“Has insurance always been this interesting or am I having a seizure?”
Last night, along with Rein4ce Managing Director Stephen Breen (@reinsurancePR), I (@rein4ceCaitlin) attended the Insurance Day London Market Awards 2019. Hosting the event was the incredibly funny comedian Sally Phillips (a very popular UK entertainer, probably best known for her role in the Bridget Jones films) who seemed to have an extremely good grasp of insurance (although my colleague Sarah Hills aka @ILSDiva tells me she has also compered the @TradingRisk awards, so she must be becoming quite the expert). During her opening speech, she asked “has insurance always been this interesting… or am I having a seizure?”
Amid the mass change within the industry that is currently happening, it is all too easy to become distracted and forget what an extremely interesting market it is that we work in. It took someone from outside the industry to come in and remind me that insurance is, and has always been, “this interesting”. The quality of the finalists at the Insurance Day event, and the reasons behind their submissions perfectly illustrated how transformative, innovative and really cool this market can be.
Pool Re scored its second hattrick of the year at an industry awards event – being described by the judging panel as ‘changing the landscape of insurability’ to close the protection gap when it won the award for ‘Insurance Initiative of the Year’. The reinsurer also won ‘Transaction of the Year’ with its successful placement of the ‘world’s first and only catastrophe bond that purely covers terrorism risk’ which helped to create a new Insurance-Linked Securities (ILS) asset class.
For an industry too often criticised for being ‘old-fashioned’ and ‘slow to modernise’ there were six finalists in the ‘Insurtech Initiative of the Year’ and in the ‘Diversity and Talent Management Initiative of the Year’ categories. The Insurtech winners, Insurdata, specialise in the augmentation of peril-specific exposure and risk data. Diversity and Talent Management winners DXC Technology won with their DXC Digital Minds programme, which has over 170 delegates and was founded to ensure diversity and talent remain high on the market’s agenda.
Meanwhile, the top four ‘Newsmaker of the Year’ finalists included Future at Lloyd’s, MMC acquiring JLT, Stephen Catlin returning to the market with Convex and the launch of McGill & Partners. This again illustrates how exciting the insurance and reinsurance industry is at the moment.
At the risk of repeating myself, and sounding like a total nerd, we as an industry have to do a better job at showing those outside the market how fascinating insurance is. And now is the time to do so in order to address the talent crisis that is creeping up on the industry.
And no Sally you weren’t having a seizure, insurance is really this interesting.