During the recent Guidewire Connections 2022 conference, its global vice president for strategic markets and initiatives discussed automation in the London Market with Insurance Times 

Guidewire has decided to target the expansion of its technology distribution into the London market because of a belief that this could provide a lot of efficiency via automation.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times at Guidewire’s recent Connections 2022 conference in Las Vegas, Sheridon Glenn, global vice president for strategic markets and initiatives, said: “The London market writes risks that no-one else will write as they are highly complex.

“You have to have a lot of specialists involved and multiple insurers in the entire process to understand how it is going to be done – that’s a very unique underwriting process.”

Despite Glenn believing that the London Market could have “better tooling”, he said improving these processes isn’t just about technology.

“Sometimes it’s not technology that stands in the way of optimisation – instead it’s going to be a willingness to adapt to a new standard and there are cases where sometimes manual processes will be the main process,” he added.

Earlier in October, Guidewire was selected to automate Liberty Speciality Markets’ claims management for Lloyd’s of London Syndicate 4472.

This, however, was not Guidewire’s first foray into the London Market – it’s first entry dates back to 2008 when the insurance software provider sped up claims for Lloyd’s syndicates and the International Underwriting Association with its ClaimCenter.

Later that year, Sompo International signed up to Guidewire’s PolicyCenter.

Meanwhile, in June 2020 Beazley finalised its claims transformation programme by Guidewire’s same proposition.

Automation costs

For Glenn the debate often rages around whether everything in the London Market should be automated or not.

“If you take a step back, the cost of automating everything doesn’t justify itself. It’s okay to be manual and working with an insurer,” he said.

Glenn gave the example of a New Zealand client that was looking at automating a process for one of its highly unusual books of business – in five years the client had only ever written five policies.

He continued: “We shouldn’t go through the effort of automating this entire underwriting process for five policies. The firm ran that manually on a spreadsheet as the cost benefit wasn’t there.”

“There will be some products that get underwritten that lend themselves more and more towards automation and some that lend themselves to manual [ways].”