While I admire how insurtech start-ups continue to lead the way in enabling and disrupting the personal lines insurance market, my passion for being innovative, with or without technology, has always been focused on the commercial insurance side of the business. I do see the humorous side of my passion - I’ve been known to clear a room when I speak enthusiastically about commercial insurance. Hi, my name is David and I’m a commercial insurance geek!
I get it – insurtech has made personal lines insurance look sexy – there’s a constant buzz at conferences, we’re inundated with blogs, articles, twitter feeds and every other form of communication … ever built…. It’s a tsunami of daily information. But let’s be very clear, when you break down the buzz, you’ll find the majority of the enthusiasm for insurtech is clearly weighted towards personal lines insurance.
Yes, commercial insurance industry - you can innovate!
The key point I stress to all clients and startups: technology alone does not create opportunities! A true disruptor is changing the character and structure of decision-making – it’s all about new ways of working by organization and strategic design.
Contrary to popular belief, I’m a firm believer that, within the commercial insurance market, it is easy to create disruptive innovation environments and utilise technology to reduce costs, improve customer service and create new products by generating elements of big data not currently captured by the market – I’ve been doing this for 30+ years and others can also.
Admittedly, I did face enormous internal challenges throughout the years when creating innovative environments and utilising technology - but my enthusiasm to work collaboratively with customers never faltered – even if it meant I had to personally buy database software or learn how to program in .NET or C+ (I know, I just dated myself which is why I didn’t mention learning Pascal! Oops!).
No two risks are the same!
The “one size fits all” commercial insurance product response does not take into consideration that no two risks are alike, even if they are in the same industry. Innovation, technology and experience with multiple commercial insurance products enabled me to successfully collaborate with corporate risk managers to improve products protecting their employees, clients, products, shareholders and balance sheets. These collaborations created strong relationships and it’s how I measure my career successes.
Let's get excited!
In a series of articles, I’ll be tackling some of the key internal obstacles found within commercial insurance organizations and hope to enthuse and encourage others to take a dive in the commercial insurance pool. I know, I know, commercial insurance is not sexy and seems unnecessarily complex, but I hope by highlighting these obstacles and sharing a few examples of how to manage them, others will also be enthused.
Here’s to an exciting year of creating exciting and profitable opportunities within the commercial insurance sector!!!