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Duperreault speaks at Las Vegas tech event

Tech talk: Brian Duperreault in conversation with Oliver Wyman's Matthew Leonard at the InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas

Brian Duperreault told an audience of tech entrepreneurs how his Bermuda insurance company is using data science to improve underwriting.

The Hamilton Insurance Group chairman and chief executive officer was a featured speaker at the first-ever InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The event was billed as the largest and most comprehensive gathering of tech entrepreneurs, investors and insurers.

“Two Sigma are scientists,” Mr Duperreault told a standing-room-only audience of 1,500 during a conversation with Oliver Wyman partner Matthew Leonard.

“We felt that what Two Sigma has applied so brilliantly to investment management — analysing and coming to a position on a company — could be applied to insurance. The great thing was they were as excited as we were about putting aside how things have been done in the past and trying something new.”

Mr Duperreault said legacy is the greatest single challenge to addressing inefficiency in risk selection and pricing.

“Most people think that legacy refers to systems but it’s actually legacy held by the people in the industry,” he said.

“People don’t like and don’t want to change. It’s human nature, and we do tend to cling to what we know. This is a huge inhibiting factor in effecting meaningful change in the insurance industry.”

Mr Duperreault said that Attune, the joint venture that Hamilton has established with AIG and Two Sigma, is focused on using data science and technology to transform the underwriting process in the $80 billion small- to medium-sized enterprise (SME) commercial insurance market in the US.

He stressed that Attune is not a direct-to-consumer play — the platform will provide brokers and agents with state-of-the-art technology that takes the ‘hassle’ out of the rate-quote-bind-policy issuance process.

“This is the choice of the buyers,” said Mr Duperreault. “They want to purchase their coverage from a trusted adviser and for them, that’s their broker or agent.”