Domain X Data

The promise of digital transformation extends beyond customer communication channels like apps and chatbots. Companies need to apply the power of people and technology together across business processes to make it easier for their customers to do business with them.

The property and casualty insurance industry is ripe for digital interventions across the entire policy lifecycle – sometimes in unexpected areas. Property inspections, for example, have remained decidedly “old school.” The inspection process largely hasn’t changed for decades and required inspectors to physically travel to a location and perform an intrusive onsite assessment. This is a disruptive, slow and expensive proposition in an era where an abundance of property data is readily available, including high-resolution street level and 3D aerial imagery.

A leading U.S. P&C insurer tapped EXL to transform this antiquated inspection process, which took on average 21 days and was a painful source of customer dissatisfaction. In an industry that can struggle for competitive differentiation, the insurer looked to radically improve the customer journey through compressed cycle times and the complete elimination of inspector interaction.

EXL responded with Express Survey, a digital solution to transform the property inspection process. Express Survey is founded upon Digital Intelligence, EXL’s strategy and approach for digital transformation.

Digital Intelligence requires the combination of domain and data to understand context (specifically what the problem is, how it impacts the insurer and the end customer, and how to solve it) and the orchestration of people and digital technology to drive defined business outcomes.


EXL’s insurance domain expertise allowed us to understand the outcomes the insurer needed to achieve: better customer experience, faster underwriting, lower costs, and higher revenue.

We then took a design-centric approach to building Express Survey through a deep dive into how different insurers managed their property inspection processes, which included interviewing 10 top US carriers to understand their needs, concerns, and preferences for transforming inspections.

EXL then identified several opportunities where analytics and data assets could streamline the process in order to augment human expertise with digital technology so underwriters could make faster, smarter decisions on policies.


Using the right orchestration of people and technology allowed EXL to introduce a better and more cost-effective solution to underwriting property inspections.

Some data providers combine aerial imagery with data to calculate replacement costs and even assess risk through a “virtual” inspection. These products are intriguing, but the absence of ground level photographs, as well as dated aerial imagery, inhibits risk identification and provides insufficient evidence to take underwriting action.

EXL starts with a foundation of robust data and aerial imagery, and augments this with “real-time” street-level photos captured through an expansive network of mobile-enabled on-demand photographers. Another key EXL innovation was to centralize the data analysis among highly trained, professional underwriting technicians to ensure accuracy and precision.

All of this data was then rolled up into a proprietary platform with an analytics engine that developed automated, comprehensive, and actionable reports accurately assessing risks for each property. These reports are automatically delivered to underwriters, making their job easier by getting them the right data more quickly.


The P&C insurer’s customers benefited quickly from the new approach and better turnaround. A process that once took 21 days on average was reduced to five, and with no disruption to their customers’ lives. Customer satisfaction rose accordingly. In the first six months using Express Surveys, complaints dropped to zero after averaging about 25 per month.

In addition to improved CSAT, the client’s bottom line significantly improved as well. Express helped the client improve revenues by $2.6M in the first year, and their inspection budget decreased by 21%.

For more information on Express Survey, watch this short video.

To better understand how EXL uses digital intelligence to help insurers across the front, middle and back offices, contact us or read our latest article based on a global survey with the Harvard Business Review Insurance: Leveraging Digital to Compete in a Low-Growth Environment.

Solution Summary

Client Challenge

  • Inefficient 21 day property inspection cycle times
  • Disruptive customer experience
  • Expensive property inspection program


  • Property inspections were costly, time-consuming, and created disruptive customer experiences
  • EXL used a design thinking approach, interviews with multiple top insurers, and its own market-leading insurance expertise in creating a solution
  • Solution combined domain experience and data to build an insight-driven inspection process


  • Sophisticated integration of property data and 3D aerial imagery
  • “Real-time” photographs through on-demand field force
  • Centralized processing by professional underwriting technicians
  • Risk analytics, intelligent automation and cloud workflow technology


  • Shortened cycle times from 21 days to five days – 4 times faster
  • Reduced operating costs associated with surveys by 21%
  • Zero customer complaints from an average of 25 per month
  • Increased revenues $2.6 million in first year

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