Traffk: Modernizing Insurance Underwriting and Risk Management

CIO VendorPaul Ford, Co-Founder and Glenn Hibler, Co-Founder The quaint city of London once used to be host to obtaining marine insurance at coffee houses. The cavernous halls of the coffee house buzzed with sailors, merchants, and ship-owners who tried to underwrite the shipments' portion value by assuming the risks associated. Fast forward to the current scenario and the core element of insurance, underwriting—the balance of premium collected vs. payment made out as claims—is still operationalized based on the risk assumptions. A significant hurdle that Paul Ford and Glenn Hibler set out to overcome in 2015. “Although the Insurtech arena was witness to ruthless competition, the insurance products were still banking on assumptions-based underwriting without real data,” says Ford. With the aim to comprehend the risks and modernize the insurance underwriting process by leveraging modern tools, Ford and Hibler along with Jason Thomas co-founded Traffk, the modern insurance underwriting and risk insurance platform.

Today, Traffk offers the next-generation underwriting and risk management SaaS platform with an innovative suite of data solutions optimized for insurance-related companies. “Data, which is crucial to making efficient risk decisions, is growing exponentially with each passing day. However, it is not being looked into at a granular level while underwriting an insurance plan. We have built a cloud-based solution that collates data feeds from carriers and other stakeholders and puts that data to work, such that clients can improve underwriting accuracy, manage risk, realize market growth and retention, and create data-optimized solutions and offerings,” mentions Ford, the Co-founder of Traffk.

Traffk enables risk bearers to leverage the underwriting process with its data enrichment technology. Insurance carriers can better understand their client markets and gain competitive advantages by dynamically managing and assessing risks. Insights into the market conditions ultimately result in smarter pricing decisions, more effective product development, and better execution of the chosen business strategy. Leveraging sophisticated data science and machine learning techniques, Traffk's SaaS platform integrates and analyzes data to glean insights pertinent to insurance. Insurance carriers leverage the cloud-based platform for a broader and deeper analysis of the available information, which ultimately translates into effective and efficient risk assessment and underwriting processes. “We try to model the effect we have on insurance to the way Netflix impacted content creation for digital media. Think about it, Netflix collects data from various sources to understand their audiences and sub-demographics. They then use that data to create curated content that maps to the preferences of the demographic audiences, creating what the audience wants to see. Traffk enables carriers to create products from the data mining and risk tools we have to create and realign products to perform better and reach new demographic audiences,” says Glenn Hibler, Co-founder of Traffk.

We collect, integrate, analyze, and transact data on our SaaS platform and then transform it into actionable and dynamic indexes

The Ingenious Solution Portfolio

Traffk's vision of empowering the next-generation of insurance products and services through its modern underwriting and risk management platform stands on three core pillars.

The first pillar is Traffk's curated database of alternate insurance information. The company collects public and private data that includes insurance claims data collected from a variety of insurance types such as life insurance, critical illness, accident, disability, workers comp, health, and annuities. The information from disparate sources is collected and fed into the Traffk's database. The company also amalgamates meaningful data through its relationships with research organizations and integration with open source and private databases. Traffk is also a pioneer in the use of Social Determinants of Health in the underwriting process. This data is used to enrich insurance company data and enable a granular view of risk beyond what solutions in market offer today.

The enriched data which leverages Traffk’s curated database of alternative insurance information is channeled into the company’s second core pillar, Traffk's predictive analytics engine.

The company's team of data scientists develops insurance-optimized algorithms, predictive models, and advanced analytics in its ‘machine learning studio,’ which is built to create better risk modifications, indexing, consumer segmentation, profiling, and risk assessment. Through a curated database, machine learning constructs, and predictive analytics methodology, Traffk has been able to predict future claims for its clients with more than 85 percent accuracy. Traffk empowers insurance-related companies to manage, utilize, and expand their data to improve underwriting accuracy, manage risk, realize market growth and retention, and deliver data optimized offerings. “We collect, integrate, analyze, and transact data on our SaaS platform and then transform it into actionable, dynamic, multi-variant indexes,” explains Ford. The solution indexes client’s membership into risk profiles that they can efficiently manage to dynamically de-risk targeted marketing and underwriting. “The analytical capabilities that we have, allows clients to underwrite appropriate risks and place them in the pricing segment more efficiently. We are also helping insurance companies build new underwriting proxies that are smarter than current processes and practices today.”

Congruent to the entire modern underwriting and risk management process, Traffk develops web tools, which forms its third pillar. The clients leverage web tools to digitalize their insurance offering. “If an insurance company sends three million postcards through postal mailings, our web tools can mitigate the hassle by providing an online and mobile web application experience for the consumers,” mentions Ford. The consumers can apply for insurance which is then automatically fed into the system for automated underwriting. The insurance agencies are enabled to engage with clients directly without going through the cumbersome process of lead generation and follow up. They can also reduce the client acquisition costs significantly.

The True Business Partners

Traffk comprehends the clients' technological necessities before deploying an apt technology solution from its competent and modern solutions portfolio. As a part of their discovery phase, Traffk traces, as Ford calls it, the client's ‘aspirational journey’ by tracking the modern technologies, APIs, and legacy systems they leverage. As per the client's situation, Traffk builds secure databases to help them comply with HIPAA, FCRA and other information regulations. Traffk’s ability to integrate with legacy or established systems and processes enable carriers to move as nimbly as if they were a start-up and not a 100-year-old insurance company. Next, the engagement focuses on solving clients' pain points through the underwriting and risk management SaaS platform. Traffk also steps in with their advanced analytics to help them create a modern underwriting product and distribution such that it can be delivered to the appropriate targeted audience. In addition, Traffk is HIPAA-compliant and has successfully passed numerous technology assessments and security platform reviews.

Traffk offers its solutions in almost every aspect of the insurance landscape, and over the years empowered many clients in their underwriting endeavor. In an instance, the company collaborated with a potential client by enriching their datasets with 2,000 unique data attributes. The detail that Traffk provided by running the datasets through their predictive algorithms delivered 90 percent accuracy, which ultimately resulted in greater efficiencies in client acquisition. Impressed by what they achieved, Traffk added the use case as a part of their sales process. Ever since then, the company has been routinely enriching potential clients' data to showcase the power of their methodology and win their vote of confidence.

The Insurtech Veterans

Ford believes that the experience and the end-to-end insurance expertise that Traffk endows to the Insurtech space establish them as not only a competent solution provider but also a progressive business partner. Rightly so, Traffk's insurance-optimized risk management platform is powered by the 175+ years of insurance expertise, data science, machine learning, and AI that its team brings to the table. “Through our decades of knowledge and work expertise, we not only help them with a next-gen solution but we also deepen client relationships by integrating our solution in their workflow that works nimbly,” extols Hibler. “Our secret sauce is in our teams combined experience as much as it is our cloud-based technologies we have built ourselves. Having the ingenuity to combine our knowledge of underwriting, distribution, and technology is what allows us to be experts in what we do and forge new ground in the digitization of insurance,” Hibler continues.

"We are creating the same impact Netflix had on content creation in media, within insurance by creating sophisticated insurance products leveraging data to understand risk"

In the last couple of months, Traffk has focused on adding more resources to its competent team as they aim to become a household name in the Insurtech space. “Although technologies such as machine learning, AI, and big data are considered to be buzzwords, if these technologies are leveraged in the way that Traffk does right now, it can be very helpful for the entire insurance ecosystem. It is time for Insurtech companies to level up and create practical underwriting applications based on these inventive technologies,” concludes Ford.

- Shiv Shanker
    September 27, 2018