Driving competitive advantage with GIS
This leading European insurance company uses Esri’s ArcGIS to increase its understanding of risk factors, such as susceptibility to flooding, at more than 28 million UK addresses. With this improved insight it can make better informed underwriting decisions, handle claims more efficiently and deliver more proactive customer service during major incidents.
With 43 million customers across 21 countries, Aviva is one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance and is the UK’s largest insurer serving over 14 million customers.
ArcGIS enables Aviva to run complex models more quickly and more frequently and thereby gain fresh insight into changing risk profiles
The company can respond to major incidents more effectively by using GIS to identify affected properties and policy holders
GIS is being used to identify trends and hot spots for insurance fraud, enabling Aviva to detect and block potentially fraudulent claims
Aviva UK has long been a pioneer in using GIS to rate flood risk at an individual address level. The company wanted to develop this expertise and spread the benefits of GIS across the business.
With GIS being historically desktop based, Aviva also needed to be able to change the way spatial analysis was used and consumed across the organisation. It had to empower users to work with GIS themselves. “
We wanted to develop a more informed view on the 28 million households in the UK through spatial analytics to create new insights, underwrite more accurately and allow us to price more effectively for individual levels of risk,” explained Eleanor Mclachlan, GIS Manager at Aviva UK. “The appetite and demand for GIS was also growing, with teams increasingly asking if data could be mapped. We needed to be able to spread the benefits of GIS to more areas of the business.”
We’re now able to run complex models on 28 million UK addresses more quickly and more frequently. Being able to combine a variety of different data sets in this environment means we can develop new models we couldn’t achieve otherwise. This delivers fresh, valuable insights across the board
Eleanor Mclachlan – GIS Manager at Aviva UK
Several Esri developments have allowed Aviva to realise its vision to widen the use of GIS and derive new value from spatial analytics.
Storage of spatial data using Esri’s ArcSDE was the first step in helping the GIS team support the whole organisation. Spatial data now resides on the enterprise database, in the same place as the organisation’s tabular data. This single, central location to manage spatial data has made it easier to share it more freely.
More advanced modelling is being performed using Esri Model Builder, while the use of Python scripting allows the team to automate sophisticated analysis tasks, as Mclachlan explained: “We’re now able to run complex models on 28 million UK addresses more quickly and more frequently. Being able to combine a variety of different data sets in this environment means we can develop new models we couldn’t achieve otherwise. This delivers fresh, valuable insights across the board.”
The latest part of the GIS evolution at Aviva is the application of ArcGIS Server, used to develop and distribute mapping applications to the growing user base. This was part of a vision to give business teams the ability to work with their own spatial data. Aviva has also started to build custom mapping applications for various teams with the Esri Flex Viewer.
“Staff need to interact with their data on a map, they don’t just want a solitary answer or static hard copy map,” said Mclachlan. “Using ArcGIS Server we’re able to start satisfying the growing demand for spatial analytics and to push GIS out into the organisation. Most importantly, staff are able to make better decisions, from underwriting to claims, or fraud to resource planning.”
Our investment in Esri is helping us satisfy the flourishing appetite for location analysis across new lines, plus a whole range of job functions
Eleanor Mclachlan – GIS Manager at Aviva UK
GIS is now delivering new spatial insights to all parts of Aviva, from helping to support better underwriting decisions to improving customer service.
“Sophisticated GIS models are allowing us to understand risk better and underwrite more effectively, while the growing number of mapping applications are delivering new levels of operational value,” said Mclachlan.
At an operational level, GIS is delivering a whole raft of benefits:
Supporting strategic decisions
Staff at all levels are now using spatial analysis and geo-visualisation when making strategic decisions. One example covers improved resource planning for major incidents, while another is national asset management.
Better customer service
During a major incident, accurate answers to a range of difficult questions can be answered using GIS. The findings help Aviva determine the nature of a response, such as how many policyholders might be affected and their location. Granular geographic insights also help response teams to be pro-active, by seeing which addresses might be at risk and who should be contacted first. This makes the claims process as smooth as possible for customers and minimises the impact on the business, as the response activity can progress quickly and efficiently.
GIS is helping Aviva tackle fraud at a broad level, identifying where the major fraud hotspots are and whether a claim falls into such an area. At a more granular level, it can help to identify patterns and links between parties involved in a suspected fraudulent claim, providing much more insight than simply recording their postcode.
Social media insights
During the London riots the GIS team experimented with plotting Twitter feeds about rioting and compared them to the location of policies and incoming claims.
The GIS team at Aviva is rapidly becoming a hub, providing GIS services across the whole of the UK business and this is only going to grow as more benefits are achieved.
“Our investment in Esri technology is helping us satisfy the flourishing appetite for location analysis across new lines of business and a whole range of job functions,” commented Mclachlan. “The team has become an enabler, allowing staff to use GIS themselves, to interpret their own data and to make more accurate decisions. The ability to spatially analyse data on the UK’s 28 million addresses means we understand our customers a lot better. Being able to share this insight with as many staff as possible is what helps drive competitive advantage.”