Power of Data-Driven Differentiation in Risk and Insurance

3 min read
November 08, 2021

Power of Data-Driven Differentiation in Risk and Insurance

Originally published on Advisen.

Jeff and Joffre spoke with Hemant Shah, co-founder and CEO of Archipelago about the power of data-driven differentiation, their shared experience on the Archipelago platform, and the value of “closing the loop” in the risk and insurance process.

About the experts:

Jeff Bray is SVP Global Risk Management of Prologis, Inc. (NYSE: PLD), the world’s leader in logistics real estate solutions.

Joffre Mishall is Head of US Commercial Lines Property for Zurich North America, part of the Zurich Insurance Group, a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets.

Archipelago’s risk data platform uses AI to transform how large commercial property owners digitize, manage and insure their exposures.

The Interview:

Hemant: Jeff, you and I began our partnership in early 2019. You said at the time “there has to be a better way.” What was so frustrating about the status quo?

Jeff: At Prologis, I knew that our quality data had wide-reaching potential to improve the way we manage risk, both internally as well as with our insurer partners, but the systems and processes in place made it challenging. We have over $40 billion in total insurable value (TIV), own and manage over 4,000 properties globally, and have an active pipeline of acquisitions and disposals, as well as ongoing programs to maintain and improve our properties. Yet spreadsheets, schematics, documents, files, and photographs were cumbersome to update and couldn’t connect all of the rich data we were generating across the lifecycle of our properties.

Hemant: You’re now through your second property renewal on Archipelago. How has the process been transformed?

Jeff: First off, Archipelago has enriched the quality of our property data considerably. Over 80% of our earthquake-exposed warehouses are now fully coded with evidence links to rich-source documentation such as seismic inspections and retrofit reports. All I had to do was load the source docs onto the platform and the system took it from there. Similarly, over 90% of our warehouses now have a full complement of roof details extracted from and linked to our roof management and maintenance reports. This enriched data gives me more actionable insight risk and has made it easy for our underwriters to validate our differentiation by providing them links to the Archipelago platform, rather than emailing them spreadsheets.

Hemant: Joffre, what was your underwriters’ reaction when they were first invited by Jeff’s brokers to connect to Archipelago during the submission process?

Joffre: They were enthusiastic. Prologis has been a great customer to work with for years. We want to provide our customers transparency across their risk profile. The better data we have, the more complete picture we can provide related to their exposures. This can help shine light on where implementing loss control engineering may be needed or can be an alternative to risk transfer. My underwriters agree that moving from the traditional statement of values they receive to the more complete data profile, with associated links to source documents, from Archipelago helped streamline this process.

Hemant: Can you elaborate on these mutual benefits?

Joffre: The insurance industry is experiencing unprecedented change. Technology is unlocking new and efficient ways of conducting business and it is critical that we innovate collaboratively to create risk management products and solutions that are easy to use and help address our customers’ unique risks. Archipelago is helping us do that. Today, their digital platform provides customer data to us in a format that allows us to more quickly and accurately enrich our own data, helping everyone involved better understand the underwriting risk, proposed solution and pricing. In the end, our customers will better understand their evolving and emerging risks and build better resilience, which is better for all of us.

Jeff: I’d like to reinforce Joffre’s final point: I strongly encourage and will welcome more innovation across the industry. There are so many opportunities to transform risk management with data-driven insight, and more digitally connected markets. Speaking for myself, our portfolio continues to grow, our stakeholders and customers care deeply about the resiliency of our assets, and I’m looking to drive more proactive risk management, mitigation, and insurance decisions across the lifecycle of my properties. It’s time to take the industry to the next level.

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