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Electronic Chat with Amit Ranjan, Executive VP and CAO, Xceedance

Electronic Chat with Amit Ranjan, Executive VP and CAO, Xceedance

Amit Ranjan is executive VP and CAO of Xceedance, a global provider of strategic operations support (SOS), which includes consulting, managed services, data sciences, and technology across the entire insurance lifecycle. The company’s proficiency extends to underwriting, actuarial services, catastrophe modeling and exposure management, policy services, claims, BI and reporting, finance and accounting, and application development.

How did you first get into the insurance industry?

My journey into the insurance industry was a bit accidental. I started my career as an analyst in a team building models for natural catastrophes and evaluating property risk associated with various hazards. Since the industry is one of the significant consumers of catastrophe models and I wanted to understand the practical usage of the models, I was drawn to insurance as the next phase of my professional experience. My initial work was focused on analytics and pricing of property and specialty risk, and then I pursued roles within other operational aspects of the insurance lifecycle.

What do you think are the industry’s biggest challenges today?

Not surprisingly, one of the largest challenges facing the industry today must be the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic and the multifaceted impacts on the industry and insurance organizations — in 2020 and with no end in sight. Revenues have been strained to varying degrees by the pandemic crisis, and there are worries there could be more financial pain in store. 2020 has also been challenging in other ways, for example in the U.S. with an active hurricane season and an early start to wildfires. I think some lines of business will get scaled back, and there is a concern in the market about litigation, company insolvencies, and various potential losses within financial lines products in particular.

Insurance organizations have had to adjust their operations while serving the insured during these challenging times. Insurers need to have a post-COVID game plan as they look to rebuild their businesses after months of disruption from the pandemic. At the same time, the industry also must deal with operational and productivity matters arising from remote working arrangements.

While insurers and their partners are coping operationally, the global pandemic may create new business risks, increasing claims volumes and payouts, and potential investment losses.

The global pandemic has impacted every business, including insurance. How is Xceedance helping the industry serve customers in these challenging times?

The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated digital enablement in the re/insurance industry and highlighted the potency not only of remote working, but also of engaging managed services providers with strong insurance operations knowledge to handle key processes. Xceedance is a global insurance consulting, managed services, and insurtech company with offices in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, Poland, Australia, and India. The company’s geographic footprint enables staff to handle insurance operations and processes in multiple languages and in multiple business and regulatory environments, a key advantage amid increasing globalization in the industry.

With the entire Xceedance staff across the world working remotely, we have taken on additional projects to support our clients; and we have added various new clients this year during these challenging times, as insurance organizations require critical support and backup for their dispersed workforce. We are helping clients with a range of strategic operations support, digital transformation, and technology solutions — enabling them to continue to meet the expectations of their customers. Xceedance insurance experts assist re/insurers in refining and optimizing critical processes, often by applying appropriate automation and intelligent technologies, and enabling our clients to be more productive and effective in their operations and policyholder services.

What types of insurance businesses typically use the services of Xceedance?

Xceedance provides consulting expertise and managed services to clients all over the world, serving a wide range of insurance providers in distinctive business ecosystems. Our clients include insurers, reinsurers, brokers, program administrators, TPAs, and agents.

How would you characterize the role insurtech plays, both in traditional insurance and at Xceedance?

Insurtech organizations are typically disruptors that prepare and help to guide the insurance industry to be more future-ready. Insurtechs also challenge traditional processes and define new, tech-enabled possibilities to connect the market and conduct the business of insurance. Not only are insurtech resources adding efficiencies to the processes of the insurance lifecycle, but at the same time they are also helping with better risk qualification and pricing (for example, in usage-based insurance).

There are reports that some activities of newer insurtechs have slowed, in part due to the pandemic. But by all accounts, the continued deployment of new technologies continues. Now it’s more important than ever for insurers to continue on the path of digital transformation, and embracing artificial intelligence (AI)/distributed ledger technology (DLT)/blockchain, and more — to streamline their operations in today’s new normal, and for the future of data-driven, digitally-enabled insurance operations.

We see Xceedance as an insurtech-plus contributor to the industry; that is, we are both a provider as well as a strategic developer and deployer of insurtech. We supply insurtech in the process of delivering strategic operations support — which includes our resources and capabilities in process optimization, technology transformation, and digital enablement. At Xceedance, everything we do is driven by technology. We apply insurtech solutions and advanced analytics across critical phases of the insurance lifecycle, to help insurers enhance existing systems, optimize workflows and boost profitability.

What are some of the emerging tech tools you’re seeing that are having an impact on insurance?

AI, machine learning, optical character recognition (OCR), DLT/blockchain technologies and drones — all backed by data and analytics mastery — are among the top insurtech disruptors for the re/insurance industry. Those technologies, along with low-code/no-code application development standards, can help insurers streamline product development and distribution, and enhance sales and service channels, to attract and retain a new and evolving generation of policyholders. Moreover, re/insurers are proactively investing in analytics, business process management (BPM), and regulatory compliance solutions to alleviate pressing business challenges.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the brightest elements of insurtech initiatives, and it seems natural for insurers to use advances in AI — including machine learning (ML), natural language processing (NLP) and robotic process automation (RPA) — to improve operations and leapfrog competitors. Claims service is good example of a process in which insurers can see the benefits of incorporating AI solutions, for everything from reporting first notice of loss (FNOL), to initiating claim processing, or even deploying an adjuster, if necessary.

Further, there is a good deal of interest in mobile platforms and proprietary smartphone-based telematics by insurers seeking to launch and service usage-based insurance (UBI) products. And considering data is at the heart of all digital transformation, there is increased focus on next-generation data engines to enable data-driven decision making. Modern technology stacks encompass data engines that not only capture and organize diverse and dispersed information to generate actionable insights, but also help to integrate those insights with critical insurance business processes in real time.

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The Email Chat is a regular feature of the ITA Pro magazine and website. We send a series of questions to an insurance IT leader in search of thought-provoking responses on important issues facing the insurance industry.


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