Digital Insurance Market: Completely different & just the same – Bronek Masojada, PPL
This week’s guest on The Voice of Insurance podcast is Bronek Masojada, Chair of London Market electronic placing platform PPL, who as Chief executive of Hiscox, built that business into an insurance franchise with a global footprint. In this episode, Bronek touches on a wide range of subjects from his ambitions for London Market’s e-placing platform PPL, Covid, and the need for clarity in wording, but it’s his vision for a digitised global London Market and the importance of automation in underwriting that caught our attention.
Established in 2016, Placing Platform Limited has a vision “to create a single market solution for electronic placing that would allow brokers and insurers to quote, negotiate and bind business electronically.” With over thirty years in the insurance sector, Mark kicks off the interview by asking Bronek if he has any unfulfilled ambitions; Bronek replies, “Yes, inevitably there are. The number one thing I have a focus on is PPL and making the London Market go digital.” Bronek discusses how this is the third time in his career that he’s working on making the London Market go digital, and by far, it is the most successful attempt, but he adds that the market is not yet there.
Discussing the benefits of going digital, Bronek says, “The great thing about going digital for me is that it opens up the world from London to the whole of the world, and the only thing that´s going to hold you back is your own ingenuity and determination, so for me, success would be PPL next-gen gets launched this year, there’s great take up, and I’m sure that by the end of the year PPL will have come up with a plan beyond next-gen.”
As for the digitisation challenges, Bronek points out that trying to define the core data records that are needed on a slip is a particular challenge as everyone has a different view on what the core data record should be, “The challenge is getting people to agree.” Bronek mentions that if the market wants to have accuracy, people need to mean the same thing, bringing up the example that in Europe it´s day, month, year whereas in the US it’s month, day, year and these things do matter and can have an impact – getting that precision is a challenge.
Technology creating the opportunity
Speaking about PPL’s progress, Bronek reveals, “We already have over 185,000 contracts through PPL last year; it’s working, but we’ve effectively taken a paper-based system and make it electronic, now we need to take the electronic system and make it digital.”
Mark and Bronek discuss what success looks like, with Bronek observing that “To my mind in terms of going digital, incremental improvements is what it´s all about, let´s rather do a 10% improvement.” The discussion touches on office tech advancements over the last 30 years, with Bronek setting expectations, “It’s never going to end; this is a forever task.”
As for his vision on what the digital insurance market will be like in 20 years, Bronek advises that the market needs to look at what´s happened in other financial markets and how they automated processes, “What I see happening in our specialist market is lower value transactions being more automated than they are today and fully digitised and more complex deals being negotiated face-to-face as they are today, but the transaction itself taking place digitally, and so I think it will be completely different and just the same at the same time.”