How is digital innovation changing the risk landscape for insurers? What has been the impact of InsurTech on the insurance industry, and should Insurers do more about sharing data and ideas amongst themselves?
These are just some of the questions Leon Walker, Senior Director, Business Development, AdvantageGo, asked panellists, Bernadette Hackett, Global Relationship Leader, Zurich, Tracey Sharis, Senior VP, Director of Programs, Ironshore and Silvi Wompa Sinclair, Group Head of Portfolio Underwriting, Swiss Re during the Global InsurTech Virtual Summit.
Kicking off the session, Bernadette discussed how digital innovation is not only changing the insurance market’s ability to assess risk and how people also want to buy insurance but also driving efficiency across the entire insurance value chain.
As the conversation turned to data gathering, Tracey touched on the challenges around accessing tremendous and often overwhelming amounts of data presented by external sources who want to partner with large carriers, in addition to other data sources. Being careful about not being overwhelmed is just as important as having the correct data to analyse.
How are new technologies bringing opportunities for risk functions across the market?
Silvi outlines two areas where insurance technology brings change to risk functions - to client risk management and underwriting outcomes. Having a more holistic view of risk exposures means being able to consider several aspects simultaneously rather than one at a time.
When asked about data usage in the risk decision-making process, the panel pointed out that Insurers are extremely data-rich companies but that more can be done to mine data to drive better underwriting decisions. Also, data needs to be pulled to the ‘desk level’, enabling Underwrites to use that data to provide new services and products.
Bernadette spoke about how digital innovation has had a wide-ranging impact across the entire insurance value chain, including the increase in InsurTech funding and the diverse talent pool with tech skills entering the marketplace.
Regarding changing customer risk, the panellists spoke about how the last twelve months have seen a real acceleration in digital innovation in the industry. With most everyone working from home, the industry has been forced to rethink how digital technology can transform processes and risk assessment. Insurers are working closely with brokers and clients on how to best approach the uncertain environment, and the solution might not necessarily mean developing new products but evolving current ones.
One panellist mentioned that there had been a significant focus to increase efficiencies by using robotics to help with end-to-end systems and technology that assesses risk remotely to liberate underwriters to focus on income-generating tasks. However, the industry isn’t fully there yet in terms of sweating technology at its fullest capacity, but it’s on the right track.
In response to if the industry could do more about sharing data and ideas amongst themselves, the panel pointed out that many pan-industry groups already share best practices and ways to be more receptive to customers, but they don’t share data. One panellist said she believes there isn’t a silver bullet around sharing data and ideas, and some companies are reluctant to do so.
When asked who will lead the way on digital, whether it will be brokers or Insurers, panellists agreed that there won’t be anyone holding a winner’s trophy. One speaker said that the best thing that has come of InsurTech is that it’s shaking things up and made people realise that we don’t necessarily have all the best ideas in the big, blue flagship companies. Great ideas can come from outside and inside the industry, provided it gives people the resources and tools to be creative and innovative.
We highly recommend you listen to this insightful and engaging discussion. To view the discussion, click on the link, then click on 'Agenda On-demand' and navigate to the 3rd March, 1.20pm-2.00pm GMT, when the session took place.
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