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ABI issues consumer guide to reassure customers about the use of their personal data

ABI Data publication coverAt its Data conference today (Wednesday 9th September), the ABI publishes a new consumer guide on ‘How Data Makes Insurance Work Better for You (pdf 259kB)’, to communicate to, and reassure customers about how insurers use personal data. This shows how relevant information can be used fairly to improve products and services, and sets out simply how the law and regulatory requirements protect customer data.

How insurers treat customer data:

  1. We recognise that your data is amongst your most personal and valuable possessions, and we always treat it as such- safely, securely and confidentially.
  2. We do not collect any more of your data than absolutely necessary, and only store that which is essential to achieving one or more of the following uses: providing a more personalised products or price, understanding and improving customer service, improving business to benefit customers.
  3. We only use data which has been collected in the knowledge that it will serve one of these uses

Insurers recognise there are some concerns amongst consumers about how businesses will use their personal information, and therefore are using this guide to reassure customers how their data will be used. With 90% of the world’s data generated over the last two years,* the guide looks at how insurers can use the rapidly growing wealth of personal data available to improve their services and products for the benefit of customers.

The conference is set against the ongoing data revolution in which:

  • The same amount of data is now created in one day as from the dawn of civilisation until 2003.**
  • Over 5.5bn google searches are made every single day, compared to 10,000 a day in 1998 at time of launch.***
  • 90% of all the world’s data has been generated in the last two years, yet the number of global internet users is still under half of the world’s population.****

In addition to reassuring customers that they are committed to using data responsibly, insurers want to engage consumers by highlighting some of the hypothetical ways in which the provision of insurance may be changed by digitisation and the increasing availability of data.

The ABI identifies three key areas how data can make insurance work better:

Understand consumers better

Data can be collected and stored more easily than ever before, meaning that insurers can understand consumer preferences better. This means insurers can create products and deliver services which work better for customers.

Personalise the insurance experience

Insurers have always used data to assess risk, but calculations can be increasingly accurate and personal. For example, connected devices in homes such as ‘smart’ boilers and thermostats can monitor a home, give advance warning of potential risks, and actively help customers manage their likelihood of making a claim.

Improve the claims process

In circumstances where it is necessary to make a claim, insurers can wholly focus on helping customers and remove administration burdens by collecting data already available. For instance, in the future, following a car accident, a smart device in a car could immediately let the insurer know the location and send a recovery vehicle straight away, as well as information on the repairs needed.

Huw Evans, ABI Director General comments:

"The data revolution is one of the defining characteristics of our fast-changing world. This new consumer guide demonstrates how seriously insurers and long term savings providers take their responsibilities."

Last updated 01/07/2016