Expert Interview: Erik Raper on Protecting Personal Information in the Digital Age

Erik Raper is senior vice president at Paragon Solutions, a leading advisory consulting and systems integration firm. Here, he discusses digital trends and how insurance companies are attempting to improve customer experience. He also gives advice on how to keep personal information safe when buying insurance.

Tell us about Paragon Solutions. What services do you offer?

Paragon Solutions is an advisory consulting and systems integration firm specializing in process optimization and information management. Our insurance industry experts partner with Fortune 500 firms to deliver solutions across the healthcare, property and casualty, life, annuity, and reinsurance businesses. Learn more about Paragon at www.consultparagon.com.

What technological innovations should customers expect? What excites you?

One of the biggest technological breakthroughs to hit the insurance market could come from the ability to provide customers with the option to talk freely to machines whose understanding of natural language is on par with that of humans.

My opinion is natural language processing together with robotics and developments in AI collectively present the biggest potential for revolutionizing the very fabric of the customer experience in insurance.

In the wake of numerous data breaches, what have insurance companies done to improve security?

Insurance companies today understand they need stricter measures, including classification, data mapping, and long-term digital preservation, as well as strict governance over the management of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and Protected Health Information (PHI). Coordination among the many facets of information governance allows insurance companies to make effective use of all information, regardless of ownership and at all stages of the information lifecycle, and ensures compliance.

What do you recommend individuals do to keep their personal information safe when shopping for insurance?

The proliferation of mobile devices and shifting preferences among today’s consumers absolutely present new challenges in protecting one’s confidential information. A breach of customer information could result in an insurance company’s loss of public trust, legal liability and significant cost to remedy damages.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, when making purchases online individuals should be sure to keep their browsers secure by encrypting their data and also keeping all passwords private. Additionally, individuals should avoid phishing emails, use security software and be wise about where they opt to access public wireless networks.

What do you think should excite consumers about how insurance companies are using technology?

It’s all about the age of digital transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT) today. These are the drivers of the devices and trends we are seeing in all facets of business and particularly in the way companies communicate with and sell to clients today. Think about buying insurance. Once upon a time, options were limited. You were a part of a larger ecosystem of insurance buyers sharing pooled risk. Everyone went to work around the same time and drove home around the same time. Nothing was unique from one insurance buyer to the next.

Today, not exactly the same situation. We have the age of the mobile workforce, where people set their own schedules, work remotely, work from home, and drive to the office for meetings on random days. We have a variety of insurance buyers, working and traveling at different times of the day. This creates the opportunity to apply risk models that influence pricing based on when the driver is typically on the road. There are also devices that can measure driver activity, thereby offering the ability to provide policies according to performance and associated risk. This can also apply to health care coverage. For example, customer analytics regarding behavior and hereditary predisposition could play an increasingly instrumental role in individual health care – a new age of personalized underwriting.

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The information in this article was obtained from various sources. This content is offered for educational purposes only and does not represent contractual agreements, nor is it intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here and such policy will be governed by the language contained therein. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.

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