Broker Profitability: Tony Cornell’s take on the industry :: Insurance Age
Friday, 13 January, 2012 Leave a comment
So, Tony Cornell’s macro perspective mirrors my own conclusions and contradicts the sentiments expressed in the recent PwC survey…no surprise there then! I have already declared my own opinion that a “mood of optimism” was, at best, dangerously naive.
The coming year will be a difficult one for growth. Inflation is likely to return to low levels, economic growth will be non-existent and competition will remain fierce. Margins will be under attack and cutting expenses to match a potential fall in income will be a survival strategy for most. This means, yet again, lower standards of service from insurers, hardening claims attitudes, re-organisations and staff reductions. Consolidators will need to concentrate on integration and achieving economies of scale other than through commission leverage. It will be a difficult year…
Tony knows the UK insurance industry better than most and has been sharing his thoughts for more years than he would (probably) admit. What Tony does not know is that unmanaged and excessive complexity is at the root of many of these issues. YET, AN INDUSTRY THAT PROFESSES TO KNOW ABOUT RISK EXPOSURE, IS “CONTENT” TO CARRY ON AS THEY HAVE DONE, DESPITE; A RADICALLY CHANGED ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT AND; WITHOUT REALLY CONSIDERING THE EXTENT OF THE CONTRIBUTION TO THEIR OWN PLIGHT; ATTEMPTING TO TACKLE TODAY’S PROBLEMS WITH YESTERDAY’S TOOLS, OR; RECOGNISING THAT TREATING UNCERTAINTY AS IF IT WERE RISK, IN THE “DIGITAL AGE”, IS AN UNFORGIVEABLE ERROR.