’It underscores what can be achieved when insurers invest in digitising their underwriting workflows,’ says chief executive 

Markel has managed to reduce quote turnaround times from one day to two hours with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).

A statement released last week (22 September 2023) said the specialty insurer had seen a 113% increase in productivity in its underwriting team after digitising its workflows.

It did this by using AI to automate pre-underwriting activities, perform upfront evaluation of risks and eliminate rekeying of data.

In turn, Markel said this had allowed its specialist underwriters to focus on decision-ready risks with a high propensity to quote and bind.

It came after the insurer partnered with insurtech Cytora in 2021 to transform its underwriting process into digital workflows.

As well as increasing productivity, Markel said the partnership ”underscores how digital transformation and clever use of AI can substantially increase efficiency by automating routine tasks”.

Neil Galjaard, managing director of Markel, said: “We are committed to giving brokers and clients enhanced service levels and Cytora has been a foundational partner helping us to effectively grow our scale and enable our underwriters to provide enhanced service to customers and brokers.

”We are now deepening our partnership with Cytora to build on the success we have achieved to date and are excited about creating further value for our brokers and clients in this next phase.”

‘Leading example’

The insurer highlighted that before the partnership, its underwriters spent around 30% of their time on low skill and value tasks.

It said senior underwriters had to assess every incoming submission and route them to the appropriate underwriter.

”This prevented these skilled team members from dedicating more time to more complex risks or managing broker relationships,” the insurer added.

Richard Hartley, chief executive and cofounder of Cytora, added: Markel is a leading example of an insurer embracing the latest technology to revolutionise its business.

“We know that AI-driven digital risk processing has the capacity to transform organisations by vastly improving efficiency and freeing employees up to do much higher value work.

”Our partnership with Markel is a clear example of this in action - the productivity increases are significant. It underscores what can be achieved when insurers invest in digitising their underwriting workflows.”

In a LinkedIn post on 22 September, Hartley added: ”One of my personal motivations at Cytora is to help enable the commercial insurance industry to increase capacity, become larger and more impactful in the context of rising levels of risk in the world.”