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The Hartford's Tooker: Telematics Coming to Commercial Lines

The monitors and sensors that changed personal lines are moving to commercial lines, said Mo Tooker, head of middle and large commercial for The Hartford. He spoke with Insider Engage at RIMS 2022 in San Francisco.

Where do you see the industry going?

One of the more important elements or more exciting elements that we're seeing is really this combination of data, technology, and how that might transform the product in the underwriting environment.

So it's really exciting to think about these ideas of usage-based and behavior-based insurance. So that's one idea that we're really excited about.

Could you give us an example?

We've had the example of telematics — it's pretty deep into the personal line space. But we see that same technology — sensors and data — coming into the commercial space as well. The middle space, and the larger customer set — and expanding into products like workers compensation and general liability. So out of the auto space, and we think there's a real potential to have this kind of data and technology transform those spaces, just like it is in the personal lines space.

How long have you been working on this?

This work started for us a couple years back when we bought a company called Y-Risk, which was aimed at the sharing economy. We ended up pairing that with a lab that we have that's really focused on the IoT. And with those two together, we're finding that the possibilities of bringing this usage-based concept to fruition are alive and well. And those two are allowing us to experiment, and really start to bring some concepts to customers here and in the marketplace in general.

How long do you think will it take to unfold?

It's a really interesting question, because the personal lines spaces I know is here and now. We think telematics in the commercial space is here and now but if you think about workers compensation — lifting and monitors and sensors, and exoskeletons — all this kind of stuff. That technology in terms of those devices are here. They're not really paired with the underwriting or the products yet. And the same thing in the GL space.

If you think about sensors that monitor foot traffic that might help us change the way we underwrite GL. Again the sensors are here but the data necessary to support the underwriting the product is still a couple years off. So we would say that over the next two, three, four or five years, we think this is going to be a way that many people —- risk managers here at RIMS — will be buying their products.

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