From: Global Reinsurance Nov. 25, 2016

This year’s Global Reinsurance Monte Carlo roundtable took a deep dive into some of the key innovations disrupting the (re)insurance industry.

The theme for this year’s Global Reinsurance Monte Carlo breakfast roundtable, held in association with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), was ‘Innovation within the reinsurance industry’.

The event, held under Chatham House rules, began by questioning how the senior executives in the room were currently engaging in FinTech within their companies. While it was acknowledge that this was an area where the primary insurance sector had thus far taken the lead with the likes of telematics, wearables and the Internet of Things, those in the room were more than able to express their involvement in this growing area of importance for the industry.

According to one attendee, it was seen as necessary to be abreast of technological changes in order to fully serve the cedents: “We do big data, we do Internet of Things, we do everything – simply to keep up with our clients. We hope to be able to help them, particularly the medium sized players to utilise this technology, and with that be better placed from a reinsurance perspective.”

Another added: “People use FinTech to either reduce their costs, or to better understand their customers. And it is the latter that is of more interest.”

The ability to use technology to better understand the customer and indeed get closer to the client was seen as an essential aspect of the technological evolution and was referenced on a number of occasions.

“One point that is extremely important is that the technology change means that we as reinsurers are getting closer to the risk,” explained one attendee. “We have to understand what is really happening on the insurance side, not only on the reinsurance side.”

The idea that innovation in and of itself is disruptive was challenged, with it being noted that these developments have varying impacts on the value chain: “What do we mean by disruptive innovation? The term gets banged around so much, but is it really disruptive to the whole value chain, or is it really what is called a sustainable innovation, where you’re replacing a little bit, or trying to enhance something.”

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