Industry Insights

Insurance as a Craft and Its Digital Transformation, With Chubb’s Mohan Narayanaswamy

By Aditi Chandrasekar

Insurance is not traditionally regarded as a craft. But Mohan Narayanaswamy says otherwise. 

“Insurance is a very personal thing and we, at Chubb, are craftsmen of it,” he said. 

Narayanaswamy’s illustrious career in tech began in Phillips back in 1985, when the software industry was booming with opportunities thanks to the growing popularity of personal computing. Today, he oversees a wide range of digital services, from Intelligent Process Automation to Data Analytics and Cat Modeling, at the world’s largest publicly traded P&C insurance company. 

HackerRank’s Senior Director of Marketing, Aadil Bandukwala, recently had the opportunity to chat with the tech leader to learn more about what makes an excellent insurance provider, what dictates Chubb’s work culture and the tech stack the company wields to address challenges the insurance industry faces today. 

Have a listen to their conversation on HackerRank Radio, or read on for some interesting takeaways from the episode.

1. The (Insurance) Revolution is Happening

The insurance industry has historically been a little slow to adapt to technological trends, but Chubb has set itself apart. 

Though the company was founded almost 140 years ago, it has thwarted apparent threats and ridden many industry-transforming waves successfully — one of which was digital transformation. 

“Being digitally aligned is one of the strategic priorities of Chubb,” said Narayanaswamy. “As an insurance company, we are in the business of managing risk and we heavily rely on data analytics and insights to make informed decisions here.”

The company’s investment in data intelligence is a small piece of a much larger relationship with digital transformation Chubb Studio, the company’s one-stop online shop for insurance, is one great example of this bigger picture. The platform enables Chubb’s partners to build and deliver Chubb insurance products easily and quickly, all on the web. Providing integrations through microsites, widgets and APIs, Chubb Studio aims to embody its tagline: “Digital insurance in a box.”

The problems that Chubb’s solving for today have plagued the industry for a while. “Enhancing agents’ and customers' online experience, simplifying and streamlining insurance distribution, automating the underwriting process, improving analytical data quality, and cybersecurity are a few of the problems we are working on,” said Narayanaswamy. By addressing these pertinent issues, the company is helping the industry at large move in a forward direction.

2. Changing the Image of Insurance

For a long time, insurance and insurance companies have been met with a lack of understanding and trust in the public eye.

What makes a great insurance provider? “Great underwriting, risk engineering capabilities and a speedy claims process,” Narayanaswamy said. Chubb keeps its focus on all three.

The company serves a diverse customer base and operates in 54 countries. (You can find a Chubb insurance policy just about anywhere.) For such a global company, Chubb has a focus on localness and personalization in order to provide the right policy and establish trust in insurance at large. 

“Keeping every individual, family or business’s needs at the forefront, we build insurance policies from scratch with precision and expertise. We truly are craftsmen of insurance,” said Narayanaswamy. 

3. The Tech Team That’s Makes It Happen

What are the tools that Chubb’s tech teams work with? Cybersecurity, customer experience and risk management are all critical components that the company factors in, which warrants industry-standard tools and frameworks.  

“We work with .NET, Azure, Python, and frontend technologies like Angular, React and Node.js,” Narayanaswamy said. “We also have a few industry-standard ETL (Extraction, Transformation and Loading), RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and IPA (Intelligent Process Automation) tools, reporting and BI tools, test automation frameworks, and data-related technologies like SQL in our tech stack.” 

The company’s modern tech stack is another example of its commitment to digital transformation, but keeping up with the latest technologies, especially from a skills perspective, can be challenging for employees. But Chubb has some dedicated resources to help the team out. 

“We provide a range of learning opportunities for employees,” said Narayanaswamy. “Through our Global Chubb Talent Portal, they have access to a huge digital library of courses on business management, professional development, technologies and just about anything that they would want to upskill in.” 

Though the company’s teams are spread across the world, they’ve realized that leading by example is a strategy that succesfully unifies the team and builds a stronger work environment.

“Chubb executives take accountability, passionately stand behind our company promises and value differences to set the stage for our employees,” Narayanaswamy said.

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