Speaking at CFC’s UK Summit event last week, Lloyd’s chairman discussed the importance of meeting customer needs digitally

Is improved digitalisation in commercial, wholesale and reinsurance lines needed?

According to Lloyd’s of London’s chairman, Bruce Carnegie-Brown, the London marketplace has created “a challenge” for its customers who are attempting to navigate the “clunkiness of analogue processes” in these product areas.

This is because “we are somewhat complacent in the commercial lines, wholesale [and] reinsurance lines market because we have multiple points of entry for our customers” to access these products, he said.

As a result, Carnegie-Brown explained that “it’s not a great experience for our customers in terms of efficiency and so I liken this to the pig going through the python – the pig gets stuck at various points in the python and you have to unblock it and move the pig through”.

Insureds simply “don’t want all of the hassle of all the processes that we put in place in our wholesale, commercial and reinsurance lines of business”, he added.

So, how can this issue be mitigated?

For Carnegie-Brown, Lloyd’s must add value by ensuring that customers’ needs and wants are met while transacting digitally.

This was a key lesson learnt when he acted as non-executive director and chairman of price comparison website (PCW) Moneysupermarket Group between 2010 and 2019, as well as an insight gained at his current position as chairman of car insurance startup Cuvva - a role he assumed in December 2019.

Addressing delegates at CFC’s UK Summit event last week (7 September 2022), he said: “The value proposition of something like Moneysupermarket is to be able to take data in a highly commoditised area of the market.

“There is no where richer [for data] than the motor insurance sector - [but] it doesn’t matter how good a broker you are, you’re not going to be able to deliver 80 quotes to your customer inside two minutes.”

‘Growing the size of the cake’

Carnegie-Brown added that a “fundamental takeaway” from his PCW experience is the “relentlessness” with which it “pursues the journey of the customer through to the completion of the transaction”.

“When the customer comes on the site and you expect them to turn left on the website and they turn right, did we miss [a] signal that they should have gone left or are they wanting to go right because they want something different than what you’re offering them in the digital world?” Carnegie-Brown said.

“Being relentless about those activities and also eliminating unnecessary activity is key to getting the customer through to what they want to do, which is to buy insurance as quickly as possible.”

Lloyd’s of London’s chairman further noted that digitalisation enables insurance providers to be more “dynamic” in terms of writing policies.

Questioning the audience, he asked: “Why is it that we issue annual policies in the general insurance market across all lines of business?

“In truth, it’s because assembling the quote and assembling the policy and defining the risks takes a lot of time and to put together all of that as a physical document for customers is exhausting and why would you want to do that more than once a year?

“[Customers] want to be able to execute on an app straight away to know that they’re covered and we need to do the same thing in our industry – allowing pricing to be more dynamic [and] our underwriters to be able to respond to short-term risks. You can only do that in the digital world, you cannot do that in the analogue world.

“So, as we think about digitisation, this is not about being defensive in terms of taking down costs and eliminating jobs. It’s about growing the size of the cake and the relevance of our market. I think that’s extraordinarily exciting in terms of what we should be able to do.”