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 track key trends that offer clues to how the future may evolve so that we are better positioned as customer preferences and expectations continue to evolve with time. We have in-house teams dedicated to researching and formulating educated viewpoints about the future of society, technology and the insurance industry, driving our long-term strategic priorities. From autonomous vehicles to artificial intelligence (AI), we systematically assess new technologies, plan for their potential impact and identify the business opportunities that may arise as a result.
In addition to watching industry trends, we continually evaluate evolving risks to our customers and help them with mitigation opportunities. We can test real-life scenarios at our research and training facilities – Claim University, the National Catastrophe Center and the Risk Control Forensics Laboratory. Sharing what we learn with our underwriters helps them better select and price risks and develop products and services that address emerging risks to meet customer needs. These insights also give our Risk Control professionals a competitive edge, allowing them to work effectively with customers to help them identify occupational risks and mitigate and manage exposures to loss. In addition, our learnings allow our customers to help improve 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. We also share our insights with our customers and the public through our agent and broker partners, our Prepare & Prevent website, Travelers Institute® and MyTravelers® for Business.
Fostering External Partnerships
With 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, gain early access to new ideas and develop solutions to some of the most compelling challenges impacting the industry. We position ourselves in the flow of innovation around the globe by collaborating with incubators, startups, venture capital and private equity firms, and others that are developing exciting new technologies and capabilities. We partner with incubators like Plug and Play and FinTech Innovation Lab New York, and global accelerators like SOSA, based in Tel Aviv. These innovation programs bring together startups from across the globe and some of the world’s largest corporations. Through these partnerships, we participate in initiatives such as the Hartford InsurTech Hub, a collaboration of insurance carriers, representatives of the City of Hartford and community stakeholders, all focused on industry evolution through collaboration and innovation. The goal of this group is to develop a local innovation ecosystem supported by local resources, capabilities and talent, in which insurance technology startups can grow and flourish. We view our involvement in this Hartford-based initiative as an investment in both our communities and our business.
To engage future talent and address industry challenges, we are partnering with academic institutions such as the University of Connecticut (UConn) and Kennesaw State University (KSU) in Georgia. In joint projects with UConn, the Travelers Data & Analytics team is focused on artificial intelligence, machine learning techniques and statistical modeling. Together with KSU, we applied theoretical concepts to real-world AI problems and co-authored four research papers on using AI in a responsible manner while reducing potential classification errors. The first research paper1 won the Best Student Paper award at the 2022 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ International Conference on Semantic Computing for proposing innovative and practical approaches to mitigating classification errors when building language models. In addition, as part of our partnership with KSU, we formed the Travelers Responsible AI Lab (TRAIL) at KSU, with a continued focus on leading-edge AI research.
Our external partnerships help advance our data and AI capabilities. We continue to assemble new third-party data sets while refining our existing data to unlock new sources of insights and drive automation and productivity. For example, we set out to find new ways to expedite the process used to detect total losses from wildfires, specifically in the most prevalent fire loss areas of the western United States. Using third-party imagery collected from previous California wildfires, we tapped into our property boundary data to isolate home locations in the pictures. We then crowdsourced the tagging of 40,000 images, enabling a deep learning model to analyze the data and immediately assess which properties were total losses. The identification of total losses from imagery enables us to initiate the claim process faster, which, in turn, allows our customers to begin recovering and rebuilding their properties more quickly.
1 "Directional Pairwise Class Confusion Bias and Its Migration,” Statistics and Analytical Sciences article, Spring 3-2022, Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 16th International Conference on Semantic Computing.