Brian Duperreault, chairman and CEO of Hamilton Group, has said that intermediaries will still have a role to play in the industry if they can set bring “a level of expertise and counsel that far surpasses” other experiences.
Speaking at the 23rd
annual A.M. Best conference held in Arizona last week, Duperreault said that the changing dynamics of consumers will impact the intermediary market but he believes brokers will still play a role in the industry.
“The role of the broker and agent has been evolving for years, but data analytics is one of the greatest threats – or opportunities – for the partners who help us develop and distribute our products,” Duppereault said.
“Who owns the data? Who interprets it? Does the insurer or the insured need anyone to do that anymore?
“Then there’s the duality of the role that brokers and agents play. They represent the insurer’s interest as well as the insured. Serving two masters is never easy. How well can you do that in an age of colliding data sets?
“I think the answer to whether there’s still value in an intermediary is a qualified yes – IF the broker or agent brings a level of expertise and counsel that far surpasses what the carrier offers or the client can determine by himself.
“This means setting the gold standard for manipulating and interpreting data.”
In his forward-looking address, Duppereault revealed that his businesses will take a “cautious position on cyber,” as the business will not write the class until they can find an approach that gives them “comfort.”
“At Hamilton, we’re taking a cautious position on cyber,” Duperreault told attendees.
“We’re not writing it as a class until we’ve identified an approach that gives us comfort.
“We haven’t found one yet, mainly because there’s been a tendency to underestimate the interconnectedness of cyber risk.”
Duperrealut went on to discuss the importance of sensors and data linked to sensors will play in the insurance industry over the coming years and these issues will also weigh heavily on the cyber market.
“Too often, discussion about cyber revolves around hacking,” Duppereault continued.
“But if you put any credence in what I just said about the impact of sensor data, you have to believe that there’s data-based risk in everything we do nowadays.
“If that’s true, what are the implications for cyber?”