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The stepping stones to change; market modernisation marches along

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Published on: 7th February 2022
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For years the insurance market has sought the secret to modernisation, a panacea for all, that will revolutionise the centuries-old industry and bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

The Lloyd’s market in particular has been vocal for the need for change and in 2019, launched its vision to become “the most advanced insurance marketplace in the world” via the Blueprint for the Future at Lloyd’s programme (replacing the previous Target Operating Model), and a phased approach to modernisation targeting specific areas most in need of a shake-up.

It’s fair to say that progress has been relatively slow over the years. The London insurance market is the oldest and most well established in the world, but it has no “on switch” for modernity, so for all the workstreams and hard work from everyone involved in this monumental effort, why is it so hard to find the answer to modernisation?

A staggered start

As much as I’d like to champion technology as the solution to the archaic processes and systems within insurance, the stark fact is that there is no simple answer. As much as a combination of new and evolving technologies will play a key role, wholesale changes to the way in which we enact insurance are dependent on all entities adopting the same, or similar technologies along the same timescale. The biggest challenge here is that every company within our industry has started its journey at a different point, and they run the full spectrum between ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’.

Individual businesses also face a number of internal challenges, not least:

  • Fear of technology
  • Perceived cost vs. value
  • Rigidity of legacy systems
  • The appetite for change

Let’s take blockchain as an example.  Not so long ago, this technology was hailed as being the tool to revolutionise the market, and there’s no denying that it has enormous potential to speed up and create greater efficiencies in the way we share data across the market.  However, for it to be truly effective and affect real change, it must be adopted by all (or at least the majority of) parties, and that won’t happen any time soon.

So, are some companies just too far behind in the technology race?

The stepping stones to change

The pace of change across the market will likely never be totally even, and though there is no ‘one solution’, there are tools and systems that help to bridge that gap, offering businesses the chance to embed small, yet important stepping stones towards being truly future-focused.

InsurTech firms offer composable software, workbench platforms and APIs that allow businesses across the market to leverage new forms of technology, no matter where they are in the race.   They also offer advanced data processing and analytics capabilities that advances change in a phased, achievable way that works with existing systems and long-held processes.

This is the principle behind our new Delegated Authority Workbench.

One of the big challenges facing insurers is the ability to easily manage both delegated authority and open market business in an efficient, streamlined way.  Providers are faced with disparate, unstructured data from sources that just aren’t compatible, or at least, that’s how it seems.

Open market and delegated business should, in theory, look the same, and there’s no logical reason why it shouldn’t be handled in the same way, within the same unified system. Yet, we continue to have two very different systems, one to process bordereaux and obtain risk information, and another to handle open market business.

When we try and dig into why insurers continue to manage business this way, we commonly hear responses along the lines of “it’s always been done this way”, “what else can we do?” “we wouldn’t even know where to begin bringing these two systems together”.  So, although far from ideal, businesses live with the pain.

Enter the DA Workbench

We’re saying that there is a better way. Though we don’t expect to see insurers overhauling all their systems to optimise their way of processing these business streams, there is a way to bring the process up to date with the use of a workbench.

Our Delegated Authority Workbench aims to bridge that gap between traditional ways of working and a future-focused solution to enable greater visibility of risk, more efficient management of delegated arrangements and automation of manual tasks.

With the Workbench, we’re giving insurers a single platform to automate, standardise and simplify bordereaux and coverholder management, taking the stress and friction out of the delegated process.  And it’s simple. It can be built onto legacy systems within months with no downtime, allowing underwriters to continue to work with the data and systems they know and like, but in a smarter, more efficient way.

It truly is an exciting time to be in the insurance market, every day I see great example of how professionals are driving to achieve the vision of a future-proofed marketplace. But we must remember that change doesn’t happen overnight. Whilst there is not yet one simple solution, there’s certainly a number of stepping stones if insurers are prepared to look.

To find out more about the Delegated Authority Workbench, click here.

To learn about how workbench technology is changing the face of commercial insurance, click here.

Author info: Matt McGrillis – Co-founder and CTO at Send. To get in touch with Matt and find out more about Send, you can find him on LinkedIn.

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