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Future of data & tech for underwriters

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Future of data & technology for Underwriters

11.02.20 Leon Walker

The digitisation of insurance processes and the introduction of sophisticated insurance software applications within the P&C space is not new. For some of us who haven’t worked in the industry for long, we could be forgiven for thinking that the insurance market was late to the game in deploying innovative technology.

Although the emergence of Insurtech is a relatively new concept, the insurance industry has been using technology for decades. Lloyd’s has a long history of embracing innovation and pushing through programmes to ensure that the future of commercial insurance underwriting remains relevant and viable.

The insurance industry has always been at the mercy of the vagaries of nature, political risk and the global economy. It constantly faces new risks and emerging markets, and it’s quite adept at dealing with these challenges and helping businesses and customers get back on their feet.

But, 2020 has been quite unlike anything else anyone has experienced in recent memory, including the insurance industry.

Impact on New Technology on Underwriters

In an article recently published in Insurance Day by Leon Walker, senior director for business development at AdvantageGo, Leon argues why profitable growth is inextricably tied with excellent underwriting performance in such turbulent times.

The last few years have seen many Insurers focus hard on underwriting discipline and excellence. Leon argues that the emphasis on underwriting excellence was initially driven by widespread remediation planning across the market and based on changing policy limits, reducing risk appetite, and driving out unprofitable business.

While these drivers still remain in place, a hardening market along with data driven decisions and analytics has led to Insurers making strategic investments in innovative technologies that accelerate consistently positive underwriting performance.

As Leon explains, achieving and maintaining underwriting excellence and discipline is not just a matter of flipping a switch. Technology is an enabler for underwriting discipline, but success requires changes in behaviour and a cultural and mindset shift on how business is done, which can be achieved in incremental steps. These technological changes are inevitably transforming the increasingly complex role of the Underwriter.

However, intelligent digital solutions and advanced analytics will not usurp the Underwriter, quite the opposite. In this short video, Ramash Yadev, Product Manager for Underwriting, AdvantageGo, speaks about how technology is automating menial tasks, streamlining low-value tasks, and enabling Underwriters to focus on those high-value areas like generating income and providing a more personalised service to customers.

As new risks emerge and others consistently mutate, such as cybercrime, Underwriters will rely more and more on the application of advanced analytics to glean insights and understand risk at new levels of granularity. Leon’s article also looks at some of the other challenges facing the insurance market such as the global insurance gap, particularly when it comes to emerging economies, which are the least insured. For a more in-depth look at why underwriting excellence is a defining factor in who thrives and succeeds in today’s unique trading environment, check out Leon’s article, The Relentless March for Underwriting Performance.

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