Traditional service more important than ever in the face of tech

Traditional service more important than ever in the face of tech | Insurance Business

Traditional service more important than ever in the face of tech
Technology will not be the death knell of traditional practices in the broking and insurance industry but will help brokers competing in the SME space, an industry scholarship winner has said.

Michael Forster, professional and financial lines specialist at Suncorp Group, was recently announced as the winner of the Australian Professional Indemnity Group (APIG) and Wotton + Kearney scholarship and said that while technology will impact the financial lines area, tradition will remain important.

“Technology that facilitates a streamlined or automated placement process will be increasingly important for insurers and brokers competing for simple SME risks,” Forster told Insurance Business.

“But traditional underwriting and good service will remain more important than the latest technological advances for insurers and brokers dealing with complex, large or unusual risks.”

Forster won the industry scholarship earlier this month with a submission that dealt with the potential challenges of managing financial lines portfolios using systems, processes and actuarial or analytical methods in personal lines and commoditised commercial lines areas.

With some commercial lines called the next battleground between brokers and direct insurers, Forster noted that the use of actuarial and analytical methods in the commercial space could have “limited applicability” in financial lines portfolios.

“This is because financial lines portfolios are, from an actuarial perspective, quite small and comprised of diverse risks with relatively volatile and unpredictable claims; this is not helpful for analysis that relies on a wealth of data and the ability to make reliable projections based on past trends,” Forster said, discussing his scholarship submission.

“Therefore actuarial/analytical methods will need modification in order to provide truly helpful insights and recommendations for financial lines portfolios.

“Relevant insights and recommendations can contribute to the setting and monitoring of a clear financial lines portfolio strategy that supports the business’ broader strategy.”

Forster will travel to the UK as part of his scholarship prize with a trip to Lloyd’s and the Professional Indemnity Forum, held in Oxford on the cards.

With young professionals a hot topic in the industry, whether that be attracting talent or keeping talent in the industry, Forster encouraged others to enter scholarship programs as the financial incentives are not the only benefit.

 “Scholarships and prizes aside, the time spent on your application will help you to develop, refine and clarify your own ideas and views,” he said.

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