Discovering Emerging & Future Opportunities
As a leading property and casualty insurer with deep industry expertise and a long-standing commitment to learning, we believe that our employees, and the knowledge and insight they bring to serving our customers, underlie all of our key competitive advantages. We combine our talent and expertise with data, analytic tools and research capabilities to identify emerging and future opportunities to provide our customers with the products and services they need to protect what’s important to them.
We continually evaluate evolving risks to our customers and potential opportunities to help our customers mitigate those risks, and we can test real-life scenarios at our research and training facilities – Claim University, the National Catastrophe Center and the Risk Control Industrial Hygiene and Forensics Laboratories. Sharing what we learn with our underwriters helps them better select and price risks and develop products and services to address emerging risks and meet evolving customer needs. These learnings also give our Risk Control professionals a competitive edge, allowing them to work effectively with customers to identify occupational risks and mitigate and manage exposures to loss – improving their employees’ safety and wellness as well as their own business results. Finally, these insights enable our Claim professionals to help our customers recover from losses quickly and efficiently when losses do happen. We also share our insights with our customers and the public through our agent and broker partners, our Prepare & Prevent website and MyTravelers® for Business.
While executing today, we continue to think about the future. We have in-house teams dedicated to researching and formulating educated viewpoints about the future of society, technology and the industry, influencing our long-term strategic priorities. From autonomous vehicles to artificial intelligence (AI), we systematically assess and plan for the potential impact of and business opportunities brought about by new technology and changes in the industry.
Fostering External Partnerships
With these emerging trends and future scenarios in mind, our dedicated innovation scouts help us forge new partnerships and alliances outside of Travelers to broaden our perspective and enable us to identify new opportunities. We position ourselves in the flow of innovation around the globe through our relationships with incubators, startups, venture capital and private equity firms, and others that are developing exciting new technologies and capabilities. We have partnered with incubators including, for example, Plug and Play, an innovation platform that brings together startups and some of the world’s largest corporations. Through these partnerships, we gain early access to new ideas as well as the opportunity to develop solutions to some of the most interesting challenges impacting our industry.
Travelers is also a member of the Hartford InsurTech Hub, an initiative started by a group of executives from the Hartford, Connecticut, area, including from the insurance industry; City of Hartford representatives; and several other community stakeholders. The goal of the group is to develop a local innovation ecosystem supported by local resources, capabilities and talent, in which insurance technology startups can grow and flourish. Our participation in the Hartford InsurTech Hub is an investment in our communities and in our business.
Our external partnerships also help us drive co-innovation on data and AI capabilities. We continue to assemble new third-party datasets while refining our existing data to unlock new sources of insights and drive automation and productivity. Additionally, we have set out to find a new way to expedite the process used to detect total losses from wildfires, an increasingly prevalent issue in the western United States. We helped form a consortium of insurers to create the Geospatial Intelligence Center, an entity devoted to collecting high-resolution aerial imagery of properties across the United States. Using imagery from previous California wildfires, we tapped into our property boundary data to isolate home locations in the pictures. We then crowdsourced the tagging of total losses across 40,000 images to provide the data for a deep learning model. Finally, the team leveraged Deep Machine Learning to analyze thousands of images of damaged and undamaged homes to immediately assess which properties were total losses. By providing damage assessments sooner, we were able to provide reimbursement for home losses in just a few weeks, allowing customers to begin recovering and rebuilding their properties more quickly.