London’s speciality insurance and reinsurance firms are planning major investments in technology – especially in robotics – in an effort to ensure they retain their status as leaders in the global insurance market.
Research from NTT Data UK reveals that the companies, collectively known as The London Market, see a broad scope of applications for new technology.
According to the 100 senior London Market syndicates, brokers and managing agents surveyed, investment in technology will double on average over the next three years.
Three-fifths (60%) of leaders were clear that business-as-usual is not acceptable going forward, with 67% agreeing that innovation was key to success and a majority (69%) concerned at being left behind by modernisation.
Robotic process automation (RPA) was identified by 70% as having a significant potential impact, and 73% pointing to RPA’s ability to speed up the manual processes that still dominate back-office operations in insurance.
Other motivations for driving increased uptake of technology were data security (69%), increased efficiency (62%) and customer-client demand (54%).
Over half (51%) are focusing budget on artificial intelligence and machine learning, exploring use cases like using AI in underwriting to recognise patterns in large data-sets and inform human decision-making.
NTT Data UK head of insurance and diversity and inclusion Kim Gray said: "After 300 years as a world leader, the London speciality insurance market faces numerous challengers biting at its heels. This research demonstrates that the drumbeat of digital innovation is forcing the incumbents to wake up and start to plan for the future.
“Technologies like RPA offer huge opportunities for insurers to speed up previously manual processes, cutting costs and improving the customer experience. RPA, and other automation technology, sits neatly alongside existing employee skillsets, empowering them to spend more of their time on value-added analytical tasks.
"It is imperative that organisations have a definitive strategy for change. The technology change programme has to be integrated with the rest of the business, with the vision and budget to implement the right technology for the organisation.
“Several organisations within London Market, such as Tokio Marine Kiln, are already leading the way on using RPA in their processes, providing vital leadership for others to follow."