Industry leader interview with Steve Paton, Head of Anti-Fraud Services – Verisk

  1. What are the challenges facing your business right now, and how are you working to overcome them?

Surprisingly, the direct negative effects of COVID have been minimised for Verisk from a business perspective, as we were already very well structured to allow working from home and we’ve actually found in some areas our efficiency has gone up with removing travel time. What we’ve found difficult is the “blue sky” strategy sessions over zoom. Recruiting is also tougher with being unable to meet new colleagues face to face.

  1. What has been your biggest business learning from the coronavirus pandemic?

What I have learnt is how well we can manage in this environment and have coped with working from home. Since Verisk don’t supply tangible physical services to clients, we’re used to being online. A lot of the services we deliver are aimed at digital transformation, so the pandemic has brought into focus many of the services we were already providing to the insurance sector.

  1. As we go to a “new normal” what are you looking forward to returning to and practices will you keep?

The new normal is slightly unknown. It will be an accelerated digital transformation which is affecting most financial services. I applied for my passport entirely digitally recently, that’s an example of how we are now accelerating our online capabilities everywhere.

I’m not entirely sure what we’ll return to. We do wonder how many people post pandemic might choose to continue to work from home. Has work life balance improved or not?

  1. If you could go back to the beginning of 2020, what piece of advice would you give to yourself?

Buy a house in a nice warm country and work from there!

I’d say the key advice I would give myself would be to manage work life balance in advance. I find with working from home I tend to work longer hours, especially working for an international business, our parent company is in the US and we’re dealing regularly with India, meaning the working day can start at 4AM and finish at 10PM. Being connected in this way means you’re accessible from everywhere in the world

  1. What would be your prediction for the industry in 2021?

My role is to lead strategic development for anti-fraud projects, so I’m always looking for the next cutting-edge technology. My primary prediction for the industry in 2021 would be accelerated digital transformation. Some of the UK’s biggest insurers are still using spreadsheets to check whether claimants are blacklisted, I think investment in tech will become essential and appealing.

Businesses may in the future decide to assess claims entirely remotely. We have a product called ClaimXperience which allows remote video in an instant for a house claim, the tool can identify objects around the home and confirm values with 90% accuracy predict the value of a repair. Our current record for claim settled is 13 minutes.

We’re also getting better at identifying fraud. If a claim comes in via email, we’re able to identify anomalies in several ways, such as using metadata from images to check that the date, time and location are consistent with the claim. We can detect where there has been pixel manipulation, photoshop or stock images used. If a doctor mentioned in a document has been struck off, we can identify that quickly based on out database of previous claims.


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