Pricing That Meets Customer Behaviours and Market Demands

Deb Upton—VP, Pricing & Actuarial, Gore Mutual

Throughout the insurance industry, it’s no secret that competitive pricing is a prerequisite for new customer generation. Now more than ever, the efficiency and accuracy of insurance rates are needed as customers and brokers become more sophisticated.

Part of Gore Mutual Insurance Company’s transformational Next Horizon strategy is a pricing overhaul that focuses on improving speed and responsiveness to a constantly changing market. We needed to tear down and rebuild rather than renovate room by room. This included our pricing systems and processes.

Before adopting new technology and adding talent to the team, it took a minimum of six weeks for even the simplest pricing change. A more complicated change could take as long as four to six months.

Not only did it take too long, but the previous solution was built on siloed technology and conflicting sources of data. We had too many hand-offs between all the teams and systems to deploy a successful model, and each one represented a potential point of failure. Ultimately, we realized this historical approach impeded our ability to deliver fast, dynamic pricing and personalized insurance to our brokers and customers.

As one of Canada’s first P&C insurance companies—182 years old!—we’re now undertaking our most significant transformation, with a pricing and actuarial focus, to be a purpose-led, national modern mutual. I’m proud to be one of few women in a leadership role in the insurance industry with this specialization.

We needed to tear down and rebuild rather than renovate room by room. This included our pricing systems and processes.

The strong relationships and collaboration with broker partners have allowed Gore Mutual to remain competitive and build a strong business. Moving forward, those relationships and constant feedback will allow our pricing team to react quickly to changing customer and market behaviours. With a team of 20 actuaries who can build on existing relationships with talent and technology, we can make pricing changes in as little as four days, including analysis and approvals.

Our approach moving forward will be one of ongoing analysis, where the actuarial team will evaluate and make constant improvements as frequently as necessary. We’re not afraid of testing the waters with new pricing techniques to see what’s working in the market, especially in times of uncertainty.

If something isn’t right, we’ll listen to feedback and collaborate with brokers and other stakeholders to correct and ensure we’re offering the best price possible—an approach we’re not currently seeing in the Canadian market.

The global pandemic has forced many individuals and businesses to adapt. For Gore Mutual, pricing is a proof point of our transformation. To be effective, we must be able to provide fast, accurate underwriting decisions real-time. We now have everything to improve modelling, rating deployment and pricing, all in a single, end-to-end platform.

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