Dubai World Insurance Congress calls for faster digitisation

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01 Mar 2018

Dubai World Insurance Congress calls for faster digitisation

Credit: Visit Dubai


The global insurance industry should work towards faster digitisation to redefine their business model to be relevant in a digitally driven world according to industry experts speaking at the second edition of the Dubai World Insurance Congress (DWIC) that opened in Dubai on Monday.

“In the past decade, technological advances from artificial intelligence to blockchain have transformed business models in every sector and insurance is no exception. Dubai World Insurance Congress embraced the future of the industry with insights from the sector’s most established and innovative leaders,” said Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority.

DIFC’s insurance community includes start-ups and disruptive entrepreneurs as well as world’s leading firms. The financial centre expects significant growth in this sector. DIFC has developed into a leading insurance and reinsurance hub, home to 98 insurance-related entities and more than 1,000 insurance-related staff.

The GCC’s insurance sector is expected to reach $62.1 billion by 2020 and set to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 18.7 per cent between 2014 and 2020, emphasising the region’s significance as a growth market for the industry.

Keynote speakers for DWIC’s first day included Eric Andersen, Chief Executive Officer of AON Benfield, who presented a global view on the theme of emerging markets, emerging technologies, emerging customers. Emil Bauer Griston, co-founder of Remitradar, spoke about accessing emerging market consumers through technologies such as artificial intelligence.

Vincent Vandendael, Chief Commercial Officer of Lloyd’s of London, discussed new business models making insurance fit for the future. Industry representatives discussed the dynamic nature of technology adoption in every sphere of life.

“Every industry is changing the way in which they are doing business with today’s digitally enabled consumers. Insurance industry can’t sit back and watch. Instead the industry should work towards delivering what the consumers want,” said Vandendael.

For global insurers, digital transformation and disruptive innovation have gone from being vague futuristic concepts to immediate-term action items on senior leaders’ strategic agendas, according to a recent study by EY.

Industry leaders said that today’s consumers are naturally omni-channel, researching products online, recommending and talking about them with friends and contacts on social media, and then buying them via mobile apps or at brick-and-mortar retail locations. Basically, they want a wide range of options — text, email, web chat, phone and sometimes in-person. A better omni-channel environment may also enable insurers to place new products in front of potential customers sooner and more directly than in the past.

Panel discussions and workshops that addressed a number of issues, including artificial intelligence and its implications for the insurance industry, risk management in aerospace and the impact and opportunity of blockchain technology in the insurance sector.

While the application of advanced analytical techniques to large and ever-expanding data sets is important for insurers in risk analysis, customer onboarding and pricing; telematics, and satellite-based technologies are becoming foundations for risk assessment and dynamic risk pricing, experts said.