For the 14th day of advent, Flood Re’s director of operations Andrea Santolalla talks about moving the dial in diveristy and inclusion and the need for more attainable insurance products 

Every day for the festive period continuing until Christmas Eve, Insurance Times speaks to a selection of industry personalities about what they’d like to find under the tree for 2024.  

What was your insurance industry highlight of 2023?

Seeing increasing focus on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) and climate risk across the industry. Many of the leading personal lines insurers have published sustainability reports outlining their strategy and outlook for the medium and long-term. This is positive progress as we continue to face into the strong headwinds of climate change and the impact this will have on societies.

Andrea Santolalla, Flood Re

Andrea Santolalla

What is your Christmas message for your insurance colleagues? 

I recently heard Mick McAteer of The Financial Inclusion Centre speak. I was staggered to learn that 21% of adults in England have less than £100 in savings and 24% would need to borrow money to pay an unexpected bill of £300. These sobering facts highlight the need for more inclusive and attainable insurance products, to provide families across the UK better peace of mind they would be able to bounce back from an event. 

As an industry, I would love to see more innovation and the use of technology to reduce the running costs of personal lines products, to make these more attainable for a larger part of the population.

What do you hope to find under the industry’s Christmas tree for 2024?

This is easy – we need to attract and retain more diverse talent into insurance. Let’s challenge ourselves in thinking beyond just gender inclusivity.  We need to move the dial significantly in other areas like racial, socioeconomic and neurodiverse talent – this will bring more diversity of thought.

The insurance industry has a reputation of being slow to change, [but] this is an area where we can lead the way, increasing our competitiveness and strengthening our collective performance.