1/14/2013 4:15 PM ET|
How insurers calculate rates
Looking for the next big predictor
Predictive modelers can approach their work in a couple of ways. They can create hypotheses for risk predictors and test them, or they can feed data into computers and let the machines identify patterns.
Insurance companies are on the hunt for anything new that can help them price insurance more accurately. With that information, Modlin says, insurers can attract low-risk customers from the competition, which boosts their profits.
"It's like trying to find the needle in the haystack," Armstrong says. "The fun of predictive modeling is finding that needle."
Among predictive modelers' biggest finds was the connection between credit history and the risk for filing auto and homeowners insurance claims. Actuaries don't have to show how one factor causes another, only that they correlate.
The use of credit history for pricing insurance is controversial. Insurers say customers with poor credit will file more claims, but some consumer advocates say the practice is unfair to people who have suffered financial setbacks and that it disproportionately affects low-income people and minorities. Some states have put limits on using credit history to price insurance.
The industry learned an important lesson from the backlash, Modlin says. Even though the connection between bad credit and risk is clear, insurers must do better communicating internally and with the public about how they use that type of information.
A new source of data for predictive modeling is real-time driving behavior collected through usage-based insurance programs. Customers who enroll in usage-based programs agree to having a telematics device (which records and reports key driving habits, such as mileage, frequency of hard braking and time of day when driving) on board. Customers with less-risky habits earn discounts on their car insurance rates.
"Predictive modelers are going gaga over telematics because it provides so much data, and the data is so rich," Armstrong says.
Insurance companies are expanding the role of predictive modeling beyond pricing into other areas, such as marketing, claims handling and fraud prevention. Which claims should be investigated for fraud? How will getting a damaged car to a body shop one day sooner affect the size of the claim? Which customers are most likely to shop for a new insurer when their premiums goes up?
It's all in the models.
More from Insure.com:
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
I've been an agent more than 25 yrs. Credit scoring, risk modeling, etc. for the most part is a bunch of crap. Credit scoring especially, I don't believe the company's experience, at least those we represent, have improved much since implementing it 8-10 yrs. ago. In theory you would think those with low scores (higher premiums) would be weeded out and go somewhere else, so they would be left with the better score insureds, thus increasing their profit. I'm here to tell you, people with better scores have claims too!
Another thing about credit scoring, if it's so accurate, why do you have such a variance between what 1 company thinks is a good score vs. the next one? You can easily have 1 company say you have the best score and another one say you're middle of the road.
Checking ones credit score has nothing to do with how safe a driver you are. Just a bunch of hog wash. Income level is one way to discriminate against the seniors as our income decreased when we retire. I have to pay $300 a year more then my brother-in-law for house insurance. . The reason. I bought my house after I retired. He was still working and it doesn't matter that he has more building and property then I do. My income level dropped.
Not had a claim in over 30 years on my auto insurance and only 1 speeding ticket in that same period yet every year my insurance cost climb. Drive less now that I'm retired. Just got my insurance bill and it jumped to $2208 per year from $2024 per year. Looking for new insurance. You bet. Already got 2 quotes for over $500 a year less.
I am a senior, 68, I pay 274 every six months and ....Geico continues creating ways to increase my
premiums in spite of my contineous changes to lower coverage to stop their increases!!!
They are all scam bugs.
they have no right to ask for the name of my present company in order to give us all an estimates, cause, as soon as the know how much we are paying now, they lower their estimates few dollars enough to make us take this new company and later on they will start increasing for every renewal.
I started at 257.00 per six months, with one nice HONEST senior lady agent, and in less than 3 years
And, if you do not let them know that you switched to another company at renewal time...the previous one will snitch on you and you will get a letter from DMV telling you that if you are driving without insurance you will be stopped and your DL will be taken away from you unless you show to them you do carry insurance.
they disappeared her! and my premium now is that one, 274, including 2 changes to decrease coverage and premiums !!!! They never lose!!! Insurances enforce is there to keep the economy and the scam bugs going for free daily light stealing as well as Wall Street brokers did with so many citizens and their savings.
Have a great day surviving :-)
And they make me carry some of the load for your whoore teen daughter that's driving off the side of the road while she looks at Mapquest as she drives to one of her paying sex jobs.
Mother foking $140 a year they want for my 1993 Chevy Caviler. Well foike them, foike them mother foikin' basturds out loud!
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
Homeowners associations ban them and environmentalists love them. All that aside, though, a clothesline saves you money.
MUST-SEE ON MSN
- Video: Easy DIY smoked meats at home
A charcuterie master shares his process for cold-smoking meat at home.
- Jetpacks about to go mainstream
- Weird things covered by home insurance
- Bing: 70 percent of adults report 'digital eye strain'