The market of last resort? Giving London market insurers a data edge
London market insurers have become much more selective in the risks they underwrite, Ian Summers writes in the second in a series of blogs about the AdvantageGo Ecosystem, but getting to the next level will be increasingly demanding on the technology platforms in use.
It used to be the case that overseas markets referred to London as “the market of last resort”. For excess and surplus business, for instance, and direct and facultative reinsurance, this remains an important specialism for London.
Back when underwriting was considered more of a dark art than a science, the domain of hunches and gut feelings, London lacked the data afford to some local markets. For much of the past decade, senior underwriters have been demanding more and better data for the risks they select.
However, this is no longer the main problem. There are plenty of data available. The challenge is to take full advantage of the data available to underwriters; and to apply this wealth of data in a meaningful way to manage individual risks and entire portfolios dynamically. They are going to need the right technology at their fingertips in order to do this.
On one level, the transition to data-led underwriting is going on market wide, with Blueprint Two at Lloyd’s playing a major role in necessary changes across market participants. The focus of that project is on converting unstructured information into structured information, making for a more efficient transaction.
The next stage is in bringing in more data, from wider sources, to make more informed decisions. This is the ecosystem. We’re integrating best of breed components, plugging them into our Underwriting Workbench, from the legacy policy administration systems to new data and analytics features. We’re providing the sophisticated infrastructure to ingesting the data and link the components together.
With our ecosystem, we’re managing the infrastructure for the client, as well as providing one point of contact responsible for the relationships with the other ecosystem partners. We have seen other technology vendors extol ecosystem concepts previously, but they aren’t building the infrastructure to integrate the partners together, which is the thing we’re investing in, and they aren’t fronting them in the same way, on an enduring basis. Whereas some firms build infrastructure as a project, we’re here for the long haul, creating economies of scale, which will enable us to continue to accelerate the next levels of digital transformation.