October 9, 2020
It’s that time of year again, when eager retailers start putting out the holiday cheer a little too early, and reinsurance buyers and sellers start getting their renewal wish lists ready.
In the reinsurance world, we are lucky to get a double helping of packages during the holidays, with mountains of submission packs in addition to the usual gifts and secret Santa celebrations. And yet, we seem to spend more time unwrapping these seasonal bundles than actually enjoying them.
As a former reinsurance pricing actuary, I remember eagerly awaiting the submission packs from our favourite brokers and cedents. But I also remember that, along with colleagues, we would spend 90% of our time opening, downloading, unzipping, copying and pasting their contents, before we could actually get any work done.
What we really wanted was access to the good stuff - the premiums, rate changes, loss runs and so on - so that we could get stuck into our analysis. But scattered as it was across pdfs, spreadsheets and file sharing portals, our highly skilled team was instead left to manually retype the numbers we wanted into our pricing tools.
There wasn’t much time left to read the narrative, which only occasionally aligned to what our analytics uncovered anyway. In the best case, this meant chasing our broker friends with questions on exhibit outputs and missing claims details, and in the worst, loading the price substantially if not declining the business altogether.
Badly wrapped presents can cost cedents a fortune, even if what’s inside is actually running quite well. But it’s not the brokers, the underwriters or the cedents at fault: there simply isn’t the digital packaging available for the complexities of global reinsurance deals.
Or at least, there didn’t used to be. The reinsurance equivalent of Santa’s sleigh, able to deliver packages globally in record time, is closer than you might expect.
That’s why I decided to join Riskbook earlier this year. The team had already developed a cutting-edge, Lloyd’s-recognised platform for sharing risks between brokers and reinsurers, focused on getting critical information to reinsurers and then managing the subsequent negotiations and placement, all within a seamless digital experience.
I wanted to help them go a layer deeper: to enable Riskbook to not only instantly share the risk structure and terms, but also deliver the underlying analytics that drive the actuarial price. We had a theory that Riskbook’s technology could let cedents and brokers take the submission pack to the next level, and collectively save our industry literally years of manual nonsense.
Excitingly, the theory is already starting to prove itself. We’re working with some of the biggest names in (re)insurance to build resilient exhibits out of auto-validated data and embed them into the digital submission packs of the future.
Getting this right will be a huge win for all of us:
Radically improving the placing experience doesn’t mean throwing away the packaging. Not at all.
We just think the packaging should enhance the contents - making it easier to access them - rather than dissuading you from opening your gift. And in a truly digital world, that doesn’t mean tearing off the binding so the submission will fit in the photocopier. It means that the packaging should be digitally native too.
Think Netflix trailers, instead of DVD cases with that annoying clear plastic wrapping. Content-rich Airbnb profiles, instead of a dusty brochure or an impossible-to-find website. Curated Spotify playlists, instead of CDs that always end up broken or in the wrong boxes.
It’s time the reinsurance submission pack had an upgrade too. Radically better data that flows smoothly from outwards teams to brokers and ultimately, into reinsurer pricing models. If you think your team could benefit from saving thousands of hours of data cleaning and back and forth, we’d love to introduce you to Riskbook: it’s quite literally the gift that keeps on giving.
Create an account at riskbook.com to try out our placing solution today, or email us to see a demo of the new data preparation features coming soon. We’re investing in a world where the most exciting present of the year could be a reinsurance submission package.
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