Day 2 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.
“Is the world getting scarier or not?” That was the question that greeted delegates on Day Two of the flagship Insurance Innovators event in London. Posed by Sir Alex Younger, the Former Chief of MI6, the question launched a deep dive into the emerging risks facing our world, which, he said, has experienced a fundamental shift from the norm.
Technology inevitably plays a role in these risks, from the spread of disinformation and ransomware to the rise of AI and money laundering. Quantum computing was also called out, with Sir Alex advising delegates that they need to start asking questions now about quantum proof encryption.
“We as leaders and decision-makers have to make sure we have a strong ethical compass when it comes to AI”
The answer to the first question? As a former spy, he perhaps was not the most optimistic about the outlook. “The rules have changed in the world, there have been some massive shifts, and we need to take steps now to defend ourselves,” he said.
This is where the insurance industry has such an important role to play, said Alexander Vollert, Group Chief Operating Officer, AXA. He said that while technology and data can help make emerging risks insurable, this will need to be tempered by purpose, values and a strong sense of right and wrong.
“We as leaders and decision-makers have to make sure we have a strong ethical compass when it comes to AI” he said.
Mark Klein, Group Chief Digital Officer at ERGO, was also clear that AI is a non-negotiable part of the future. “AI will change our world and will transform our industry,” said Klein. “Waiting to implement is not an option.”
For Matthew Richardson, Head of Business Relationship Management & Project Manager at Generali, the surge of interest in AI solutions has made his job easier. “I get a lot less push back now on change management because people want to use these tools in their business unit.”
Delivering fairness for the customer: the FCA’s stance
While the transformative impact of AI was a constant theme throughout the day’s discussions, there was also an acknowledgement that many customers are getting priced out of insurance. A thought-provoking session on the future of motor insurance highlighted how premium inflation is a big issue for drivers already hit by the cost-of-living crisis, with consumers selling their cars, driving far fewer miles and increasingly turning to UBI coverage.
Matthew Brewis, Director of Insurance at the FCA, however, pointed out his organisation wasn’t a price regulator and would not cap the prices. “We cannot force any insurer to write products they do not want to,” he said about the cost of motor insurance for young drivers. He also covered the new Consumer Duty rules and the thinking behind them.
“Our aim is to make sure customers get the products they need and deserve,” he said. “It’s about making sure the customer understands what they are buying and not buying, and that they get support throughout the customer journey.”
Over the course of the day, delegates were treated to insightful and thought-provoking discussions that showcased the full range of innovation underway across the industry, from generative AI and gamification to cars-as-a-service and parametric insurance at scale. Little wonder Bhav Buhecha, Head of Client Relations UK & Europe at Clearspeed, left excited and inspired for the future of this industry.
“I can’t help but express my sheer excitement and gratitude for the incredible experience I’ve had at the Insurance Innovators Summit over the past couple of days,” he said. “These past two days have been nothing short of outstanding, leaving me inspired, enlightened, and brimming with new ideas.”