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Damion Thompson

Head of Insurance UK, Google Cloud

Google Cloud and Insurance – Planning for a Truly Digital Future

Remember when we all got together and ran in-person events? Recorded live at The Steelyard, Episode 74 features the highlights from our event with Google Cloud.

Remember when we all got together and ran in-person events? Recorded live at The Steelyard, Episode 74 features the highlights from our event with Google Cloud, including what their plans are for insurance and they type of companies they want to work with.

InsTech London’s Robin Merttens and Matthew Grant talked to Damion Thompson, Head of Insurance UK, Google Cloud along with some of the partners they are already working with. 

Take a trip with us down memory lane to hear more from Cytora, Quantiphi, Quantexa, Aviva and Apigee.

Google Cloud and Insurance – Episode 74 highlights

Damion Thompson – Head of Insurance UK, Google Cloud

What opportunities do you see in insurance?

What we see clearly across every sector for our customers, be they large enterprises or small corporate start-ups,  is the importance of data to their business.

One of the biggest use cases is risk mitigation. If I look at it from Google Cloud as a whole, the opportunity is endless, it’s every single industry. We can see healthcare, we can see transport logistics, we can see shipping companies investing in getting ready for this IoT connected world. 

What I see looking after insurance in the UK is the opportunity to help insurers and brokers and insurtechs get on the front foot and really start to exploit the opportunity that’s been created in that space.

Where are you going to concentrate your attention?

The thing that’s shifting this year, and we’ve seen it in a few other sectors, is that awareness that reinventing the business from inside out is going to be possible. It’s going to be possible through data, and it’s going to be possible through both inside-out disruption, but also outside-in via insurtechs. 

That’s the thing that gives me the most excitement. The fact that in insurance you get to model the entire world. The whole world is our target market, every single industry, every single individual. 

How do you select the companies that you’re working with?

We try and do is help our partners understand what’s possible, not just in a linear straightforward project perspective, but how they can leapfrog the competition. 

We’ve got a number of clients in London and globally who are on that path. I’m really excited about seeing where that evolves through the next three to five years.

Who in the industry would you like to hear from?

The ones who are really passionate about the industry. People who can bring that  industry expertise, that real burning desire to bring something to market, to change something within their organisations and are looking for a partner to help them cross the ‘I don’t know how to get started’ line, or ‘I don’t know where to get funding’, or ‘I don’t know how to get some momentum behind this.’ 

We’re open for people who are really passionate about what they’re trying to achieve, and we want them to be demanding of us. 

Aeneas Wiener – CTO and Co-Founder, Cytora 

How is AI helping you to make a difference?

My favourite use case is submission triage. Bringing data to scoring submissions that come in before underwriters even look at them. 

The problem is that many insurers get more submissions than their underwriters have time to look at in a lot of detail. What submission scoring does is rank those submissions by relevant criteria, such as their likelihood to convert.

Underwriters can then use their time in a much more efficient way, and without AI, without external data, they couldn’t do it. It’s delivering really tangible value to our clients from large companies and all the way to small digitally enable MGAs.

Adam Hammond – Applied AI Practice Lead – UK, Quantiphi

Are there solutions delivering, given all the hype around AI?

The things that we’re seeing that we are most interested in is anything that handles and turns unstructured data into structured data.

Taking advantage of some of the solutions and models out there that transition data that was not as accessible, to something that’s completely accessible, is what’s currently coming to the forefront and justifying the growth in machine learning and AI.

Imam Hoque – Co-Founder, Quantexa

How do you convince insurers that they can have confidence in making decisions based on data?

The key is to get the data into a state where a model understands it and can make a good decision. 

If someone is looking at a customer and they are missing a load of data or it’s not really representative, if they mix it up with third party data they call fill in most of the blanks.
By getting the right data into a model, the model is significantly more accurate regardless of whether it’s an AI model in the new sense of AI or the traditional sense. 

Stefan Maczkowski – Head of Data Strategy, Aviva

How is digital helping you to move the business forward? 

We’ve been trying to update the areas that we’ve been doing well for 323 years, the product manufacturing, the underwriting, the analytics, the support, the pricing, and claims.

We’re on a huge simplification program which is wired into our overall strategy to start looking at how we can do those things differently. We’re looking at the backend and the operational efficiency and sorting out what we’re doing around APIs and how data flows around the organisation.

Oliver Ogg – Head of Digital Strategy EMEA, Apigee (A Google Cloud company)

How do companies and organisations start extracting more data from their existing information?

There’s a maturity journey that a lot of organisations have gone through and a lot can be learnt from industries such as retail, so no one has to make the same mistakes.

We do it by having a rich catalogue of internal APIs and reusable assets that can be leveraged by multiple parts of the business. It is possible to be able to leverage vast efficiencies of scale whilst enjoying team autonomy or channel autonomy, making sure that these assets are sources of truth for all channels.

Continuing Professional Development – Learning Objectives

InsTech London is accredited by The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). By listening to an InsTech London podcast, or reading the accompanying transcript, you can claim up to 0.5 CPD hours towards the CII member CPD scheme.

After listening to Episode 74 you will know:

  1. Why Google Cloud is interested in working with the insurance industry
  2. How their technology can help insurers
  3. What sort of partners they are looking for

Complete the InsTech London Podcast Feedback Survey to claim your CPD time.