Underwriters need to tackle the systematic problems in the profession, call out inadequacies that cause harm and let the good shine, according to Philip Williams (pictured), non-executive director of the Society of Underwriting Professionals.
In a statement, Williams said that it is unfortunate that 2020 will be remembered by the public as the year when insurers failed to pay claims as they should, in the face of COVID-19.
Williams, who is also managing director, MGA at Simply Business, urged underwriters to make sure that 2021 will be remembered for the following: ensuring the basics are covered, making sure the assessments of the underlying loss costs were correct, and ensuring adequate protection is in place against events that have proven not that unlikely.
“The product, the customer and the true purpose of insurance have been lost,” he said. “In our working daily lives it is easy to get drawn into the fires burning in front of us, but the insurance profession needs a course correction, one that puts it back on the right track to help consumers in their hours of need.
“There are a huge number of dedicated and caring professionals in our industry that are ready to take up this challenge.
“We need to put these people at the forefront of our professionals, empower them to tackle the systematic problems, allow them to be courageous and call out the inadequacies that cause our profession harm.”
As the market continues to harden, Williams said the importance of good underwriting will become even more evident, and that the balance of power will shift from distribution to underwriting.
“I forecast that 2021 will be a hugely turbulent time for our profession as inevitably hardening markets post major events are, for the product, the organisations, the loss ratios and the individual people in them,” he said.
“But members of the Society of Underwriting Professionals have the skills, knowledge and capability to ensure the insurance profession is better placed emerging into this new normal.”