“Over two thirds of transformation collaborations in insurance don’t deliver. At EXL, we go the last mile”

Insurers worldwide are making bigger and bolder bets to improve claims management, customer experience and underwriting efficiency, buoyed by strategic alliances with end-to-end ecosystem partners.

Since first partnering with insurers in Australia to spearhead their digital and data transformation journeys six years ago, EXL’s fastest growth has been in helping large carriers with their struggles to reconcile disparate data sets, and to improve digital customer experiences.

EXL’s suite of specialised technology – including conversational AI, instant credit-decisioning analytics, AI-driven automated claims audits and embedded intelligence in workflows – has since 2015 transformed and accelerated operations at Australian insurers.

This vital solution is allowing insurers rush to meet the ever-increasing demands of a new generation of tech-savvy customers who demand faster, seamless, and often touchless service.

“Australia was a smaller market for EXL, but it’s been the fastest growing geography in the last five years,” EXL’s Head of Life Insurance Andy Logani reveals during a visit to the Insurance News office.

“It’s going to become five times the business it is today in three to five years. We built a plan – we are serious and making investments in highly trained people in advanced tech and data science.”

EXL, which counts four top general insurers in Australia as clients, has over 19,000 global staff supporting its insurance division and around 800 clients globally. Revenue jumped by more than a quarter to $US1.41 billion last year.

VP of APAC Growth, Abhi Bhola says EXL is now doubling down and expanding its offer into the life insurance sector, and talking with broker networks, to repeat a model proven in North America and Europe.

The desire for digital acceleration has never been stronger in Australia, he says, with insurers clearly pivoting toward operation models infused with AI and analytics.

Companies operationalising these initiatives will be best positioned for the future and lead the market by fully harnessing insight from their data.


Source: Forbes Insights and EXL survey

“Now that we have sufficient presence we are expanding into other sectors in the Australian market, where we are seeing more clients looking beyond just simple efficiency into how they can unlock the value of their data to increase customer satisfaction, enhance processes, boost employee productivity, and accelerate time to market,” Mr. Bhola said.


EXL’s capabilities and skills have been built over a long period of time and are difficult to replicate.
“We are a bit – I wouldn’t say particular, but we understand who we can benefit and where we can partner to deliver impact,” Mr. Bhola said. “The key is to operationalise the transformation roadmap in a manner that is specific to the insurer’s ecosystem, organisational capabilities and cultural landscape, as well as focus on increasing speed to respond to the market faster.”
This extraction of strategic insights at speed from the data of its worldwide customers is at the heart of EXL’s value proposition. 
“Quick and effective decision-making is essential to the insurance industry, particularly in the claims area. Optimising data intake using AI and a strong data-ingestion framework have become key priorities for insurers and brokers.” 
Insurers capture a significant amount of data, such as customer quotes and pricing, broker notes, policy and claim details. AI-driven digital intake solution helps insurers automate the process of ingesting, analysing, and structuring this data to extract actionable insights. 

“One global insurer is currently implementing EXL’s AI-based data-ingestion framework to reimagine the Certificate of Insurance process workflow. By intelligently automating almost half a million requests per year from more than 8,000 clients, the insurer will see efficiency increases of up to 50%.”

Other areas include claims management where EXL’s AI-solution allows for a proactive and automated QA to aid in compliance management and reducing financial leakage.

Employing AI enables employees to work better through less errors or repetition and adapt faster to regulatory and compliance developments.

“In Australia, we have been helping insurers be ahead in their digital maturity,” Mr. Logani said. “These clients look to EXL to adopt a truly data-led digital operating model, both at the front end, where data and technology enhances the customer experience, and at the back end – where digital drives productivity gains and operational performance improvements.”


Before the benefits of AI and automation can be realised, issues with data quality and integrity must be addressed. Once the “data governance” is in place, AI can quickly perform unstructured data ingestion tasks, helping the creation of a larger data set with potential to rapidly generate insights previously not available to underwriting and claims teams.
The EXL team has taken the time in Australia to build local expertise while drawing on its broader operations to transfer the power of its sophisticated AI models and analytical techniques.

“We superimpose local knowledge but we’re able to leverage the essential building blocks from the global pool,” Mr. Logani said.

“On an aggregate level, when we implement programs for different clients globally – you’re able to bring best practices. We have solved the underwriting problem and the claims problem – the actual real problem – world over.”

“Typically, what you will see from other providers is that they will either bring a technology stack, or a services stack. We were born out of an insurance company and that heritage of insurance domain knowledge has been a key enabler,” he says.

Now is a “terrific opportunity” for life insurance companies, he says – which typically trail banking and general insurance and have faced tough regulation changes – to forge partnerships with service providers to harness the full value and potential of their data, co-creating best customer and commercial outcomes.

“If you don’t connect the underlying data, digital transformation by itself will never be complete.” Data needs to inform and support decision-making and not make the decision itself. This orchestration of data and domain knowledge with AI, advanced analytics and hyper automation is critical to deliver tangible transformation benefits across insurance lifecycle.

EXL meticulously follows through to see solutions are carried out after their introduction – what the business calls a “360” approach to execution managing the change.

“It’s not just building the model and technology, it’s about ultimately integrating it and executing it – because if you don’t do the last mile then you just don’t get the whole benefit,” Mr. Logani said.

Abhi Bhola

Abhi Bhola
VP, Insurance Growth – APAC

Andy Logani
SVP & Global Head of Life Insurance