Insurance was first to adopt computers – so why has it fallen behind?

Insurance was first to adopt computers – so why has it fallen behind? | Insurance Business

Insurance was first to adopt computers – so why has it fallen behind?

Delta Insurance claims manager Petra Lucioli is best known for her experience in liability claims, but has also been a leader in the insurer’s technological transformation – an evolution she says insurers are increasingly interested in, but are not always doing right.

Lucioli points out that insurers were actually some of the earliest adopters of new technology, and says that ongoing change is being increasingly stimulated by newer players entering the market with new ideas on how to interact with customers.

“Technology in insurance is changing hugely,” Lucioli told Insurance Business. “I have always been very heavily involved in the technology development of insurance companies, and I now lead the development of a bespoke underwriting system for Delta Insurance. I’ve lead the creation of the new and current claims system here, and I’ve also acted as project lead in the implementation of payroll systems, and other similar projects. So, I’ve always got that second string to my bow.”

“Insurers were actually some of the first adopters of computers,” Lucioli continued. “In the very early days of the computer, the insurers and banks were the first to use them - and I think, oddly, that’s why it’s taken so long for the insurance industry to change, because they’ve gotten stuck with all these legacy issues.”

Lucioli says that, often, insurers run into hardship when updating because their legacy systems simply go back too far. Nonetheless, she says insurers are now being pushed towards change by increased competition from new, innovative insurance players who focus on customer-side efficiency as a key selling point.

“I think what’s finally happening is that insurers are really getting involved with the modern world,” she said. “But what we’re also seeing is that a lot of start-up insurers are using new technology without any legacy issues, and I think that that is really pushing the industry to strive towards change.”

“When it comes to things like artificial intelligence and online platforms, those are also beginning to change things a great deal for the consumer,” Lucioli continued. “I think what hasn’t quite happened yet, but will start happening soon, is that people’s roles in the industry will change as a result of that technology.

“I’m an optimist, and I hope that this would lead to administrative staff being able to move to more meaningful roles in the industry, and that technology will just take out some of the administrative burden. What we will then do is focus people’s roles on their interactions with people, rather than just carrying out processes. In this sense, I see technology as a very good thing for the industry.”