Monte Carlo – Old dogs, new tricks!

 

I don’t believe that old dogs don’t like learning new tricks, or for that matter that young pups can’t learn a lot from the old guard.

Why? Because there seemed to be so many positive things said at this year’s 60th Monte Carlo (Re)Insurance Rendez-Vous. Senior people were talking about the need to change, embrace technology, innovate and bring in new skills, talent and ideas into the (re)insurance market.

There was of course the inevitable ‘B’ word mentioned in most conversations relating to future business conditions, Brexit. Despite this, in a round table I was involved in, Chief Executive of Munich Re, Christian Fuhrmann noted that there are so many current opportunities regardless of the Brexit outcome. It’s crucial that we focus on the positives and use technology and the digitally astute younger generation to give the industry a cutting edge.

Staying with Munich Re, CEO Torsten Jeworrek was banging the drum in his interview with Global (Re)Insurance for the need to modernise the industry. The emergence of Big Data and analytics are things to be embraced, providing better tools and understanding of risk transfer and management, and improving everything from modelling and pricing to loss detection and claims handling.

Paul Mang, CEO of Analytics at AON stated that insurers would be wise to go back to their roots as problem-solvers in order to address some of the challenges they’re facing in the form of InsurTech. From his perspective insurance is the ultimate Big Data industry, and it’s time to capitalise on that.

Vicky Carter, Vice Chairman at Guy Carpenter went even further, stating that for every industry transformed by disruptive forces, the net result had been growth. So it seems that technology, the ‘hyper connectivity’ of people, trade and capital and emerging proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) are waves impacting the industry that will only grow into a tsunami.

Where in the past players like Google came in to eat the insurers lunch, only to leave and then reappear, they are now choosing instead to partner with insurance experts like AXA and Allianz rather than going it alone. It would seem that finally technology and data are firmly in the sights of the C-Suite of the (re)insurance industry and that can only be a good thing.

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