Where have all the clients gone?

Published:

The pre-event survey for TINtech 2024 reveals a critical oversight in the London insurance market's focus on AI and digital transformation: the absence of client-centricity.

 

In the pre-event survey for TINtech 2024 the word AI is mentioned 12 times, digital and technology are mentioned 7 time respectively and there is are many other synonyms of the word transformation. The responses are a very good depiction of what is keeping most CIO’s and COO’s awake at night. But what should be keeping them awake at night is the fact that the word client doesn’t appear at all, customer appears just twice and only in the context of internal underwriting teams and their underwriting user experience.

The London market we know and love is the world's leading insurance and reinsurance marketplace and we have always been known for our rich history, financial strength, and complex risk solutions that solve client problems. Despite pressure from other Hubs we’ve rightfully kept our crown. But to lead at anything where there is a reliance on a client to make a purchase, there has to be a continued consideration of the client needs. And despite the glowing attributes detailed above, there seems to be a distinct lack of client-centricity in our market at the moment.

The fundamental question arises: When was the last time anyone genuinely asked the client what they wanted?

 Historical Focus and Client Neglect

As the survey results show, we have traditionally prioritised operational efficiency, & underwriting profitability as the reason to start a transformation programme. This focus, while integral to each firms (and as such) the market's success, has often overshadowed the importance of client-centric practices. In many cases, the needs and preferences of clients have been secondary to the underwriting process.

Clients today expect more than just robust financial backing and sophisticated risk models; they seek tailored solutions, transparency, and a seamless experience. However, recent feedback from risk managers indicates that we have been slow to adapt to these evolving expectations. Our processes and products, although reliable, are perceived as rigid and out of sync with the clients' dynamic needs. 

Digital Transformation: Efficiency Over Differentiation

 In recent years, as a market we have embarked on several digital transformation initiatives aimed at modernising operations. However, these efforts seem disproportionately focused on driving efficiency, primarily to bolster the bottom line. While enhancing operational efficiency and reducing costs are valid goals, they do not inherently address the client experience or create differentiation in an ever-growing marketplace. If this lack of client focus continues, it could lead us to a homogenised market where differentiation is rare, and the client’s voice is lost.

The Missing Client Voice

We are not saying that efficiency isn’t critical, but we must have one eye on the real prize and the absence of regular and meaningful engagement with clients should be a large part of the strategy. Achieving true client-centricity requires a cultural shift, it involves rethinking the value proposition from the client's perspective and integrating this perspective into every aspect of the business. Digital transformation should extend beyond efficiency gains to include advanced analytics for deeper client insights, personalised digital interfaces, and innovative solutions that directly address client pain points.

It’s not all doom and gloom, at Folio Group we are working with some pockets of innovators seeking out client feedback and involving them directly in the development of new products and services. Some have made client input a direct part of the strategic decision-making process. But, where these pioneers lead, we need more people to follow. This involves not just periodic surveys or feedback forms, but establishing continuous dialogue mechanisms, client advisory panels, and co-creation of products and services across more than just a few insurers and broking houses.

Conclusion

The market stands at a crossroads, the path to sustaining its leadership position lies not just in its historical strengths but in its ability to evolve into a truly client-centric market. This transformation requires more than digital efficiency; it demands a fundamental shift in how the market views and values its clients. Only by placing the client at the heart of its operations can we ensure its relevance and differentiation in an increasingly competitive and client-driven world.

Insurers willing to invest in understanding and meeting client needs can create a significant competitive edge, attracting and retaining clients while building lasting loyalty and trust.

TINtech London Market 2024 driving change in the Lloyd's and London market

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