Day 1 Highlights
It’s London in November and that can only mean one thing: Insurance Innovators Summit, the flagship event for the insurance industry, is back. This year the two-day event pulled together 1000+ of the industry’s movers and shakers, representing the full spectrum from global carriers, specialist insurers, FinTechs, and regulators.
The Insurance Innovators Summit kicked off today at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in the heart of London. Day 1 of the event brought together various experts from across the industry to reflect on the past year’s challenges and to look ahead to how insurers can continue to serve their customers best.
“Organisations fail because they do the same thing for too long”
And while the wider geopolitical and economic mood is gloomy, there’s no doubt these are exciting times for the industry as a convergence of trends, from wearable tech to AI, unlocks previously unimaginable opportunities. So, it was perhaps fitting the event opened with Laura Eschricht, Chief Marketing Officer, of FinTech unicorn wefox. Taking a deep dive into the start-up’s explosive growth over the last eight years, Eschricht said the company is on a mission to make innovation capabilities accessible to all players in the insurance ecosystem.
“Organisations fail because they do the same thing for too long,” she said, pointing out that during the Industrial Revolution it took an entire management generation for factory owners to rethink their processes following the introduction of electricity. “We want to put technology front and centre, and really move the dial for everyone in the insurance ecosystem.”
This is going to be more important than ever because there’s no doubt that we’re living in unprecedented times. Inflation, slowing economic growth, rising geopolitical tensions, war, technological revolution, social unrest and a deepening climate crisis were among the risks listed by Ken Norgrove, CEO of RSA, who did, however, reassure delegates about the industry’s capacity to anticipate and adapt. “The insurance industry has a very strong track record of evolving with a changing and elevated risk landscape,” he said. “It’s not new to us.”
Anna Fleming, Interim Chief Executive Officer, AXA Retail, also noted the “perma-crisis” buffeting all companies. “We are in a new normal of uncertainty,” she said, “with challenges coming from multiple directions including inflation, a disrupted supply chain and different buying behaviours of customers.”
Despite this, the mood was upbeat with our gathered innovators – unsurprisingly – backing technology as means to not only weather these macro and micro risks but to also make life better. Whether it’s next-gen usage-based pricing to help consumers manage motoring costs during the cost-of-living crisis, or AI identifying flood risks or assisting with medical imaging for more targeted treatments, the industry is excited about the potential to transform our understanding and management of risk.
Generative AI, inevitably, was the subject of much discussion. It is still early days but it’s clear this is a game-changing technology that will unleash its own waves of innovation. “We will need to think of it as a general-purpose technology, like we see electricity today,” said Yann Bry, Chief of Strategy and Operations at AXA Next in a fascinating panel discussion on AI-driven analytics.