Weathering the Storm: How TransUnion’s Prefill Solution is Taking the Hassle Out of Insurance Applications

A broken car window or minor scrape here, a few loose roof tiles or a little flood-damage there. Most people who habitually put off applying for or improving their home or vehicle insurance policies do so because they (often incorrectly) assume that they are up to the challenge of taking on occasional maintenance costs out of their own pockets.

Bad weather and natural disasters are unpredictable, however, and the damage they cause, often inevitable. Because of this, it’s important to plan for how these weather patterns may affect your finances. And anyone who’s had their car washed away, or home severely damaged by extreme weather conditions will know, there’s no time like the present to be ready for the future.

Over the years, consumers have become accustomed to the fact that applying for insurance or credit, even at its fastest, is still a lengthy and endlessly frustrating process. Even in a well-resourced call centre, the necessary data capturing, and risk profiling processes represent a slow and antiquated method that fails to keep pace in a fast-moving digital world.

TransUnion’s new Prefill solution is here to help the insurance application process become faster and easier than ever. While most consumers will have encountered auto-fill technology online (including TransUnion’s Auto Prefill solution, which has become a ubiquitous tool in the auto-insurance sector since its release), Prefill takes it a step further, to the advantage of businesses and consumers alike.

Prefill makes the application process easier for the consumer, as well as faster and more efficient for the provider. Using little more than the applicant’s name, it is able to generate and populate consumer information faster and more accurately than ever before, including new and diverse data sets that help develop a more fair and more accurate consumer risk profile than ever before.

While Prefill’s previous incarnation, Auto Prefill, has become a commonplace tool in the vehicle underwriting industry, Prefill is an amalgamated system that incorporates not only vehicle data, but corporate and consumer information as well – including physical location, phone number, driver’s license verification, existing insurance data, and much more. This means less work for insurers, and less waiting around for their potential clients while data is captured. In fact, Prefill is able to automatically populate between 90% and 95% of the data necessary for insurance applications without any human intervention whatsoever.

“In the insurance space alone, we have between 3.5 and 4 million policy holders in a population of around 23 million active consumers,” according to Samuel Tayengwa, Senior Insurance Product Consultant for TransUnion Africa. “And in increasingly competitive and financially uncertain times, insurers and credit providers are under immense pressure to retain and increase their market share. Speed of service and accuracy of information, both of which are greatly improved through Prefill, will be critical in the coming years as a business differentiator, in an age when insurers’ products themselves are more and more alike.”

Incomplete or inaccurate information is one of the insurance industry’s biggest obstacles, leading to skewed risk profiles that can negatively affect both consumer and insurer. Improving the data capturing process means that risk can be calculated on the spot, and to a more personalised level that takes individual characteristics, rather than those based on population, into account.

This translates to less risk for the business, and more fair quotes and pay-outs for their clients. As an additional advantage, the knock-on effect is more satisfied customers and fewer contested claims – vitally important figures, considering just how important word-of-mouth and consumer reviews have become to such businesses thanks to social media.

And it doesn’t end with insurance either. Retailers who provide credit, as well as financial services providers, stand to benefit greatly from a more efficient application and approval process, especially considering TransUnion’s latest CCI report, which shows a dwindling appetite for debt amongst most South Africans in the face of rising economic uncertainty.

“This is just the beginning,” says Tayengwa. “In the near future, even ID verification will be considered obsolete for approval purposes. Biometric identifiers, such as fingerprints, facial features, and voice prints will be used instead, further streamlining the process and improving data accuracy to levels that were previously unachievable.”

About TransUnion (NYSE: TRU)

Information is a powerful thing. At TransUnion, we realise that. We are dedicated to finding innovative ways information can be used to help individuals make better and smarter decisions. We help uncover unique stories, trends and insights behind each data point, using historical information as well as alternative data sources. This allows a variety of markets and businesses to better manage risk and consumers to better manage their credit, personal information and identity. Today, TransUnion has a global presence in more than 30 countries and a leading presence in several international markets across North America, Africa, Latin America and Asia. Through the power of information, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies and families and safer communities worldwide.

We call this Information for Good.