Tom Lawrie-Fussey, Director of Automotive, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, Insurance, U.K. and Ireland
Q. Tell us about your role at your firm. What do you do, and what do you find most interesting about it?
A. I am Director of Automotive at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which involves looking at new insights that we can offer to insurance providers – around the vehicle and the driver – to help them price more effectively, manage risk during the lifetime of the policy and support the customer at the point of claim. This plays to both my interests and strengths as an engineer and a bit of a data geek. The pace of change and disruption in our sector is unprecedented, and this role is a fantastic opportunity to be part of that transformation through the vehicle insights we create.
Prior to joining the business back in August this year, I had worked with LexisNexis Risk Solutions for several years and had always been impressed by the business’s passion to find new data-led insights that empower the insurance sector to make data-driven decisions. It’s great to be part of a team focused on helping insurance providers understand motor risk continually and effectively at such an exciting and challenging time for the market.
Q. What are the challenges facing your business right now, and how are you working to overcome them?
A. Concerns over data ownership and how publicly available data should be used in the customer journey has been a challenge; but once those concerns were put to rest, there has been a big shift in the appetite from insurance providers for new data insights to obtain an accurate view of risk in a fair and transparent manner.
My focus is on supporting motor insurance providers and to this end, we’re accelerating how we leverage vehicle data to help solve some of the market’s pain points. Watch this space for more news on that front – but without going into too much detail, we hope to soon uncover yet more detail about the car, the safety/risk implications of emerging technology and how this all impacts policy pricing, renewals, and claims.
Q. If you could go back to the start of your professional career, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?
A. Whilst career progression shouldn’t be a race, I would suggest to myself to think harder sooner about life goals in this profession. The first ten years of my career were largely driven by luck, not judgement. Looking back now, I would tell myself to think more about overall progression – and hence make it easier to determine what direction to point in.
Q. What would be your prediction for the industry in 2023 and beyond?
A. Flexibility and optionality, with more personalised products and services is where the market is headed, and this will come down to data injected at the right points in the customer journey to better know the customer and respond to their needs.
LexisNexis Risk Solutions is an enabler, joining datasets together to create an enriched and value-added service for our clients in the insurance market. The capabilities we offer will only grow in response to the changing needs and demands of our customers’ customers.
Q. What made you want to work in this industry?
A. I used to love watching lorry drivers reverse into our local supermarket car park- it’s a real skill! I’d watch them for hours and spent my entire childhood wanting to be a lorry driver! So, I’ve always had an interest in cars, trucks, engines, and driving. That led me into a career in engineering which then led into a role creating new vehicle valuations data. This opened my eyes to the potential of deeper vehicle insights to the insurance market.
Q. Thus far, what has been your most significant or proudest achievement in your current or previous roles?
A.I invented a condition monitoring ‘puck’ device about 10 years ago, which was subsequently launched into various markets (including telematics). It was hugely rewarding to bring the idea to reality – and to experience all the elements of a digital product and service launch first-hand. We developed everything from the look and feel of the casework, the app, new communications logic (it was one of the very first Bluetooth Smart devices ever to be developed), crash/impact algorithms, mesh networking logic, power budget (when it should wake up, when it should go back to sleep), backend data analytics, data dashboards, sales collateral etc. It was pretty full on and great fun.
Q. How would you like to see the insurance industry improved next year / five years / by the time you retire?
A. Specifically in relation to the motor insurance market, it won’t come as a surprise for me to say that more insight around the risk and claims history of the vehicle will vastly improve the market’s ability to better price and support customers from quote to claim. The UK car parc is changing; more and more vehicles now have ADAS, and that technology will continue to evolve to make driving safer, easier and more pleasant. At the same time, road travel has been reducing consistently over the past ten years or so and people are thinking differently about how they use their vehicles from a cost and environmental perspective.
It would be great to see a time when drivers have greater choice and flexibility to use motor insurance just for the time they need it, and be offered services with pricing based on a much clearer understanding of their vehicle and how it’s used.