The value of expertise has been on well-lit display across the global insurance market in recent weeks between major conferences, columns from thought leaders and the input of brilliant spokeswomen like Donna Scully on pressing social challenges from the cost-of-living crisis to the gender pay gap.
The insurance profession is one that naturally seems to draw in people, who, although may be hesitant at first, swiftly become passionate about the role insurance has to play in creating and maintaining a stable and equitable society. To translate that passion and enthusiasm into a proposition that the wider world can understand and relate to takes experts – dedicated, talented individuals willing to engage in the difficult questions and admit that often there are no easy answers.
That’s not to confuse an expert with a specialist - to my mind they remain separate beasts despite the extensive overlap between them. To be an expert is not necessarily to possess the ability to drill deep into any one subject matter but rather to be on hand with explanations, evaluations and – where possible – answers to the questions of those you have imbibed with confidence in your capabilities.
The critical need for expertise and the role of experts in providing insight has only become clearer in recent months, against the backdrop of a wider society in which so many once theoretical questions around pandemics, cyberattacks and war have become so concrete.
It is those same individuals who have translated their appetite for providing the right resolutions into accessible solutions for their clients and partners who are leading the charge of directing the future of the insurance profession at this time. The CFC Summit 2022 – the first of its kind to be held in the UK - was a particular standout in championing the role of the expert.
Authorities on everything from cyber insurance, to the NFT marketplace, to the burgeoning role of healthcare tech came together to share their expertise with brokers, underwriters and the broader insurance distribution chain. The result was a delight to see. Between the engagement from the audience, the poise and conviction of the speakers, and the enthusiasm for the in-person setting – the willingness of the profession to engage with the future of insurance appears self-evident.
There are examples all across the market of experts and expertise coming to the fore. From in-depth industry reports examining the scale of the challenges the industry faces, to leaders providing insight into pricing stabilisations, to ‘Rising Stars’ offering thoughts on what the future of insurance will look like – one and all, these experts have expertise to bring to the table, and an audience that is uniquely primed to pay attention.
I’d be hard-pressed to name an individual I’ve spoken to yet in my time within the industry who didn’t have some expertise, whether or not they recognise it for what it is. But faced with so many examples, there’s less and less excuse for insurance professionals across the ecosystem not to recognise their own influence and to find opportunities where they can lend their insights.
With so much uncertainty in the global environment right now, the die has been cast. And insurance professionals, and brokers, in particular, need to step up and be the expert their clients don’t just expect but need right now – not the person who claims to have all the answers, but rather the one who knows where to find them and will stop at nothing until they do.