Delegates at the inaugural Global Reinsurance Innovation & InsurTech Bermuda were told lack relationship with end user was industry’s achilles heel

While innovation and InsurTech are nothing new in the (re)insurance space, today’s need to collaboration with InsurTech to get closer to the customer is paramount, according to the first panel of today’s Global Reinsurance Innovation & InsurTech Bermuda event.

During the panel, ‘Transforming your company into the (re)insurer of the future: the threats, opportunities, and what are we waiting for?’, Aon Risk Services global product development leader Leona Lik said: “We’ve been looking at efficiencies for some while, and we need things to be more disruptive now. We need to understand what our clients need, what we need in order to improve our own efficiencies, and also with our carrier partners, how can we help them be more efficient.”

Eos Venture Partners director James Tootell, also a panellist, outlined that external disruption from adjacent firms, like mobile operators and auto firms, posed a threat to the industry due to their closeness to the end user.

He said: “Over the last 5 years we’ve seen telematics disrupt car insurance. Now the likes of Tesla are exploring offering insurance at point of sale. This is an example of where there could be threat from outside the industry. It comes down to who owns the customer relationship. They have the touch point that the insurer does not have. That’s where the most disruption will come – at the customer engagement.”

“…having a vehicle that brings innovation in is better than innovating internally” - Adrian Jones

Panellist James Hobson, Attune Insurance chief executive, added: “We’ve spent a lot of time disrupting in finance, and it’s amazing how often the customer does not come up. Startups are obsessive about the customer. Large companies however, have customers, capital, experience and the data – and that’s what we’re trying to develop.”

Scor Global P&C head of strategy and development Adrian Jones, added to the discussion by outlining the significance of collaboration in harnessing startups: “A lot of innovation is happening from the outside in; for instance collaborations like B3i are very important.

“Also, having a vehicle that brings innovation in is better than innovating internally. As James mentioned, failure is a part of the process and I prefer for that to happen outside of my company.”

Hobson added: “No one is denying the fact that better is possible; we’re going to see a lot of collaboration in the future. Ultimately, who wins is the customer.”