’Forward-thinking brokers’ are adopting parametric insurance, says UK and Ireland business development director

Ola Jacob made a return to parametric insurance in September by joining Descartes Underwriting as its new UK and Ireland business development director.

In his new role, Jacob will be focused on building out the managing general agent’s (MGA’s) corporate parametric insurance and risk transfer business in the London market to cover climate-exposed corporates globally.

Jacob has experience of working with parametric insurance, with him having previously been FloodFlash’s broker success manager.

He started at the firm in 2019 as an account executive and was promoted after 10 months.

He left the MGA earlier this year and became a board member at Innovative Risk Labs, a role he still holds alongside his duties at Descartes.

In 2022, he was also named Insurance Times’ Tech Champion of the Year at the Tech and Innovation Awards. 

60 seconds with Ola Jacob

Ola Jacob_new

Ola Jacob

Upon speaking to mentors and friends, Jacob thought carefully about the next step in his career after leaving FloodFlash.

He said ”it was at this time that Descartes emerged” as the “perfect fit” for his ambitions to “propel parametric insurance to new heights”.

The MGA has a dedicated parametric team of 160 and an in-house research and development (R&D) tax incubator.

And the UK and Ireland business development director has always been an advocate of parametric insurance.

He told Insurance Times: “Many customers, brokers and insurers could benefit from parametric insurance and it’s my role to be a catalyst for the growth in the London market and beyond.

“The London market has always been a champion for risk management, not just risk transfer. Parametric insurance has emerged as a game-changer in the world of risk management, offering a refreshing approach that directly enhances risk management and recovery.

”Its importance lies in its transparency, as claim triggers are clearly defined and seamlessly integrated into recovery plans.

“Moreover, its speed is a crucial factor in facilitating faster client recovery, bolstering financial stability. Additionally, the flexibility of parametric insurance allows businesses and governments to cover financial losses without the need for physical damage.”

He added that “forward-thinking brokers” were already incorporating these solutions into client portfolios.

“I’ve been lucky enough to experience seeing the people behind the big corporations who’ve received their first parametric payout,” Jacob said.

“The overwhelming feeling is the peace of mind that the business and all its employees can have, [while they can also] move forward, survive and thrive again in the future.”

He also felt the “next frontier” will be parametric reinsurance.

He added: “Across the market, we are witnessing a significant rise in the adoption of captive and reinsurance structures combined with parametric solutions.

“Despite the challenges faced by the reinsurance market in covering natural catastrophe risks, the simplicity and effectiveness of parametric triggers have made them attractive to insurers and corporates.”