20 models in 9 months: Aviva fast-tracks pricing transformation with hx Renew
New model build time cut by 75%
Built 20 different pricing models in just nine months.
New policy creation cut to 5-10 minutes from 1hr
Aviva wanted to replace Excel, which had proved too slow and inaccurate for pricing new policies, and prone to instability.
hx Renew provides a reliable, insurance-specific platform that integrates with core existing underwriting workbench systems, leverages easy-to-use Python computing language and enables future use of Machine Learning.
20 pricing models built in-house in just nine months, now used to create new policies in under 10 minutes (previously +1hr) – enabling underwriters to be more competitive, while pricing team has redeployed maintenance time to higher-value analysis work.
About Aviva GCS
The Global Corporate and Specialty (GCS) team at Aviva offer brokers and clients bespoke protection services with flexible risk transfer solutions, covering both tangible and intangible assets. Aviva GCS supports businesses with turnovers over £250 million or that have complex insurance requirements, and include client and claims teams, and risk engineering.
Aviva had relied on Excel for their pricing tools but had become frustrated by its slowness and instability. For underwriters, it was taking 20-30 minutes to simply open the software and download the data from the company’s policies and systems database. For pricing actuaries, too much time was also being spent investigating and fixing bugs across their 20 separate rating tools in Excel. These challenges meant that underwriters were delayed in responding to brokers requests.
“Excel is not suitable for modern rating tools: it’s slow, it’s buggy, it crashes at the worst moment for underwriters. Pricing actuaries waste too much time fixing bugs, taking away from doing their pricing work. It was causing friction for and between the teams.”Shyam Bhayani – Head of Pricing, Global Corporate & Specialty
Aviva initially considered building their own solution but determined the complexity of the project and the resources, expertise, and skills needed would detract from the pricing team’s ability to add value to the business. It was also likely to take too long to build.
Instead, Aviva looked to the market and selected hx Renew. The GCS team worked closely with hyperexponential on an initial design phase for successful implementation. Key to this phase was integrating Aviva’s existing underwriting workbench systems and replicating and improving models that had been created in Excel. This included building single modules that are used across rating tools. The exercise took just nine months.
“We came up with a tight plan, aiming to go live with 20 models by the end of nine months. These are really difficult targets to hit. But any time an issue arose, the hyperexponential team helped us resolve it. The 20 models were completed as planned.”Shyam Bhayani – Head of Pricing, Global Corporate & Specialty
Getting up to speed with Python
The new platform leverages Python computing language. Python is relatively easy to understand, and so will enable fast onboarding of new users. Not all of Aviva’s pricing actuaries had experience with it, but hx Renew delivered tailored Python training to get the team up to speed.
“I’d never used Python before, but after the two-day training course and with the ongoing support from the hyperexponential team, it was quick and easy to get started with building in hx Renew”Twinkle Popat – Senior Pricing Analyst
The shift from using excel to hx Renew’s modular model development framework saved 75% of the build time for certain models. The team can make a change to the rating once and see it automatically rolled out across tools. With no bugs and errors to check, the pricing team can focus on how to improve the models and better support the underwriters.
New policy generation is now much faster, averaging under 10 minutes compared with up to one hour previously. As a result, pricing and underwriting decisions are made quicker and more accurately, making underwriters more confident and competitive. This has considerably improved relations between the two teams.
“The underwriters trust that the pricing tools work and that the pricing will make sense, and they can get back to brokers faster.”Marc Wanless – Head of Corporate Lines (Interim) & Head of Motor, Commercial Lines
Improved access to data is reducing time spent on data processing and powering portfolio analysis. The team are exploring batch testing in hx Renew, enabling fast impact analysis. The deeper analysis is helping the teams make more informed decisions.
“We're able to identify where the business isn't performing and where decisions are needed because we can get more data, more quickly. We spend less time cleaning it, less time on workarounds to patch it up. This means we can do the analysis, make decisions, and get back to underwriters faster.”Shyam Bhayani – Head of Pricing, Global Corporate & Specialty
Aviva is now looking to leverage hx Renew’s capabilities to unlock deeper pricing decision intelligence, delivering richer insights and driving improved data-led decisions. To do so, Aviva aims to plug in its other core systems, such as CAT and risk modelling software. It is also looking to add Machine Learning capabilities, which will be easier to enable with Python. The combination of improved data, process automation and deeper analytics will ultimately support underwriters to service their clients better.
“The future for underwriting is being able to provide underwriters with more information at the point of pricing. It's not doing it at the end of the month or through separate reports. I think the critical time to capture their attention is at the point of underwriting.”Shyam Bhayani – Head of Pricing, Global Corporate & Specialty