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Underwriters must intelligently adapt to change

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Published on:29th May 2024
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The Insurance industry is in an aggressive state of change. It is constant. And it can be overwhelming. Embracing change and working with commercial carriers to streamline workflow and process is a critical aspect of a partnership that’s grounded in a commitment to making progress amidst chaos. 

The excitement was palpable at the May 16th Reuters Future of Insurance 2024 event in Chicago. Our Send team was engaged in several proactive conversations with industry leaders on optimizing underwriting efficiency. 

This conference was more than a discourse. It was a springboard for insurers to deep-dive into critical discussions with industry thought leaders, and envision a future that is technology-enabled, human-driven, and client-centric.

Here are some of the top moments from the event that resonated strongly with my team and the underwriters we chatted with.

Customers won’t change the way they operate

Old habits die hard. Kevin Kerrige, CEO at Hiscox, touched on the unwavering habits of insurance brokers that are hard to mend. 

“Customers won’t change the way they operate. Brokers will continue sending submission emails with pdf attachments. We need to find a way to encourage brokers to accept change rather than force it.”

It stressed the fundamental truth about the insurance industry: Just like legacy systems, it’s hard to eliminate or change old practices and in some cases, bad habits. At Send, we are seeing the conversation shift from “how do we force change” to “how can we ensure we leverage the right technologies to augment, replace or accelerate what we need to do”. Send’s AI-enabled product, Smart Submission, has been designed deliberately to fulfil these requirements. 

Designed to power through emails, attachments and crucial data, Smart Submission saves underwriters valuable time, and allows them to focus on addressing, assessing and finding the right solutions for the risks they need to cover. 

Kevin’s recommendation for smarter operations ‘behind the curtain’, which aligns nicely with our philosophy of empowering underwriters through technology, represents a partnership between technology and underwriting teams that truly leverages the strengths of both.

Client-focused Underwriting

Customer needs are evolving across every industry. They have very specific needs and underwriters require more information to properly assess and address existing and emerging risks.  

Rose Hall, SVP and Head of Innovation, Americas, AXA XL, advocated the need for a client-focused business model giving customers exactly what they need & when they need it. 

She introduced the concept of optional pairing, highlighting how AXA offers a curated list of technologies to help their clients manage risks proactively. 

“Teach a person to fish, rather than simply giving them the fish. We connect clients with the vendor. We don’t force it. We want them to be engaged with their choice. We want to empower clients to take on their risk.”

Rose’s perspective was spot on, and we would also suggest that sometimes giving our clients the ‘fishing gear’ they need isn’t always enough. Sometimes, as an integrated implementation partner, we also need to help them set themselves up for success and get in the boat and go fishing with them. 

This perspective is very consistent with Send’s approach of providing tailored solutions to the unique needs and requirements of our clients, giving them full control of how they leverage technology within their environment and acting as a coach or a partner every step of the way. 

Workbenches are more than just a place to store your tools

Workbenches aren’t just a collection of tools, they represent a paradigm shift in how carriers can streamline the underwriting process by balancing people and technology.

I had the opportunity to showcase the benefits of using our workbench and showed attendees how using Send’s workbench could automate routine tasks and allow underwriters to be more competitive and timelier from a delivery perspective without sacrificing accuracy or quality. 

Intelligent automation is already one of the most important factors in the underwriter’s ability to respond to the increasing pace of managing risk. Our industry is grounded in mitigating risk, the risk of not embracing that technology is underwriting future success is one of the most relevant milestones in the insurance industry’s history, perhaps as significant as the first ringing of the bell at Lloyd’s marking the safe passage of ships.

Ben Huckel, COO and Co-Founder. Get in touch with Ben on LinkedIn.

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