James Willison, WCL’s Managing Director, shares his top five takeaways from the Virtual TINtech London Market Conference, where the insurance and reinsurance market’s top IT professionals gather to talk about how technology can support the industry’s digital transformation.
Last week the WCL team attended and sponsored the Virtual TINtech London Market 2021 conference. Following an unprecedented 2020, with a global pandemic, a move to virtual working and the publication of the much anticipated Future at Lloyd’s Blueprint Two from Lloyd’s of London – the topic of market modernisation has become a major priority for many in the insurance and reinsurance industry.
As well as attending the event, I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion on the topic of London market modernisation and Blueprint Two. I was joined by industry experts Darren Sharp, Group Head of IT at Tokio Marine Kiln Group, and Toby Ducker, Chief Operating Officer at Axis Managing Agency and Axis Specialty Europe & Head of Operations, International Insurance at AXIS Capital Group.
Here are my top five takeaways from the event.
1. A digital future for the London Market, not just for Lloyd’s
The developments in the updated Future at Lloyd’s initiative and its targeted approach to modernisation was a key talking point at the event. While Blueprint One positioned Lloyd’s as the technology provider for its modernisation, Blueprint Two focuses more on Lloyd’s providing the governance for the standards of digital transformation in the market. The feeling from many at the conference was that this shift was a positive approach from Lloyd’s and allows for the digital development and transformation of the entire London insurance market – not just for the Lloyd’s market.
2. 2021 is the year of API’s and ecosystems
If you have never heard of APIs before, this is the year they will shine. APIs (application programming interface) is the process of sending information and data back and forth between applications and is the backbone of any digital strategy. For Lloyd’s and the London market, APIs will make insurance a truly connected market with the flexibility required to access new and legacy data sets. The ease of data flow will have increasing importance in back office processes, as volumes of ACORD Technical Account and Financial Account messaging – EBOT (Electronic Back Office Transactions), and ECOT (Electronic Claims Office Transactions) continue to increase. By adopting universal standards such as eBOT and eCOT, coupled with API connectivity, Lloyd’s will increase efficiency across the market, reduce costs and align London with the rest of the world.
3. Financial certainty
In 2004 the FSA set the challenge for the London market to end the deal now detail later approach. The market responded, and this challenge of contract certainty was met, partly through adoption of a paper standard the Market Reform Contract (MRC). The market has how been tasked with meeting financial certainty at bind, so that downstream processes – settlement of premium and claims – can flow automatically, without manual intervention through adoption of a digital standard named the intelligent Market Reform Contract (iMRC).
4. Core data records and the digital spine
Lloyd’s focus on an end-to-end journey for the customer will, for the first time, link the lifecycle of the insurance transaction from placement through to accounting, payment, endorsements, claims, renewals and reporting. Whilst participants welcomed this end to manual processing, the core data record will be key to support this initiative. The core data record referenced in Lloyd’s Blueprint Two will be established to capture placement data post-bind which will provide a single point of reference for subsequent processes such as payment, claims, renewals. When businesses involved at various points of the transaction have access to and can understand the detail of the core data record the market can truly move to a fully digital marketplace.
5. The practical challenges
The most important aspect to ensuring success with the initiatives in Blueprint Two is the removal of multiple processes. The concerns of how new systems and legacy systems will interact, as well as multiple markets (Lloyd’s and company markets), is the potential for multiple processes and multiple systems increases. To ensure one process, provisions need to be made to allow for the seamless transition between platforms to access new and old data stores. Through Blueprint Two we have a clear and consistent approach to digital transformation – lets keep it that way.
This holistic view from Blueprint Two of a London Market approach is important to allow for companies to time their transformation programs to ensure participants can move at their own speed.
Essential in all initiatives set out by Lloyd’s is this idea of utilisation of data. From the point of transaction, data can be used to create the digital spine, which will streamline and increase efficiency in the downstream process of placement to movement of money (both premiums and claims). What was clear from all participants at the event was Blueprint Two feels more different, more decisive, than any other market-wide programme before.