At the 2017 Advisen Casualty Insights Conference, a panel of risk managers discussed the disruptors they are seeing in their business and disruptors they would like to see in the insurance marketplace.
The panel included:
- Stephen Kempsey – U.S. Casualty Practice Leader, Marsh (moderator)
- Jennifer De La Torre – AVP Risk Management, AT&T
- Roger Hammer – Director Risk Management, American Water Works Service Company, Inc.
- Jesse Paulson – Executive-Insurance, General Electric Company
How is disruption in your industry impacting your business?
- Disruption can be a great thing when it comes to technology. It can lead to rapid improvement in efficiency.
- Acquisitions can be a disruptor and we are seeing more of these in certain industries. There is ample capital available to assist in facilitating these.
- Disruptive technology is not only something you can push out to clients, but it is something you can use to improve yourself.
- Inconsistent supply of materials and the aging infrastructure are disruptors that can impact your business in an adverse way.
Are there any wholesale changes to your day-to-day job because of these disruptors?
- You need to be able to understand how these changes and new items impact you from a risk management perspective. For example, if you are using drones to conduct high-hazard inspections, what issues could arise from that?
- Change requires you be an educator. Both internally, in developing new procedures and controls, and externally, with helping carrier markets fully understand your operations and the risks associated with them.
- Innovation can mean you are dealing with lots of new vendors. As a risk manager, this means managing more insurance contracts, indemnification agreements, etc. Many of these vendors may be start-ups that are not sophisticated on the risk management side.
- As a risk manager, you need to continually educate yourself so you understand the new innovations and products you are working with. You cannot perform a risk assessment if you do not understand the potential risk and how it interacts with your other processes.
How is the changing workforce impacting your industry?
- The aging workforce is a concern because many key employees will be retiring in the coming years. There are challenges in recruiting new employees into your operation. This is especially true if you work in a more-traditional 9-to-5 industry. It is challenging if you are recruiting for an industry that requires employees to be in the office 40 hours a week, but you are competing with other industries that allow flexible work-from-home options.
- The gig economy is changing the expectations of workers. This necessitates companies reviewing their culture to ensure it is still relevant and appropriate for the changing workforce.
Where would you like to see disruption in the insurance industry?
- Technology is moving fast and we want our insurance partners to be moving fast also. The insurance industry needs to be monitoring change and innovation and make sure they are bringing new products to the marketplace to address the new risks.
- One thing I would really like to see is simplicity of coverage. Policies with multiple endorsements and exclusions create confusion.
- Why does it take months to get a complete and accurate policy? This is not acceptable. (This was a major source of frustration for all the panelists.)
- When you are dealing with international exposures, why is it so difficult to invoice in the correct currency?
- There needs to be more advancement in technology around fleet safety. There are some great simulators available for driver training but these things are not scaled across a large client base.
- There is room to improve the efficiency of many aspects of the insurance industry.