No Big Bang at TINtech London Market Conference

Delivering a digital marketplace was the theme of the London market modernisation and Blueprint Two panel session at the recent TINtech London Market Conference. Panellist included Stephen Card, CEO at Carbon Underwriting and Valia McDonagh, Digital Transformation Delivery Director at Future at Lloyd’s.

The two main themes were:

  • Developing digital systems that will work for the whole market and reduce friction 
  • Creating an innovative environment where initiatives can be tested and deployed quickly 

Digital Sandbox
The session began with the view that the London market is not up for any big bang releases where, all of a sudden, the whole technology and the architecture changes and everyone has to respond very quickly. The idea is that we will build a very open architecture, where new technologies, services or solutions can be tested and come and play in London market “sandbox.”

The market will keep iterating and improving this architecture, and scaling them to the right levels. Lloyd’s has a clear vision and ambition. We have a view of what we will deliver in 2021, as well as the opportunity to adopt in 2022. Once the adoption and the uptake are achieved, the iteration, it is hoped, will be seamless.

The actor Mel Gibson playing William Wallace was cited as the source for the idea of achieving a freedom to have open architecture, which is brought about by the technology. We need to have the ability for insurers, brokers and insurance practitioners to interact with the market with our own systems that we adopt out of choice.

It started with PPL and now we have some good competition from Whitespace while other entrants are coming into the market now. That gives us that roadmap through the Blueprint to the structure, where we can dip into a pool of data for all parties in the transaction chain. There will be open data and open architecture systems so that we can interact easily with it. It will all be agnostic to the type of technology that interacts with a modern platform.

Faster, Smarter, Cheaper
We need to be faster, smarter, and cheaper. There is a movement away from big, expensive central systems, and for openness, the ability to interact openly with freedom across the platform.

Insurers and brokers will evolve over time. They will evolve as new services come online with APIs and micro services attached to the digital spine. It won’t be a big bang. The key is how the old world works at the same time as the new world comes online: “how do organisations prepare themselves for that” is the key question?

We can all imagine cities with driverless cars, but what we can’t imagine is where you have a hybrid system to get to that end state where you have people driving cars manually and automated cars. It is that kind of complexity. Part of a successful journey will involve painting the picture of that, and the vision.

Digital Spine
The panel agreed the market should have common standards so individual participants can build what they want. This is not just about bringing insurance brokers along; it’s also the service providers as well in terms of software. How can they be helped to prepare themselves and make sure that platforms are going to integrate into the digital spine and that services can be orchestrated in one way. In terms of mindset, there will be a big shift from being document driven to being data driven so organisations must start to think about how they enable that.

There was also agreement that data standards data governance is our priority right now. That will provide better value than Lloyd’s trying to actually build the platforms, setting the standards and baselines. The company market has to be included and involved, in an environment where non-Lloyd’s players can play as well. The vision in blueprint today is not to create a digital twin of the existing model. That is why most digital transformations in the past were not successful. What Lloyd’s has tried to do is review that end-to-end journey and design new digital process with the customer in mind. It means multiple players now can offer services.

Implications for ECF Write Back?
One specific question, of interest to DOCOsoft customers, was asked about Blueprint 2 and the implications for ECF Write Back. Unfortunately, no one on the panel was able to able to fully answer, other than to say there would be some form of messaging across digital services that will have the same effect as ECF Write Back. This is an area in which DOCOsoft, representing the interests of more than 20 market claims departments and their users, will be playing an increasingly important role going forward.

New technology is not in itself a barrier, said one panellist, it’s how you introduce it and how it interacts while legacy is still there. So it’s about adoption. After COVID, we’ve seen more C suite executives talking about the digital agenda than we’ve ever seen in the market. With those executives working from home, using digital, it’s woken the market up to the possibilities.

Improving the User Experience
We have to consider what’s the user experience? How can we improve ease of doing business, create less friction, introduce more speed in terms of straight through processing, especially paying out claims more quickly. Will there be less broker involvement? Particularly where there might be self- service by end customers interacting directly with carriers. The TINtech panel is that the more we start using new technologies, the more we’ll actually divorce ourselves from legacy technology.

It will be a very different looking ecosystem, more open to competition with multiple systems. Lloyd’s is currently working with 50 market participants in closed Beta groups to form its version one of core data records in IMRC, and will start having a dialogue with all market participants from March onwards in which anyone can engage. The idea for Lloyd’s in 2021 is about the build while in 2022 it will all be about adoption. Lloyd’s is looking at various “personas” – as it calls them – a different marketplace and how it can support the adoption as a focus of 2022. In fact, there may even be a Blueprint Three or Blueprint Four.