HIGH RISK & HIGH REWARD – ADRIAN COX, CEO, BEAZLEY
This week on The Voice of Insurance podcast, Mark Geoghegan sits down with Adrian Cox, CEO, Beazley, to discuss the recent arduous 1.1 reinsurance renewals. In this episode, Adrian shares his insights on how the market reset affected his company’s strategy and how sustainable the reset will be in the property reinsurance market. We’ll also hear about Beazley’s approach to risk management and the role of technology in automating the underwriting process. Additionally, Adrian explores the subject of hybrid working and how it has impacted operations. Tune in for a fascinating discussion on the 1.1 renewal season and more.
Mark kicks off the discussion by asking what has changed for Beazley and its strategy in this dramatic 1.1. renewal? “I think our core strategy hasn’t really changed much following the 1.1 renewal season. I think what it has done is allowed us to accelerate some of the stuff that we wanted to do anyway. There have been quite a few changes at 1.1, the biggest one, I think, really around property reinsurance and the market finally resetting so that it can properly take into account the effects of climate change, inflation, and covering the cost of capital for property cat reinsurance.”
How sustainable will this reset in the property reinsurance market be? Should the market take the last five years as the norm rather than just an exceptionally bad run of five years? Adrian replies, “Yeah, I think we have to accept that the past is not necessarily a guide to the future when it comes to weather events, and we need a forward-looking view of risk, and that’s not unusual in specialty business. When you think about other lines of business that we write on the liability side, for example, we need to think about what people are going to be sued for in years to come, not what they were sued for 5-10 years ago.”
With technology automating the underwriting process by streamlining data collection and analysis, allowing for faster and more accurate risk assessment, Adrian gives his perspective, “Technology is finally catching up with insurance in a meaningful way, and I think there is the opportunity over the next few years to be able to digitise and automate properly and actually be able to do the job of underwriting and administering insurance more efficiently than we had done in the past.” Commenting further on digitisation and the London Market reforms, Adrian remarks, “I think the market more generally is gearing up really to digitise in a wholesale way, which is quite exciting.”
With hybrid working now the new norm, Mark asks Adrian how Beazley is managing this new way of doing business, “We’re still learning. I’m very keen that we have our cake and eat it, and by that, I mean we continue to make use of the office and the face-to-face engagement, but that allows at the same time we’ve learnt haven’t we that though we have many more tools at our disposal to do our work flexibly and efficiently and we don’t lose that either. So, we are gradually learning how to make the best of the hybrid world, but I think we’re still only really at the beginning of that process.”
Enjoy the podcast.