The Insurance Times editorial team brings you all the latest updates from the event in London on 24 September as they happen

Btech logo

3.03 - Insurance Times events editor Martin Kornacki gives his closing remarks.

3.02: That is the end of Ask the Experts and The Insurance Times Broker Technology 2015 conference.

2.59: Larry Bulmer says “there is an appetite for it in personal lines - it is just about pressing that final. In about 10 years it could be the norm and we need to prepare for it”.

2.58: Question - How many of Jon’s customers wanted to complete the purchase online?

2.58: Guy Farley says Bought by Many publishes a lot of articles, by analysing data to see what people search the most on and product documents on that how can a broker balance that with using social media

2.52: Question - A lot of examples the experts have given are about companies that have identified a customer need – but where the traditional broker model exists to help people who may not know what they want how can a broker balance that with using social media?

2.48: Guy Farley says - you need to build a model with your data set and test the accuracy of it and to see if you have enough data.

2:48: Question - What volumes of data do you need to have to be able to get something meaningful from it? 

2.45: Insync’s Jon Norman says: You are better off having an avenue for people to engage with you than going elsewhere to complain about you and you don’t know about it.

2:45: Question – How do you mitigate against people using your social media platform to complain about you?


ask the experts panel

ask the experts panel

2.40: It is now time to - Ask The Experts - ADVO Group chief executive Larry Bulmer, Bought by Many Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Guy Farley and Insync Insurance Solutions Co-Founder and Managing Director Jon Norman

2.28: From a person’s profile you can predict what group they are about to join – Bought by Many’s Farley

2.25: Guy Farley says Tracking a person’s Facebook behaviour can help you to see what other interests and likes they have

guy farley


2.21: Bought by Many targets people on social media who have a niche requirement – Farley

2.18 - Bought by Many Chief Technology Officer and co-Founder Guy Farley talks about ‘Waking up to new opportunities in data and analytics’. 

2.15: If you are not using social media you will struggle you will lose your business to someone who is using it – ADVO’s Bulmer.

2.14: Bulmer says - Put a face to a name – it will make people believe it is a real person.

2.13: Pick a platform by looking at what your peers and customers use - ADVO Group’s chief executive Larry Bulmer.

2.12: ADVO Group’s chief executive Larry Bulmer says if you have not done a social media campaign before decide on one or two platforms first of all.

larry bulmer


2.10: When doing a social media campaign you need to be consistent - ADVO Group’s chief executive Larry Bulmer.

2.10: ADVO Group’s chief executive Larry Bulmer is now up to talk about Adding value throughout the customer relationships with social networking

2.05: Insync’s Norman says technology is a great enabler to get the business moving – but it does not matter if we are not serving customers.

tech and business men


2.00: Over 50% of new company directors are under 40 – Insync’s Norman.

1.58: Insync’s Norman says the companies that are innovating by ultimately looking at the customer, include Purple Bricks, Uber, Just Eat and Funding Circle.

1.55: “If you don’t look at what the customer wants then it just not going to work”, Insync’s Norman says.

insync jon norman


1.50: ’No bricks, just clicks: the advent of online – only brokers’ talk by Jon Norman, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Insync Insurance Solutions

12.45: After a thought-provoking discussion about the state of e-trading, delegates are now heading for lunch. Coming up after the break: The advent of online-only brokers, adding value with social networking and new opportunities in data and analytics. Plus an ‘ask the experts’ panel with Insync’s Jon Norman, ADVO’s Larry Bulmer and Bought By Many’s Guy Farley.

12.39: Following criticism from the floor that brokers have no say in the functioning of the trading systems they use, the panel is now discussing how to include brokers in the early stages of design.

12.28: The discussion has now turned to what products are ripe for e-trading. Aviva’s Calum Weston said that much of the development will be about making existing products more efficient, and said that e-traded cyber insurance would be interesting.

12.22: The panel is now discussing standards versus personalisation in e-trading systems. It is short-sighted to suggest that insurers want to keep their ‘secret recipe” through use of their proprietary extranets, says Aviva’s Calum Weston.

12.18: The insurer extranet is not dying out, but there is a “seismic shift” to software houses as brokers seek integrated trading and avoidance of re-keying, says Jamie Swindle.

12.14: The panels is discussing the importance of training in e-trading following the findings of the Insurance Times survey. It is important to simplify the systems as much as possible, but provide training where needed, says NIG’s Jamie Swindle.

12.09: NIG’s Jamie Swindle: “We invest as much in underwriters as we do in technology. Technology is not about stopping trading, it is about trading more efficiently.”

etrade panel

12.00: Question Time - The great e-trading debate: current concerns and plans for the future



12.00: 50% of brokers are having to visit multiple trading platforms for the same risk, and re-key each time. This goes against the whole idea of e-trading, says Fahad Ali.


11.55: Only 42% of brokers said the efficiencies of e-trading improved customer retention. Some said it had reduced customer retention.


11.51: 75% of brokers said they get enough systems-related training from their employer. But 60% said they do not get enough systems training from insurers, and only 15% said they receive enough training from software houses.


11.47: 60% of brokers said insurer extranets have the most accurate and policy-relevant set of questions. This compares with 18% for software houses and 22% who said neither.


11.43: But 95% of brokers surveyed by Insurance Times said they were confident placing business online, dispelling the myth that brokers are to blame for slow e-trade take-up.


11.40: The industry has got into the habit of blaming brokers for SME e-trading not living up to expectations, says Fahad Ali

fahad ali

11.35: What do brokers really think of e-trading? Insights from the Insurance Times survey, with Fahad Ali, lead researcher, Insurance Times


11.05: We’re now in the coffee break after a very interesting and lively few sessions. Looking forward to the next session, which is about what brokers really think of e-trading, presented by Insurance Times’s own Fahad Ali.  

11.00: Plan’s Grant Georgiades is now talking about the challenges of being a digital broker. For example, generating content for social media can be time-consuming and you need to have a clear idea of how it will benefit the business.

10.55: Search engine optimisation was a step into the unknown but the impact was “phenomenal” says Plan’s Grant Georgiades

10.47: Plan’s Grant Georgiades: “Nothing we did was revolutionary at the time but we were light years ahead of our competitors.”

grant georgiades



10.40: CASE STUDY: Becoming a ‘digital broker’: challenges, experiences and future expectations, with Grant Georgiades, director, Plan Insurance Brokers


10.36: Simply Business’s Fiona McSwein says it is about putting the customer first, rather than thinking whether or not you can make money from a £60 policy.

10.32: Simply Business’s Fiona McSwein: “[Brokers] ask really weird, complicated questions. We are trying to simplify this”

10.25: There is a lively discussion about what technology and greater automation means for customer service. SSP’s Jason Moseley contends that technology can free brokers up to spend more time on service.

10.15: Be Wiser’s Mark Bower-Dyke is lamenting the state of e-trading in commercial lines, dubbing it “a disaster”. 

panel 1 pic


10.10: Panel discussion: Enhancing personal service with technology: adding value in insurance broking.


10.03: Successful technology projects are dependent on a company’s culture and need approval from the top down, says Lukas Oberhuber.


9.58am Failure can be success. Aborting a project that is not working can save time and money instead of implementing something that is not fit for purpose, says Lukas Oberhuber.


9.53am Lukas Oberhuber is talking about the imporance of testing and evidence when working on technology projects.


9.40am Simply Business CTO Lukas Oberhuber has taken the the stage to deliver his keynote speech

9.35am Good morning and welcome to the live updates from the Insurance Times Broker Technology 2015 event. Insurance Times events editor Martin Kornacki has just taken to the stage to deliver his opening remarks.