LONDON, 23rd March 2015 – KPMG is today calling for insurers not only to increase the level of data-sharing within the industry, but to also open-up datasets to benefit wider society. This follows the publication of the joint UK government and Marsh report, UK Cyber Security: The role of insurance in managing and mitigating the risk, which suggests that insurers should share data to tackle cyber-crime.
Justin Balcombe, UK head of general insurance consulting at KPMG said, “We welcome the report into the role that insurers play in the growing cyber-security market. The recommendation to establish a forum for data and insight sharing is particularly important and is one that we feel should not be limited to tackling cyber-risk alone.
“Collectively, insurers are well positioned to solve some of society’s fundamental issues. The industry should consider pooling their claims, underwriting and risk data, and make this available to organisations in areas such as in healthcare. For areas such as healthcare, crime prevention and urban planning, this can be very powerful. The future insurer is one who focuses on risk prevention as opposed to risk management alone.
“Imagine a world where through the analysis of insurance data, the prevention, treatment and even cure of some of the world’s most infectious diseases can be made possible. For example, the pooling healthcare insurance data from across the industry, could reveal that the age for cervical cancer screening in certain areas of the country needs to decrease.
“The traditional silo mentality within the industry, data privacy and protection regulations have prevented many insurers from pooling their data. As such, insurers are yet to recognise the potential and value of their data in helping the wider society.
“Technologically, what we are proposing is already possible. Advancements in data analytics technology means that by analysing structured data such as historic claims data and unstructured data, such as real-time social media data, organisations can accurately plan, or even predict scenarios.
“Clearly there will need to be some careful considerations to ensure that there aren’t any unintended consequences arising, as well as data quality, privacy and regulatory requirements being met. An independent data repository and processing house, could be one solution.”
Simon Chan, KPMG Corporate Communications
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This article represents the views of the author only, and does not necessarily represent the views or professional advice of KPMG in the UK.