Yesterday evening Flint Hyde hosted a dinner with representatives from across the insurance sector, including senior professionals from the MGA arena, reinsurance market, Lloyd's, retail insurance, and broking.
The intent was to bring the reality of the disruptive force of InsurTech to a different audience, and stimulate debate on the impact of technical innovations on the way the market operates day-to-day.
We were fortunate to have one of the foremost thinkers in this space, David Smith - CEO of Global Futures and Foresight, deliver an exciting and impassioned presentation on what is just over the horizon. In my experience, the normal audience for this kind of debate will include, for example, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Information Officers, COOs, and generally people from a back office environment. The reality is that much of the new innovation coming in to the insurance sector is about better customer/client engagement, and will ultimately impact underwriters and brokers as much, if not more than their peers in operational functions.
David discussed both the positive benefits and potential threats of technological advancement, and the group of knowledgeable and experienced underwriters, brokers, and front end professionals in the room raised a number of interesting points. One that really stuck in my mind was the ethical question about the decision making power of an autonomous vehicle - a la I Robot (Will Smith movie) where the robot saves the hero rather than a 12 year old girl due to the higher probability of his survival - if the car has to make the decision between swerving in to a crowd of people to avoid an out of control lorry, or taking the hit and most likely ending the life of the passenger, what would it do?
Of course, there was much more specific discussion about the real impact of tech on the way business is transacted, emerging risks, and generally to people's jobs, but ultimately there was acceptance that disruption is real, and current.
Flint Hyde host a number of executive dinners throughout the year: http://www.flinthyde.co.uk/financial/dinner-testimonials