The bold and the brave …

Whilst not exactly setting the bars and restaurants of Lime Street alight, the topic of digitalisation and its impact on the insurance industry is a big issue.  Whether it centres on innovative start-ups or the reimagining of systems and processes by established players, other than Brexit, this topic probably gets more airtime than any other.

Global investment in Insurtech has grown enormously from $140m in 2011, to $2.3bn by 2015 (source: McKinsey). But that’s hardly surprising given the massive opportunity digitalisation represents. As consumers increasingly use smart phones and tablets to research and buy products online, a ‘digital customer journey’ is essential. In addition, with the increased use of mobile technology in previously untapped emerging markets, digital enables not only better customer capture and engagement, but also a significant opportunity for business growth.

However, this wasn’t always the case. The development of tech solutions came late to the insurance industry. The argument had been that human interaction and knowledge were essential to the complex underwriting and advisory process. This has now changed, with technology enabling innovation in commercial lines such as marine cargo where Blockchain technology has been used to great effect.

There is no doubt that great digital capability is key to future short-to-medium term growth in the insurance industry. With insurance being a late digital adopter, there’s a real opportunity to learn from other industries. For example, whilst the retail sector analyses data to inform a business on client buying habits, the media and entertainment industry has shown how to provide great customer experience.

As a Head-hunter, I am increasingly asked to find tech talent outside the Insurance industry. From experience, the industry is an attractive proposition for talent because of the appetite for change and innovation. Although there are sometimes cultural differences to contend, the innovation lab concept has enabled the development of tech-friendly subcultures. A recent interesting move was that of Jorge Espinel from Spotify to Lemonade to lead global business development. This highlights the ambition (and realistic possibility) of advanced digital businesses quickly establishing a global customer base. It also evidences how companies within the sector can attract high-performing, innovative talent, having articulated a compelling vision.

With so much still to learn, and an abundance of talent in the wider digital world, we have no doubt about the exciting opportunities that lie ahead for the bold and the brave.

If you would like to discuss this topic in greater detail or find out more about how we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact us for an initial and confidential conversation. For more details contact David Cooper  on +44 (0) 20 7484 0110 or