Alex Blanchard, Software House and Distribution Manager, 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 work closely with our software house and distribution partners to help ensure we are working effectively together to bring a holistic view of risk to the insurance market in a highly automated, streamlined way. Essentially, my job is focused on ensuring our insurance partners can access our data in a way that works best for their business. Distribution of data is key to keeping the market connected, so we are always exploring new ways to do this, prompting some great debates and conversations which makes the job dynamic and exciting. It’s good to know that what we’re doing is so fundamental to keeping the wheels of the insurance industry turning.
Q. What are the challenges facing your business right now, and how are you working to overcome them?
A. As the industry evolves, the need and demand for more data is ever increasing, so the challenge can sometimes be getting the most meaningful insights. Therefore, it is our job at LexisNexis Risk Solutions to ensure that we can offer our customers the right products and services at the right time, to enable them to make informed decisions from data and advanced analytics.
We’ve always had a great relationship with the insurance market and spend a great deal of time listening to their needs in order to enhance our existing products and develop new ones to fit with market changes.
LexisNexis® Precision Claims is a great example of this. The insurance industry had no way of viewing all the past claims for an individual across home and motor until we launched the solution. We knew that granular claims data with cross-search functionality had been a big blind spot for the market, potentially leading to less accurate pricing for the consumer and higher loss costs for insurance providers. By talking to our customers and really listening to what they needed we were able to overcome this challenge. We are extremely proud to say that we are giving the industry its first cutting-edge market-wide contributory claims database.
Q. If you could go back to the start of your professional career, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?
A. It would be to ‘keep challenging yourself and make sure you are always learning’. I have also wanted to keep progressing and following my first job I have always looked to challenge myself and put myself out my comfort zone. Insurance is so diverse with many facets to it; and by experiencing different elements of the market, it has also helped me to continue to learn.
I have come across so many great people in the industry that are willing to share their knowledge and experience, spending time with them has been invaluable.
Q. What would be your prediction for the industry in 2022 and beyond?
A. The industry is still recovering from the pandemic and I think the current cost of living crisis is going to extend this recovery period for a while yet. We may also see more regulatory changes over the next few years. It is therefore going to be crucial for insurance providers to gain the clearest understanding of the needs of their customers using data enrichment at each stage of the customer journey to help ensure they are offered the right products and services for their individual circumstances.
On a more positive note, there is so much innovation and creativity in the insurance industry, making it a very exciting time to be part of its evolution. Although the sector may be slightly behind others in terms of digital transformation, there are ideas developing at a rapid rate and it’s easy to see how the insurance could become something that’s really valued beyond what happens at claim.
Q. What made you want to work in this industry?
A. Like most of my peers, I never specifically planned to work in the industry but was given a great opportunity when I left University and have never looked back. There are so many different jobs, sectors and roles within the insurance industry that it naturally brings with it some great opportunities. I have been lucky enough to get to explore lots of different areas over the past five years and it is something that I have thoroughly enjoyed.
Q. Thus far, what has been your most significant or proudest achievement in your current or previous roles?
A. I would say I am most proud of the way I have challenged myself to move into different sectors of the market and explore new opportunities. It can be very easy to stick with one area that you know you are good at, but I have forced myself to step out of my comfort zone a lot recently, which has allowed me to broaden my network and gain a wider perspective on the demands and challenges in different areas of the market.
Q. How would you like to see the insurance industry improved next year / 5 years / by the time you retire?
A. In the short term, I would like to see the industry continue to work closely with the customer to improve their experience when purchasing product, particularly online. A lot of work is being done to help with the customer understanding of different products and services, and I think this can go even further with insurance providers using data enrichment to quickly identify any individuals that may need support, or additional awareness of the right cover and pricing for their personal circumstances.
I think the future of the industry lies in pay as you go products, and this is an area that the business is looking at with great interest to see how this is likely to develop.
Beyond that it’s hard to make too many predictions as technology continues enhance the market at such a rapid rate; I think it is best if I put my crystal ball away for now and see where the next ten years takes us.