to be able to scale changes with provable ROI’s via Strong Arms Safety Score reduction measurement.

COMMERCIAL MODEL INNOVATION

The concept of a share risk model entails deferring a portion of fees based on some deliverable contingencies. By connecting compensation to a series of KPI's — such as injury reductions, claims cost decreases, risk propensity and safety score reductions, staff retention improvements, engineering controls, productivity gains and more — we can align StrongArm commercial incentives with client returns. 

“Among large risk management casualty underwriting, launching innovative solutions with customers is the carrier differentiation model of the future — there is no sustainable success without it,” said Matt Norcia, StrongArm’s Chief Operating Officer. “But insurers rely heavily on data in order to drive actuarially significant conclusions that influence the risks we accept. StrongArm’s FUSE technology captures this data to accurately project the favorable long-term impact on the insured’s risk profile. And given our demonstrated competence, these projections are often considered valid, allowing the customer to realize the benefits within their retained risk layer at the onset of such a launch.”

This model works particularly well with a carrier partner, who can leverage other value drivers for the insured, including premium reductions, crediting clients’ FUSE fees against a "deductible" to incentivize participation, collateral reduction, positive risk assessment classification, or providing discounted risk control consulting.  

UNDERWRITING INSIGHTS

The physiological data collected using the FUSE Platform provides our underwriting partners with granular risk classification data that can be used to more accurately predict the expected loss frequency than traditional methods. Underwriting can build competitive products using client-specific forecasts that can impact collateral requirements, excess layers, and rate reductions.

Using real-time predictive analytics, our insurance partners will be able to underwrite risks based upon their clients’ current operational environment. Our smart analytical approach can remove noise from historical data sets during times of rapid change.

A NEW VIEW ON THE RISK SPECTRUM

“Today, insurance partners are working closely with their end customers to collect data through the Strongarm platform,” said Dan Campany, Vice President of Innovation and Head of IoT at The Hartford. “Carriers and customers can then provide StrongArm with critical product feedback that can be used to build our roadmap and enhance the way we deliver actionable data.”

Providing carrier data and underwriting teams with access to aggregated data allows for entirely new opportunities to improve pricing and risk portfolios. We are constantly exploring and evaluating ways to contract, determine an appropriate fee structure and deliver insights in a valuable way. 

“The data from Strongarm’s platform has two critical advantages in helping insurers improve their understanding of risk –  it represents new risk factors and it is real-time, all-the-time.  That means we are able to see new and better proxies for risk that we did not have previously, such as lifting and bending, and we’re seeing how this can change dynamically through the course of days, weeks and months,” continued Campany. “We can aggregate that data and correlate it with other data such as injuries or near-misses to differentiate risk at a more granular level.  Further, we can evaluate the positive impacts of risk engineering interventions and identify potential new risks as companies’ operations change over time.”

Ultimately, we believe we can use the FUSE Platform’s unique ability to recognize and classify physiological activity to provide insights with higher levels of granularity and precision than current job function or NCCI methodologies.  

Even more exciting? The larger the user-base, the more capable StrongArm will be at defining standards and informing accurate risk pricing.

ONGOING INDUSTRY IMPACT

Based on years of high fidelity data collection driving unique job-specific insights, and having built a platform for channel partner development, StrongArm is now in a position to build and deliver a competitive advantage for brokers and carriers in risk selection, risk pricing, and risk mitigation. We’re also best equipped to represent an alternative model to workers compensation risk financing by supporting underwriting accuracy using leading indicators.

With everything from biometric tracking to robotic exo-skeletons under our belt, we are more confident than ever in the ability for data and real-time feedback to change the world. We will keep leading the fight for the hundreds of millions of Industrial Athletes around the world. With this new endeavor, we can accelerate our growth, hone our offering, and build a platform so life-changing that company adoption becomes a mark of pride, not just necessity.

As the profile of industrial risk changes all around us, our founding mission remains firmly intact: Protect the world’s workers every shift, without exception, and return them to the homes and families they work so hard to support.

Weekly Brief

Top 10 Insurtech Startups - 2020

Read Also

Innovation Exposes Payment Vulnerabilities

Innovation Exposes Payment Vulnerabilities

Guy Berg, Vice President, Payments, Standards & Outreach Group, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis
Strategies to Unleash the full Potential of your Intelligent Automation (IA) Initiative

Strategies to Unleash the full Potential of your Intelligent Automation (IA) Initiative

Adrian Iaiza, Formerly Head of Process Automation and Improvement, TAL Australia
Open Sources, Open Doors or How to Innovate in a Competitive Cloud Market

Open Sources, Open Doors or How to Innovate in a Competitive Cloud Market

Garrick Stavrovich, Lead Product Manager for Nasdaq’s Global Information Services
Working More Effectively with Enterprise Risk Management

Working More Effectively with Enterprise Risk Management

Eric Bonnell, SVP, Manager–Technology and Asset Risk, Atlantic Union Bank
No 'Silver bullet' answer for Cybersecurity, but Risk Mitigation is Possible

No 'Silver bullet' answer for Cybersecurity, but Risk Mitigation is Possible

Marc Ashworth, Chief Information Security Officer, First Bank
Captives' Value Rising as Tools for Resilience

Captives' Value Rising as Tools for Resilience

Steven R. Bauman, Head of Global Programs and Captive Practice in North America, AXA XL