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Risk in Context

Marine Insurance Digitalisation: 5 Key Takeaways

Posted by Marcus Baker 18 September 2019

The insurance industry is one of the last to face disruption from digitalisation. Although the industry has survived 300 years on paper-based systems, it is now looking to embrace opportunities from emerging technologies, with the pace of innovation accelerating in the last two to three years.

Five key findings emerged from the panel on "The Benefits of Marine Insurance Digitalisation" at the London International Shipping Week Conference 2019. These findings will help organisations connected to the maritime insurance industry to prepare for and thrive in the new digital era.

  1. Benefits of Digitalisation
    Access to real-time data that empowers brokers and insurers with insights to react quickly will be a game changer. Ultimately, digitalisation will drive transformation, leading to greater operational efficiencies.
  2. Win-Win
    Technology will affect the whole value chain from ship owners through to brokers, insurers, and reinsurers. The broker’s role will move away from purely transactional to providing better insight on risk and exposure through analysing meaningful data. Insurers will be able to react swiftly to a vessel on the move and adapt prices and coverage in real time to manage risks more accurately.
  3. Shift in Talent
    Brokers will need to acquire new talent with a strong data and analytics skillset. Marsh is dealing with this demand by doubling intake for its graduate recruitment programme. Concirrus, an insurtech, forecasts that it will double its workforce in the next 12 months, predominately in data-related jobs. The big picture from EY is that talent from the big defence and security sectors is moving to the digital end of the insurance sector.
  4. Rise in Partnerships and Clusters
    Given the speed in technological development and converging challenges, many players are harnessing talent by forming partnerships and clusters with insurtech companies. This is a low-risk strategy that enables insurers and brokers to invest in emerging technologies. It will fast-track research and development to launch new products and solutions in the market, while adhering to evolving legal and compliance requirements.
  5. Preparing for Digitalisation
    "Leadership," "ambition" and "innovation" are the key traits required for the marine insurance industry to prepare for a digital future in the short to medium term. It's vital that a leader can effectively communicate the vision of a digital future to their organisation. An organisation also needs the ambition to reinvent itself to meet higher expectations from clients in a digital era. The challenge is to find innovation that is viable and meaningful to clients and delivers growth to your business.

We would like to thank the participants on the panel session:
Nick Roscoe, COO at Concirrus
Ian Meadows, associate partner at EY
James Livett, associate director Liiba (Moderator)

Related to:  Marine

Marcus Baker

Global Head of Marine & Cargo