The “loss triangle,” or loss-development triangle, is a forecasting tool used by finance departments at every insurer or reinsurer. It’s important because many insurance claims aren’t one-time events: the company still pays monthly claims against a three-year-old disability accident, for example. By showing how losses develop over time, loss triangles help an insurer forecast what it can expect to be paying for old claims, so it can maintain the legally required level of reserves.
At NLC Mutual, loss triangles summarize an immense amount of information: they include the claims histories of up to eight different forms of insurance from every municipal group across each of our 28 member states. We formerly employed a specialist to prepare them, using software written in the 1980s. The process was really slow, and had to be double-checked to avoid errors, but we got by. Inevitably, though, the specialist retired, and we needed to find an alternative.
But since our clients now report their results to us using Domo, we had an opportunity to rebuild our loss triangles from the ground up. We used Domo’s Magic ETL and Pivot Table card, applying the “as of” and “past date” functions to automate the entire process.
Our loss tables now run much more quickly, and we can be confident that we haven’t introduced any errors. Once the formatting is set up, it takes care of itself, and changes are easy to make. Best of all, the reports are finally running on modern operating systems, so we won’t have to worry about obsolescence for a long time.
Our new loss tables are more flexible, too: it’s easy to filter the data so we can look at individual date ranges, for example. Once we started using Domo for reporting, just about everyone who saw it in operation suggested a new way to apply it. It really is a technology that transforms a business, even a traditional one like ours.