UK insurance ‘dissected’


I felt compelled to respond to some comments that were prompted by a previous article:

IBM Insurance:: does the industry really care what customers want? I wonder…

The following comments come from a, highly experienced and senior, former insurance executive, who now works for one of the major Global Consulting firms. Obviously I wouldn’t name names without first gaining the approval of the individual in question but I really wanted to share my thoughts. After all that’s why I blog.

For many years I have eagerly anticipated some meaningful debate with thought leaders, passionate or concerned people from within the insurance industry. But I have been, consistently disappointed. I wish I was more confident that these views might spark some meaningful discussion…but I won’t hold my breath!

The comments:

I think David Wilson is making the point that despite the results of the IBM survey, he’s seeing little action from the UK insurance industry. I think at the moment UK and Western European insurers have their hands full with Regulation – Solvency II, RDR – and this is diverting their attention.

Even so, in terms of innovation, UK insurers (or at least Northern European insurers) are seen as leading the global pack in terms of capital effectiveness and optimisation, with the North American market looking to UK as an example of best practice especially in the area of risk management.

My response:

What are the key issues identified:

  1. Compliance with additional Regulation – brought about by cultural, operational and regulatory failures
  2. UK & Europe seen as innovation leaders – based upon the above, should this be the case? And,
  3. capital effectiveness and optimisation – are these correct metrics for innovation and compliance?
  4. risk management – where is the evidence of “best practice”? – I see plenty of evidence of “bad practice” that has become ‘accepted practice’ across the industry. What are current practices in relation to complexity, business resilience and systemic risk?
    Insurance and banking have convinced themselves that they have been/are innovative but, if this is true, why are they the least trusted and most complained about industries according to their customers? Does that not explain the perceived need for more regulation?

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Survey confirms concerns with supply chain insurance | FERMA


Future supply chainThis is a topic that has occupied much of my thinking (and writing) in recent years and I am still not convinced that the scale and nature of the risks are fully understood. NOW must be the time for another smart insurer (FM Global have already acted) to respond to their customers’ stated needs!

Global logistics (and reverse logistics) have changed dramatically in the last decade and further changes with considerable insurance implications are predicted for the next 5 years. THE opportunity exists NOW, to address a major and growing problem for fragile global business networks in these uncertain times and in the, hopefully, less volatile times ahead.

How???

By embedding Ontonix "Complexity & Resilience risk technology" within Supply Chain solutions, that:

– extends the risk horizon into the Corporate ecosystem by analysing the structure in information within system (network) data

– enables rapid and regular measurement of the "health" of the system

– identifies areas of risk at source

enables the business owners to become “Risk Leaders”: measure; map; mitigate; manage; monitor, system complexity and resilience to:

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Haldane & May: Systemic risk in banking


socio complexityNot news, unless you have been living in a cave…in which case I could probably recommend some more appropriate reading!

Assuming (dear reader) that you have some interest in the topic(s) this is a very interesting piece. It can be found/downloaded here.

Andy Haldane (Director at Bank of England), Mervyn King and Lord May have been on this “tack” for at least 2 years – I have come speeches, papers or presentations on the subject if anyone is interested – and I have referred to their views in various blog articles over that period.

However, I did want to share this section from the conclusion. Because, these gents have recognised that there is a great deal that we can learn, about, both, cause and solution, from Nature. However, as they point out, due to the Political processes that will, inevitably, affect Bank of England, it is unlikely that solutions will be implemented quickly!

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Insurance innovation: an oxymoron stuck in 3rd!


The transition from 1 to 3 was relatively straightforward because greater operational efficiencies and product commoditisation enabled insurers – and brokers whose aspirations matched theirs – to sell more by reducing pricing and increasing commissions.

But a “high growth” strategy is an all-or-nothing commitment that, eventually, has to take its toll upon the products and services provided. When GWP and ROI become the focus they do so, inevitably, at the expense of customer:

peace of mind; service; satisfaction; trust and (with them) reputational damage for the industry

So, as retention rates declined, an industry that, since its earliest days, thrived upon trust, loyalty and stability chose to spend increasing amounts on marketing and sales that promote – even reward – disloyalty and volatility!

Insurance system graphic(1)

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