Dig­i­tiz­ing In­sur­ance

15 min­utes with Marik Brock­man

Digital Insurance - - CONTENTS - As told to Nathan Go­lia

CSAA strat­egy leader Marik Brock­man nav­i­gates dis­rup­tion

INN: How did you end up in the in­sur­ance in­dus­try?

Marik Brock­man: My time in in­sur­ance be­gan af­ter busi­ness school, when I took a po­si­tion with Di­a­mond Tech­nol­ogy Part­ners, which was later ac­quired by PwC. I joined CSAA in the fall of 2013 to cre­ate the strat­egy func­tion.

INN: What’s the ma­jor charge of your group?

Brock­man: We have ab­sorbed the busi­ness de­vel­op­ment group and cre­ated an in­no­va­tion ac­cel­er­a­tion group. We’ve ramped up ev­ery­thing we’re do­ing in part­ner­ships and strate­gic in­vest­ment.

INN: What trends are you re­spond­ing to as you es­tab­lish strat­egy?

Brock­mann: We see in­sur­ance re­ally getting more con­nected. You can in­ter­act in dif­fer­ent ways with your pol­i­cy­hold­ers, like with smart home de­vices or in cars with their telematics de­vices. A mo­bile app used to be some­thing peo­ple ig­nored; now it’s a must-have, be­cause through your app, you can be a part­ner in peo­ple lives. We see in­sur­ance evolv­ing to some­thing that’s more risk pre­ven­tion; rather than just in­dem­ni­fy­ing peo­ple for things that go wrong — we can pre­vent those things.

INN: How is CSAA lever­ag­ing us­age-based in­sur­ance?

Brock­mann: We have our us­age-based in­sur­ance prod­uct in-mar­ket. We’re rolling out to 16 states, and the take-up rate has been pos­i­tive in the mar­kets where we started it. We have ad­di­tional telematics of­fer­ings for safe driv­ing alerts out as well.

INN: How does CSAA col­lect the data for your UBI ini­tia­tive?

Brock­man: We are us­ing on­board de­vices for now. But we have a roadmap that in­cludes mo­bile teleme­try. We want to un­der­stand if it is more ac­cu­rate and con­ve­nient. And, we of course see our­selves col­lect­ing data from the car’s own tech­nol­ogy even­tu­ally.

INN: What’s your strat­egy for scor­ing telematics data?

Brock­man: One thing we did was in­source the data, the col­lec­tion anal­y­sis and scor­ing. There are par­ties be­tween the de­vice and the in­surer that score the data. But we found there were dis­crep­an­cies be­tween what we got in terms of re­sults and the scor­ing.

INN: Are on-board de­vices likely to re­main pre­ferred by in­sur­ers?

Brock­man: There’s so many ap­pli­ca­tions try­ing to go af­ter the OBD-2 por­tal. For ex­am­ple, in the state of Ore­gon, [con­nected car tech­nol­ogy startup] Au­to­matic Labs is go­ing to launch a pi­lot that al­lows peo­ple to pass the state smog test with­out go­ing to a smog check sta­tion. That’s a lot of com­pe­ti­tion. So you have to look around.

INN: Are you pre­par­ing for a fu­ture where au­ton­o­mous cars are a re­al­ity?

Brock­man: We are look­ing for ways in which we can be a part­ner [with the au­ton­o­mous car sec­tor]. The next decade is go­ing to be in­ter­est­ing with dif­fer­ent lev­els of au­ton­omy on the road. We see com­pa­nies talk­ing about skip­ping level three, which al­lows the driver to take over the car at any point. But some peo­ple say they’re go­ing to go right to level 4, which is full au­ton­omy. (Edi­tor’s note: Th­ese clas­si­fi­ca­tion lev­els are from the Na­tional High­way Traf­fic Safety Ad­min­is­tra­tion and were re­leased in 2013.) So of­ten, the thing you were try­ing to get used to is al­ready out of date.

INN: What other im­pacts are in­sur­ers see­ing from con­nected tech­nolo­gies?

Brock­mann: We are work­ing with con­nected home de­vice mak­ers on getting de­vices into homes, and ed­u­cat­ing pol­i­cy­hold­ers on op­tions in con­nected home. We see home in­sur­ance as an im­por­tant growth area.

INN: Do you feel like more of your cus­tomers are will­ing to take on new tech­nol­ogy as it re­lates to in­sur­ance, be­cause you’re lo­cated in the Bay area?

Brock­man: Well, the in­ter­est­ing part of au­ton­o­mous cars is that it’s in the news ev­ery day. The Bay area is full of early adopters. The one thing our lo­ca­tion al­lows us to do is see a lot of star­tups. It’s nice that they’re right across the street and we don’t have to send a del­e­gate.

INN: What ad­vice would you give other in­sur­ers about work­ing with those startup com­pa­nies?

Brock­man: In­sur­ers should go and be ac­tive part­ners. Or even try some of their own ideas. There’s ab­so­lutely no rea­son any­one in the in­sur­ance couldn’t launch a peer-to peer-prod­uct to­mor­row. It’s ba­si­cally in­no­vat­ing their own fu­ture.

As chief strat­egy and in­no­va­tion of­fi­cer for CSAA In­sur­ance Group, Marik Brock­man is tasked with sep­a­rat­ing hype from re­al­ity when it comes to the fu­ture of the in­sur­ance in­dus­try. He spoke to INN about the tech­nol­ogy trends that Wal­nut Creek, Calif.-based com­pany be­lieves will truly dis­rupt per­sonal lines P&C in­sur­ance.

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