Last night saw the second instalment of Market Mind’s Future Leaders “Make Insurance Great Again” debate. A packed house at WeWork in Moorgate saw two fantastic panels containing representatives from KPMG, AXA PPP, Atrium/TOM, Beazley, XL Catlin, Hiscox, Guy Carpenter and Elseco with an insightful talk on microinsurance from Democrance splitting the two panels.

The audience were treated to a number of snippets from each panellists surrounding a number of topical issues:

  • My favourite quote of the evening “be honest, work collaboratively, take risks and learn from the experience”

  • The biggest challenge facing modernisation in the London Market

    • Individuals in the market lack understanding in the purpose for changing

    • A number of past failures mean people are reluctant to get involved in new projects – but then later on we discussed how the community needs to learn (in the event of failure) to fail fast, learn and redevelop

    • Tough to understand what delivers value

    • There is some serious apathy within the senior ranking professionals, they are used to business coming to the market but as more and more ways of mitigating risk the reason for insurance decreases

    • Lack of talent that understands both the market and technology, who can then get the right support to make the changes necessary

    • Most individuals in the market and protective over the history and culture of the market

    • There is a lack of ability to be agile and move quickly

    • “6 years to be a heart surgeon, 20 years to be an underwriter” – is this really what we want in this market!

    • Regulation – need we say anymore

  • Do you need to spend big to innovate – The general consensus was that it isn’t expensive, a couple of quotes:

    • Define business strategy and embrace the opportunities and risks of innovation

    • Innovate outside of the business and go through bringing in the innovation once it’s viable and ready. Keeping innovation inside the company adds much more complexity and duration to implement

    • In order to transform the whole industry, there is a need to spend big as a community, but internal incremental changes should not cost too much in the grand scheme of things

    • Innovation should be about generating cool ideas which aim to challenge the status quo of the large transformation programmes

  • How to inspire change in organisations

    • Enable people to fail

    • Set up internal programmes promoting opportunities for people to voice their solutions

    • Embed future focus into HR and recruitment

    • Encourage teams to find painpoints and fix it themselves

    • Look way outside of the industry and learn from their developments. For example, we need to look at companies that continually engage their customers e.g. Amazon and understand what has made them so popular, even through the recessions!

    • “do now, apologise later”

    • Bring in partnerships – don’t rely on your internal staff to be able to have the skills to innovate, work collaboratively with other companies and achieve results that weren’t possible before

  • Do our customers really understand Insurance?

    • Do they see the social good that is implicit within insurance

    • How do we action reducing the insurance gap, and understanding that this is the massive opportunity for insurance to continue to grow

    • Insurance is inherently difficult, and finding a way to simplify the key drivers e.g. rating factors, could leave the insurers exposed, this isn’t necessarily what is needed

    • Do customers even understand insurance? And do insurers really understand their customers?

    • Is innovation even about the customer? do they really want to see innovation in the way we think they do? How are we engaging customers better? How do we make it as easy as possible for them to purchase adequate cover that suits their needs? All questions I believe still need answering

Overall, a thought provoking debate, I still believe there is more to come from this industry and the pure number of individuals there makes me quite excited, this means that there is a real demand for change… it’s now time for this cohort to get out there and make a real difference in driving the change forward.

Remember “be honest, work collaboratively, take risks and learn from mistakes” and most of all, enjoy the opportunity to define the next stage of the insurance industry!