2017 will be year of technology-driven transformation, say reinsurance execs in year-in-review


While 2016 will, in part, be remembered as the year that the industry looked to embrace technology and finally understood its transformative power for the risk transfer industry, 2017 could be the real game-changer as companies put words into action.

That was the sentiment of a number of Bermuda executives asked by Bermuda:Re+ILS to describe what they felt were the most important events of 2016 and the pertinent topics of 2017. The full range of comments from these executives can be read here.

Kathleen Reardon, CEO of Hamilton Re, said she expects an acceleration of the extent to which companies embrace technology in 2017.

‘While 2016 was the year when the re/insurance industry collectively embraced the need to incorporate data science and analytics into its strategic and operational planning, 2017 will be the year when the ‘rubber hits the road’,’ Reardon said.

‘I expect an acceleration of cross-sector pollination as insuretech gains increasing traction. Those carriers who grasp the possibilities and create organisational and operational structures that enable true innovation will thrive in this environment.’

Many other executives also highlighted this issue. Arthur Wightman, insurance leader at PwC Bermuda, and Matthew Britten, insurance partner at the firm, said that the possibilities present vast opportunities for companies willing to embrace them.

‘Insuretech presents a huge opportunity for the insurance industry. Incumbent insurers who are currently focused on catching up with their competitors around customer-centricity and other current trends are missing the opportunity to become proactive,’ they said.

‘They need to create a clear and consistent message that will demonstrate their willingness to play in the new insuretech space and act accordingly—only such an approach will position incumbents to be frontrunners in the new insurance era.

‘To embrace insuretech, incumbents should take concrete steps: exploration, strategic partnerships, insuretech involvement and new product development.’

Craig Swan, managing director, supervision of the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA), agreed, comparing the importance of the technology revolution to the early days of convergence when the first insurance-linked securities (ILS) were launched.

‘The growth of fintech has a potentially major impact on the global reinsurance market. I have not seen anything this potentially market-altering since the initial growth of ILS a few years ago,’ he said.

‘However, it remains to be seen what the actual impact of startup insuretech companies will be. Like ILS and the Bermuda Special Purpose Insurers (SPIs) that followed, insuretech companies may only represent a small piece of the global reinsurance market, but it has the potential to be disruptive to insurers that do not keep pace.’

Senior executives from companies including PwC, Brit, the ABIR, Hamilton Re, Hiscox Re and the Bermuda Monetary Authority participated in the examination of 2016 and look forward to 2017. To read the full transcript of their thoughts and comments, please click here.

Hamilton Re, Bermuda, Insurance, Reinsurance, Technology, IT, Analytics, Insuretech, PwC Bermuda, ILS, BMA, Fintech

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