National Insurance Awareness Day is a great day for our industry.
Insurance plays a critical role in our civilisation. The concept of sharing risk and risk transfer dates as far back as ancient Babylon in the Code of Hammurabi; the “bottomry” of ships in ancient Rome; Medieval guilds where members would pay money to cover for loss events; or our more contemporary counterparts in the late 1600s, and in particular people gathering at the London coffee house of a certain Edward Lloyd where the first “modern” insurance policies where placed.
The need for transferring risk has always existed, and as the nature of risk has become more complex, as our societies have evolved, so has the nature of risk, and we as an industry have always stepped up to the plate finding new and creative ways to assess, quantify, price, service and provide safety for our policyholders.
From policies literally written in stone, to pieces of parchment, to Lutine Bells, to the advent of the microchip, digitization, Big Data, faster modelling, AI and now parametric and embedded insurance, we have more data and tools than ever to be able to service our clients even more accurately.
We are at an unprecedented time when experience, the human craft of risk analysis and hundreds of years of tradition are converging with technologies within data, data transfer, modelling, predictiveness and a wave of young, diverse talent marrying old and new – “how it always has been done” with “how it can be” – making the analysis and service of risk and risk transfer more efficient than ever. Now, instead of “replacing” or “removing”, we are powering-up and supercharging every part of the (re)insurance value chain with a next generation of tools and process that are complementary to each other.
As an example of how far we have come: we have the power of IoT and APIs to have real time sensor data of a ship, big data and data streaming to ingest weather data, predictive modelling to give parametric coverage, and the ability to deliver all of this data and insights – minus the tedious and manual labour – powered by cloud technologies at scale to thousands of (re)insurance experts rapidly so they have the best tools to manage risk while interconnecting with different systems and participants in the value chain.
On this day of reflection, we must maintain an open mind to managing risk, the same way that it has been throughout the history of risk transfer.