“We are building the business for the long-term.”
In the latest podcast from The Voice of Insurance, Mark Geoghegan interviews David Howden, CEO, Howden Companies. David talks about his company’s evolution and journey, and the elements needed to remain agile and focused.
The future of commercial insurance underwriting and Howden’s efforts on underwriting profitability are central elements in this interview. David also outlines why building a business with the right data and data-driven decisions and analytics is a fundamental strategy for any Insurer.
Impact on New Technology on Underwriters
A lot has been written and discussed in podcasts about the impact of innovative commercial insurance software applications on Underwriters. Lloyd’s Blueprint Two certainly places technology and data and the very heart of its plan.
As 2020 comes to an end, and not a moment too soon, some would say it’s that time of the year when the industry puts forward its predictions on the technologies that will impact 2021.
It’s always a fun exercise to forecast the technology trends for the coming year. Still, it’s equally important to look at the technologies that are making a real impact on business today.
As an innovative software provider to the commercial P&C and specialty insurance market, we have a front-row seat to major digital transformation projects with leading carriers. We have seen first-hand how innovative technology has positively revolutionised the insurance industry in the last decades. As an industry not generally at ease with technology, we had to go through the experimental stage; we had to make mistakes, scrap plans, rethink strategies, and start again.
No surprises – no silver bullet
Many of the existing technology that carriers deploy is currently doing an excellent job of enabling them to gain a competitive edge, taking more insight from data providers, creative rating approaches, and optimising the workload presented to Underwriters.
The next few years will be about insurers figuring out how to extract the most value from current technology and the data they have at their fingertips or acquire easily.
As for a “tech” silver bullet that will revolutionise the industry, well, that remains to be seen. Once heralded as the breakthrough technology that would revolutionise the insurance industry, Blockchain has yet to live up to expectations.
Moving forward, the most likely scenario is that certain technologies, once considered revolutionary, will become the accepted norm in the insurance value chain. Insurers have had ample time to analyse, experiment, and deploy the innovative technologies that make a difference, such as utilising AI to help drive ingestion and triage at the start of the submission process, freeing up Underwriters to focus on the business that they want to write.
The fact is most insurers are still running on monolithic and inflexible core systems that can’t keep up to allow insurers to release new products and capitalise on new business opportunities rapidly. However, gone are the days of massive “rip and replace” projects of large transactional operation system.
Innovation doesn’t need to come from radical and disruptive changes. Processes and systems can be updated in small blocks that don’t disrupt the whole eco-system. Incremental process augmentation and enhancements can be as effective as a total overhaul.
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