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Electronic insurance broking platforms under-utilised in Bermuda

Electronic placing: John Irving, senior account manager at WCL (Photograph supplied)

A London-tech executive said Covid-19 could be pushing the digitisation of the insurance market in Bermuda, at least when it comes to insurance placing, a key part of the insurance process.

John Irving, a senior account manager at Web Connectivity Limited, a firm providing messaging systems to insurance companies in London and Bermuda, said that while electronic broker platforms had become the norm in many countries, the island remained resistant.

“The Bermuda, and London market, prefers relationship-driven, face-to-face interaction,” Mr Irving said.

One insurance underwriter told The Royal Gazette her firm did not use any electronic platform, preferring “bespoke” interaction with clients.

But Mr Irving said: “Since the pandemic, walking around with bits of paper and speaking to people face to face has become more problematic.”

He said that because of the pandemic, digitisation of insurance placing was getting more traction than ever before.

“A few different companies have approached this problem in different ways,” he said.

“Here locally, that has been driven by brokers such as Aon and Guy Carpenter, who have set up their own digital trading platforms. They are effectively a portal for the underwriting community to log in, to see what the risk is, and transact digitally.”

His firm, WCL has launched a system called Enabled Placing that will roll information from other brokerage platforms into one.

“We thought how about we take all of the information contained on the external platforms, we plug into all of them and feed all the information down, all the documents, and present it into one platform that is the underwriter’s screen,” he said.

He said, so far, the reception to the system has been positive.

“We touched a nerve,” he said. “It was very apparent that there was a problem that needed solving.”

He estimated that the new platform saved one to two hours per day of work for the underwriter.

“If you have everything there, you can be so much more organised, task manage better and triage better,” he said. “The underwriter can write better, more diligently and ultimately more profitably.”

He said if there was one platform absorbing all of this information, the underwriter could be exposed to a lot more business that is going on in the world.

“The commercial impacts are wide,” Mr Irving said.

He added that what has stopped this happening in the past is that the take up of all the platforms was minimal. He said the platforms in play in Bermuda were underutilised.

But at least one senior insurance executive in Bermuda disagreed with that assertion.

He said the two platforms available in Bermuda were well utilised by the brokerages’ clients.

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Published December 01, 2022 at 7:41 am (Updated December 01, 2022 at 8:13 am)

Electronic insurance broking platforms under-utilised in Bermuda

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