Insurance Times’ Tech and Innovation Awards showcased the great variety of digital solutions supporting the insurance sector

By Editor Katie Scott

Katie Scott_bw_path

Katie Scott

The great and good of tech-savvy insurance firms and suppliers last night (3 November 2021) gathered at London’s Royal Lancaster hotel for Insurance Times’ Tech and Innovation Awards 2021 – our first in-person awards event following the lifting of the UK’s coronavirus-linked lockdown restrictions.

With around 300 guests present and correct, it was absolutely wonderful to speak to so many industry thought leaders – a special shout out to the attendees who kept me company over on table 18!

Although the insurance sector is often viewed as a slow-moving juggernaut when it comes to implementing innovation, last night’s event really highlighted the businesses that are counteracting this perception through the creative and interesting use of technology.

As always, it was fascinating to be a part of the judging process for these awards as it really lifts the lid on the work being done in various parts of the market – in particular as I was involved in judging some of the Technology Innovation of the Year categories.

The process really flagged the sheer scale of technology innovations being undertaken in our sector in terms of variety and solving sector-specific problems. For example, VisionTrack using video technology to help telematics firms reduce claims, Uinsure looking to support brokers through a B2B marketplace and CyberCube plugging data gaps in the ever-evolving world of cyber risks.

A huge well done to all of last night’s winners and highly commended organisations, including 2021’s Technology Champion of the Year, Insurercore managing director Peter Clarke.

Maintaining the pace of change

The Covid-19 pandemic proved that insurance firms can implement change speedily when the need arises and I believe this will be one of the key lessons learned that will stay with the industry moving forward. Change projects centred around technology adoption can and should have a faster turnaround time in the post-Covid era.

According to research by McKinsey and Company published in October 2020, “companies have accelerated the digitisation of their customer and supply chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years”.

Furthermore, “the share of digital or digitally enabled products in their portfolios has accelerated by a shocking seven years”, McKinsey and Company noted.

A key question would be whether this Covid-driven acceleration of digital transformation work will maintain the same pace as the UK continues to exit the pandemic. The appetite for digital options is only going to grow moving forward, indicating that the pace of technology project work will follow a similar trajectory.