We had a fantastic time hosting our Morning Matters breakfast briefing last month. The event welcomed an expert panel of delegates from across the industry to listen to, and ask questions about the pressing issues of the day from an insurance angle.

The panel included: Steve White, CEO BIBA, Paul Vlissidis, Cyber Lead on Channel 4’s Hunted and Technical Director at NCC Group, Peter Blanc, CEO Aston Scott and Lark Group, Dylan Bourguignon, CEO so-sure, Markel’s Professional and Management Risks Line Manager Liam Greene and Richard Brooks, Sales Director, Abbey Legal – hosted by Jonathan Swift, Director of Content, Insurance Post.

The panel referred to 2017 as a year of ambiguity, with an influx in terror attacks and negotiations post-Brexit causing uncertainty for the industry’s businesses and consumers.

The members discussed an array of topics which have dominated the geopolitical landscape, including; the BBC pay gap scandal, the abolishment of tribunal fees, the rise of cyber-attacks, Insurtech and Ransomware, to name just a few.

Richard Brooks stated the combination of the BBC scandal which raised awareness of pay inequality along with the abolition of tribunal fees is likely to fuel a significant increase in employment dispute cases, most likely back to the same levels that were last seen in 2013. Therefore, having an effective legal advice line should be considered an essential form of risk management for businesses, with as few as 1% of the calls received every year by Abbey Legal going on to litigation.

On the topic of Brexit, the panel on the whole were pessimistic about its impact, with Peter Blanc commenting: “I would like to believe it will be a short-term painful situation for the UK.”Steve White raised issues mentioned in the BIBA manifesto ahead of May 2018; OGDEN rate changes, the weight of regulation introduction of GDPR, and of course Brexit, causing uncertainty as talks progress and the issue of corporate tax.The discussion touched upon the disruption of cyber-attacks such as WannaCry, with Paul Vlissidis flagging that the industry needs clearer definitions of what counts as a cyber issue, which Peter Blanc and Liam Greene echoed. These topics highlighted the key role GDPR (General Data Protection Regulations) will play when it is introduced next May.

Looking ahead, Dylan Bourguignon noted that much of the investment in InsurTech is now coming from insurers who do not want to see disruption to the market. Richard Brooks’ outlook for success in an uncertain future is to prioritise risk management, proposing that pricing and product can of course be easily e-traded – however proposition less so. Brokers and insurers should always be able to differentiate themselves through the added value services they provide – such as effective risk management tools like professionally qualified legal advice and stress counselling.

Overall, the discussion raised some interesting topics and was a great success. The key message? Brokers should not fear disruption from InsurTech.

Read Insurance Age’s write-up here. (subscription required)
Thanks to all guests who attended and our panel of experts.

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