In conjunction with the recent introduction of some carrier-focused digital distribution tools, IVANS also unveiled “Market Insights,” delivering an IVANS index of data on renewal premium changes to all agents on its systems and to carrier clients.
“It is completely data‑driven,” said Matt Foran, an IVANS vice president, noting that some of the existing market pricing indicators available on a monthly basis “are either survey‑driven, or from a very small data set [that’s] very focused on specialty business.”
Here, the source of data is transactional data that IVANS has across its many data sets. “We now use so many of them, and they’re somewhat of our secret sauce, that we don’t disclose the specific sources. But this is from millions and millions of actual transactions that we know to be verified and accurate in detail,” he said.
IVANS, a division of Applied Systems, is connects insurers, MGAs, agencies, and the insured via a property/casualty insurance industry data exchange. IVANS cloud-based software automates distribution and servicing of insurance products.
As for the new index, “it is a time series‑based view of what’s happening on a product‑by‑product basis in terms of premium renewal rate,” said Foran, noting that each data point captured and included in the renewal change index relates to a single policy number-expiration date-carrier combination. In other words, “it’s only looking at the same exact policy, year over year, to see how much it moved up or down.” Unlike other indexes, the IVANS index “does not get balanced out for exposure change or claims activity.”
Revealing some sample output for Carrier Management and Insurance Journal, Foran displayed two views of the data—one, a line graph showing the percentage rate change for commercial auto policies for each of the last six months (single-digit increases in August through January, with the highest coming in the last two months), and the other showing a bar chart indicating the distribution of rate changes a single month (a flat renewal for January, in this case, was popular—for 24 percent of the policies tracked).
Both are “meant to empower the agencies to have better discussions with their clients 90-to-120 days out”—he said, imagining an agent messaging that the average industry renewal is 2-3 percent and that anything above 7 percent is outside the norm, and should prompt action to move the business.
Beyond helping agents, Foran believes the index will also give carriers a good idea of what’s happening in the industry in terms of pricing and, like the other tools, can drive better discussions between agents and underwriters.
While the sample index he revealed was for commercial auto across the industry, Foran said smaller cuts by line and state are available. For example, he said, some data he’s recently seen on commercial property showed an inflection point of rate hikes following hailstorms in Texas but that the shift in Florida rates post Hurricane Matthew hasn’t emerged in the data yet.
IVANS announced the release of “Market Insights” at the same time that the company announced it would roll out its “Market Manager” platform, intended to give carriers a “data-driven method” to find new agents and grow with existing partners. See related article, IVANS Digital Distribution Tool Will Help Carriers Grow—With Agents, for more details.