Knowledge is Key and King – Ross Howard Global Executive Chairman, Lockton Re
This week’s guest on The Voice of Insurance podcast, Ross Howard, Global Executive Chairman of Lockton Re, discusses the major project to build a challenger reinsurance broker for the Lockton Group, and why having the right people and building relationships is top of the agenda at the organisation.
Ross also discusses the company’s core strengths and how having the classic London specialty business along with a North American platform is the foundation for Lockton Re’s growth.
Responding to questions about the impact of Covid-19, Ross discusses the pressures that insurers and brokers are under to develop solutions and products during these uncertain times and how the promise of a hard market is yet to materialise.
As the conversation turns to InsurTech and the effect of technology on the industry, Ross outlines how Lockton Re has built its own digital platform and that to scale in today’s economy, Insurers must be “part of the analytical” world but not at the cost of face-to-face negotiations.
When asked if InsurTechs will succeed, Ross affirms that they have a place in the industry, but they won’t replace the communication element between people nor contract wordings, which are now more important than ever. As the insurance industry moves forward with its digital transformation projects, Ross argues that digital platforms can provide capacity where needed, but that the reinsurance world is a very technical business where human expertise will always be required. Commenting on this, Ross says, only very few people working in the industry today have lived through a hard market, and “knowledge is key and king.”
How far can you automate the insurance value chain?
Ross picks up on Lloyd’s initiative to reduce costs and that the industry must continue to focus on cutting down the cost structure of doing things, and that automation will play a significant role in this. The conversation picks up on who will drive automation initiatives and whether it should be left to younger or more tech-savvy team members to push forward.
The insurance-value chain is ripe for disruption. The introduction of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and robotic process automation within the insurance process helps build risk models for better decision-making.
Despite a luke-warm reception towards automation and underwriting tools in some corners of the insurance industry, the majority of insurance organisations are embracing the introduction of these tools that ease the workload for Underwriters and drive efficiencies.
Underwriting excellence is a crucial priority for carriers, and marginal improvements in selecting risks can greatly impact loss expenses. Efficient underwriting results in reduced underwriting expenses and improved selection of risks to assess leads to improvement in the net underwriting income.
We highly recommend you listen to this informative and engaging episode.
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