Insurance is more important than ever to help businesses manage escalating risks, Andrew Horton, group CEO of QBE, told DWIC 2024. However, to do this successfully, he argued that insurance companies should prioritise one of its key strengths: consistency.

Insurance and reinsurance are increasingly central to economic prosperity and growth, said Andrew Horton, group chief executive officer, QBE, told Dubai World Insurance Congress (DWIC) 2024.

Horton delivered an international keynote to delegates at DWIC24, arguing that insurance is more critical to successful risk management than ever before.


He said: “The global landscape is incredibly challenging. As we are seeing increasing levels of uncertainty, emerging risks, and very volatile markets, there is a clear and growing need for insurance as a safeguard against unforeseen events.

“With climate change, geopolitical instability, and technological disruptions, individuals and businesses face a myriad of risks that they have never faced before, and that necessitates insurance protection.”

Horton told a record DWIC audience of 1,300 delegates that insurance provides stability and reliability amidst great uncertainty, because it not only offers financial security, but promotes confidence and enables economic growth by mitigating risks.

He said: “Insurance is not merely a transaction, I am a great believer that it is a force for good, offering peace of mind and protection in times of meaning.”

However, he also argued that in a world of increasing volatility, insurers must be more consistent if they are to help businesses  manage their interconnected risks. 

He explained: “While the world around us is increasingly uncertain, I’ve long held the belief that in response, insurance needs to be consistent… It is something I find very frustrating with the insurance world that we’re not as consistent as we should be.”

Horton says that this means thinking carefully about approach, pricing, appetite, and claims adding that buying an insurance product should be a consistent process.

He said: “What we’re trying to do is get consistency across our appetite on in certain lines of business, working with our clients through the cycle and remaining consistent in our lines of business and geographies.

“Pricing is always challenging… Prices go up and down and are very volatile within the insurance industry… We also need to be consistent in how we treat claims… something that can be challenging, especially when there are major events.”

The final area he argued insurers must prioritise is internal culture. That means treating employees consistently, creating a culture where it’s safe to speak up, and being open and transparent from an engagement perspective and for strong governance.

Horton concluded: “Consistently investing in talent and capabilities is a non-negotiable and not only helps us attract talent, but also retain it in a rapidly changing environment.

“We need to invest in training and development programs to equip our teams with the skills needed to navigate complex risks and emerging trends.

“Get the foundational elements of a positive culture right for all people and will ultimately have happy clients, brokers, and other stakeholders. And this should mean a consistent financial return, ultimately, to our shareholders.”