Marine Insurers get keep pace warning

Marine insurers have been told they must keep pace with the move towards greater digitalisation as both clients embed technology at the heart of their operations.

Speaking today during the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) annual conference, IUMI Data and Digitalisation Forum Chair, Patrizia Kern (pic) said the CIOVID-19 pandemic had increase the pace of change for the use of technology in the maritime sector. Failure to understand the changing client needs will put underwriters’ future in doubt.

The Data and Digitalisation Forum is the newest of IUMI’s forums and the organisation said it was established to reflect the growing importance of new technologies.

“Digitalisation is not an option anymore – it is here to stay – and the marine insurance sector needs to keep pace,” she said. “For some time now, the shipping industry has been seeking cost-effective ways to operate and key logistics players have already begun to partner and digitalise the global marine supply chain. The current pandemic has accelerated this process and marine insurers and underwriters need to upgrade their skills and embrace digitalisation to minimise the risk of becoming redundant in the future.”

Ms Kern added there were also benefits for the market as historically, underwriters have relied on scant risk data and manual processes which have resulted in inadequate risk assessment in many instances.

“Digitalisation optimises the supply chain and offers a more sustainable future,” she explained. “It allows for a total re-thinking of the way that the logistic industry operates. Thanks to evolving client data lakes and the adoption of advanced technologies, new opportunities have opened up also for insurance companies to improve the service we deliver to our customers. Our industry is a people- business, with personal relationships at the heart of what we do, but COVID-19 has shown us that we can still maintain these relationships whilst embracing new technologies.”

Ms Kern also highlighted how the use of big data and digitalisation is not without its risks and pitfalls.

She warned the insurance industry is highly regulated and marine insurers must operate within many legal and compliance frameworks, which make the task of navigating though the new environment all the more challenging.

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