Modern Insurance Magazine recently sat with Caroline Elliott-Grey, Senior Product Manager at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, to discuss her role, the significance of data in relation to climate change, and the importance of women in key positions across the insurance industry.
Q. Hi Caroline! Let’s start by talking about your role at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. What do you do, and what do you find most interesting about it?
A. My current role within the LexisNexis® Risk Solutions insurance business is senior product manager. This means that I’m responsible for overseeing our data solutions, from development to eventual roll out across the market.
Before joining LexisNexis Risk Solutions as a product manager back in 2020, I worked for E.ON Energy where I helped to refine several products as well improve all key digital channels to give customers a more positive experience and online journey. I have over fourteen years’ experience working within the energy industry, and helping to bring about key changes within the organisations became my passion. There are many synergies between the energy market and the insurance sector, so it seemed like a very natural move.
My experience working closely within the energy sector has also put me in a great position to understand more about the very real risks of climate change. I can use my knowledge to work alongside insurance providers to help them access the data that they need to make more informed home and commercial property decisions in order to support their customers in the face of these increasing risks.
Q. What are the challenges facing your business right now, and how are you working to overcome them?
A. We’re seeing a real demand for data as climate risks increase.[i] It is vital that insurance providers have swift access to granular data to understand environmental risks more accurately for pricing, and to better manage their portfolios as events unfold.
We work hard to simplify the complex business of understanding peril. We look for gaps in knowledge that our data could fill. For example, we can now flag if a property might have a basement that could be at risk in a flash flood, or whether an insured property is in the close vicinity of trees over 3 meters in height that could pose a risk. We’ve also developed a new windstorm model that predicts the maximum wind gust speeds. This is a better predictor for property and structural damage compared to sustained wind speeds.
The use of targeted geospatial data at point of quote through data enrichment or in map form through geospatial data visualisation tools such as LexisNexis® Map View are helping the insurance industry to identify customers and properties at present or future risk. Most importantly it can help residents, business owners and insurance providers to better manage and mitigate the outcome of weather-related events.
Q. If you could go back to the start of your professional career, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?
A. Always remember to be bold and don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Sometimes you will come across certain challenges that seem impossible at the time, but by asking the right questions and getting the right guidance, you will succeed. Mistakes can often be the best way that we learn.
Q. What would be your prediction for the industry in 2023 and beyond?
A. Insurance providers are seriously ‘upping the ante’ when it comes to predicting and mitigating climate-related risks. We have seen terrible wildfires in Europe this summer as temperatures rose due to the Cerberus heatwave[ii]. There are predictions of a 20% increase in the UK flood damage bill by 2050[iii] and European windstorms are costing around €3.8m.[iv] With the UK climate already moving towards drier summers, alongside wetter, warmer winters[v], there is an urgent need for better planning, increased flood resilience in buildings and use of appropriate geospatial data to mitigate risk. As such, the demand for data that insurance providers need to better predict and manage risk will only grow.
As a business, LexisNexis Risk Solutions will continue to anticipate the needs of the market with new data insights related to the risks emerging today, and those which are predicted to emerge over the next few years.
Q. What made you want to work in this industry?
A. Insurance is a people-centric business which I love. It’s also going through an exciting transformation with data at the heart of that change. How fantastic it is to be part of that transition.
Also, from a consumer perspective, insurance is often undervalued. Working for LexisNexis Risk Solutions means that I get to work with insurance providers to help them deliver value and hopefully change perceptions. For example, data can help cut underinsurance risk, possibly the worst scenario if your home has been flooded. It’s good to know that our data insights can help an individual be priced fairly with a product that is right for their needs.
Q. Thus far, what has been your most significant or proudest achievement in your current or previous roles?
A. For some time, we have been emphasising how property insurance providers need to plan and map the long-term impact of climate change on their books of business, and we are constantly evolving the solutions we offer to help them do just that. Because of this, launching our most recent suite of geospatial intelligence datasets for basements, trees and windstorms was a significant achievement. The market can now use the LexisNexis® Basement Indicator, NTM and LexisNexis® Windstorm Model together with more than 40 additional data sets, including perils data down to an individual address. We are making it as easy as possible for insurance providers to access this data at point of quote via LexisNexis® Informed Quotes and for more detailed risk visualisation through LexisNexis® Map View – our cloud-based geospatial data visualisation tool.
Q. How would you like to see the insurance industry improved in the near future?
A. The insurance industry is changing, and one of the most positive changes is that there are more women in key roles. We are also seeing a lot more women profiled in the media and celebrated for their achievements within the sector. I would like to see this ramped up a gear and become the norm so that young women entering the market are given the confidence to take great leaps and understand what they can achieve. Whilst the insurance industry still has some work to do in terms of achieving gender parity, it has certainly come a long way – and I am proud to be a part of it.
Content provided by LexisNexis Risk Solutions.