Have you heard of Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld? What about Hermann Köhl or James Fitzmaurice? I suspect not, but together these three individuals achieved an amazing and historic accomplishment. On April 12, 1928, Hünefeld and Köhl arrived at Baldonnel Airdrome in Ireland in a Junkers W 33 aircraft named Bremen. There they met up with Fitzmaurice. Though a pilot, Hünefeld was blind in his left eye, near-sighted in his right, and rejected by the German Air Service. Köhl was originally a lieutenant in the German Imperial Army but was wounded in battle. Fitzmaurice completed his training as a fighter pilot on November 11, 1918, the day the WWI Armistice with Germany became effective. A little after midnight, the trio boarded the Bremen and took off from Baldonnel, heading west. The trip was risky and fraught with challenges. The headwinds were brutal, navigation over open water was still very much a challenge, and their magnetic compass wasn’t accurate. Regardless, after 36 ½ hours, with only two hours of fuel remaining, the trio made a perfect three-point landing on Greenly Island, Canada. As the Bremen came to a stop, it broke through the ice. Everybody got wet, but they were safe. The trio had successfully completed the first non-stop, east-to-west transatlantic flight.

But wait, wasn’t it Charles Lindbergh who gained instant fame by making the first non-stop transatlantic flight from New York City to Paris in May 1927? Lindberg was the first to make a successful non-stop transatlantic flight from west to east. The crew of the Bremen made the first successful non-stop transatlantic flight from east to west. Lindberg had the advantage of the jet stream (not named as such until 1939). The crew of the Bremen accomplished a flight much more difficult than Lindberg, flying against the jet stream. Though they performed a historic first, it is Lindberg who is most favorably remembered from history.

The Power of Being First in Workers’ Compensation

Though there can be great rewards, being the first in insurance can have as many challenges and risks as those faced by the Bremen crew. But it was not just the crew working alone that overcame the challenges and achieved success. The success came from the combination of the crew working in tandem with the plane. Today, technology solutions are available to insurance companies that can reduce the first-mover risk and help achieve rewards. And just as with the Bremen, it’s not just the technology solutions alone, but the business team’s adoption and use of that technology that will achieve business outcome success.

The Power of Data, Analytics, and Automation

  • Through the combination of data and analytics powering automation, Worker’s Compensation carriers can significantly streamline and enhance their operational processes such as:
  • Product pricing with real-time, dynamic, analytical models
  • Underwriting and Claims solutions with end-to-end processing augmented with enhanced data from Internet of Things (IoT) devices such as drones and sensors
  • Claims-improved outcomes in return to work and reduced loss expense
  • Agent, Policyholder, Partner, and Injured Worker communication

However, incomplete data, legacy architectures, and lack of adoption over concerns of the impact of automation have prevented many companies from making that first move. In fact, fewer than 10% of all Worker’s Compensation claims are processed fully through automation.

Reducing the Risks and Achieving the Rewards

If you’re seeking to make your first move into data, analytics, and automation, seek out partner solutions that:

  • Have access to data that can enhance and amplify the insights achieved with the data you have.
  • Are easy to integrate, deploying in weeks, not months or years.
  • Enable dynamic decisioning, focusing on the higher impact decisions that provide mutual benefit to the company, and their customers.
  • Enable a paced roll-out, growing with the comfort and needs of the company.

Most importantly, because Workers’ Compensation insurance has challenges that are distinctly different from other insurance lines of business, seek out a partner solution provider that has deep and proven experience in Worker’s Compensation.

The Final Word

By making that first move into the power of Data, Analytics, and Automation, your company can be the one most favorably remembered from those you serve.

  • analytics
  • Automation
  • claims
  • data
  • underwriting
  • workers' compensation
Shawn O'Rourke

Shawn O'Rourke Shawn O’Rourke Insurance Executive. 35 years serving the insurance industry through technology. 20 years of CIO leadership providing strategic and operational results in Workers Compensation and Commercial Insurance. Providing industry perspective and expertise to Sapiens and our current and prospective partners.