The Insurance Network’s recent webinar Creating a business model for the future London market delivered an interesting and lively debate on this topical theme.
From adapting digital demands, to driving innovation and sustainable competition, there was a lot to discuss. Hosted by Jeremy Burgess, the webinar featured Carbon Underwriting CEO Stephen Card as well as Brian Kirwan from McGill and Partners, and Adrian Guttridge from WNS Global Services.
The move to online working and negotiating has dominated markets in 2020, and for the insurance industry this evolution has highlighted some areas that need urgent change. From product offerings to digital abilities, the panel agreed that the industry needs to embrace digital technology – and this is just to meet basic client expectations.
As Stephen pointed out, the London market has sometimes been accused of adopting the “if it’s not broke don’t fix it” approach, but with outside industries becoming predominantly digital, there is a risk that the London market will get left behind; especially if tech giants enter and commoditise what they can. As the panel discussed, organisations are overcoming the practical challenges to develop dynamic and scalable digital platforms; however, there are operational and cultural issues that need to be addressed, especially with enticing new talent into the industry.
Stephen said: “Covid-19 has accelerated the move to digital platforms and so we need to be more open-minded about technology. What we generally do is adopt new technology to make old processes work more efficiently: this is a fundamental barrier to change. We need to change the process to match the technology. “Today, anyone can use their smartphone for online banking or to pay their bills instantly – this is what is expected of technology; but the London market system is outdated, and we wonder why we can’t recruit the best talent?
“As our oversight, I think there is a real willingness at Lloyd’s to adapt, and it is clear there is an appetite for change throughout the market. The only question is – how fast can we achieve this? As a business, we need to be saying what are we going to do tomorrow? How are we going to change? And we need to be ready for that – this is the future.”
Listen to the full webinar here