Some habits are hard to break. Although sadly, there could not be a physical Monte Carlo Rendez-vous conference this year, innovative ways were found to generate virtual meetings by some organisations and magazine publishers. These virtual events provided the industry with the opportunity to keep the dialogue moving and a snapshot of the market and critical developments regarding rating and risk appetite ahead of the important 1.1 treaty renewals.
The cancellation of the Monte Carlo Rendez-vous and other events was a significant blow to the industry. Still, if the pandemic has shown us anything, it’s that the insurance sector is resilient and innovative - the insurance industry’s voice would not be muted.
As a partner to insurers and (re)insurers, it's vital for us to be part of the conversation. We participated in countless virtual events, mostly as delegates, but also took the opportunity to engage in discussions by taking part in panel sessions, presenting and giving fire-side chats.
As expected, the overriding topic was the impact of Covid-19 on the market, the insurance industry's digital state, and the vulnerabilities and capacity for carriers to thrive in the new normal. Although the pandemic has accelerated digital transformation projects at many insurers, the common sentiment expressed at these events suggest that companies are still not investing enough to make a truly effective change.
Data-driven decision making is the new industry frontier. Risk is not static, and if this year’s situation has shown us anything, it is that the impact of a risk we were mostly unprepared for can be swift, devastating, and global.
Today, more than ever, with the turbulent economic and political climate swirling the globe, not using data sources and the granular insights gleaned from various data channels in the entire underwriting process is inexcusable, and arguably, irresponsible.
Carriers are responsible for taking appropriate action and reasonable steps to ensure that the nature and scope of a risk are fully understood. Nowadays, a wealth of data surrounds the insured, and pulling in this data and examining the insights should be integrated within the entire underwriting decision-making process and insurance value chain.
By analysing renewals, old and new submissions, and incoming data from different sources, underwriters can forecast effectively, assess the marginal impact of new quotes on their portfolio, identify gaps, and how to close them. They can also spot new and emerging markets, cross-selling opportunities, engage with clients at an earlier state, and consider new business models such as risk mitigation and prevention.
Combined with an underwriter’s intellectual property, every decision should be data-led, no matter how small. Predictive and advanced analytics allow carriers to offer dynamic pricing and expand their traditional portfolio base.
This pandemic has exposed the fragility of some industries, and we have unfortunately witnessed companies folding or others having their credit worthiness downgraded. The viability status of many businesses has changed overnight, and with the precarious state of things today, insurers need to assess risk on an ongoing basis and with real-time data. Underwriters need to rapidly respond to shifting market needs in the digital age and create and offer new products and policies.
Smart underwriting is about getting comfortable with multiple data sources and maximising data insights to unlock growth to become a trusted partner to clients.
Sensors, IoT, telematics, predictive analytics, and machine learning are shedding new light on risk – why wouldn’t you want to use this data to look forward rather than retrospectively, to serve customers better and grow your business?
So, despite the cancellation of the Monte Carlo Rendez-vous this year, we didn’t let that stop us from pulling together the stories that dominated conversations during the various virtual events that took place over the last few months. We trust that you enjoy the read.
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