Nick Ayton, chief executive, The Source Claim

Ayton brought a unique perspective to the conference thanks to his diverse background, particularly his recent experience in the business process outsourcing (BPO) world.

Ayton said the era of the customer "is already here..."

He likened buying an insurance policy to a "distressed purchase" in that "it is often done quickly and in a rushed way, but people expect to do it on the run".

So how should insurers and brokers regain control of customers? In Ayton's view, it's about improving "customer experience." And the experience of customers can be distilled into "buying and claims".

The key is "putting the power in the hands of prospective or existing policyholders", Ayton said.

Ayton added: "The Source is about to introduce a self-service claims processing hub that does everything and will provide insurers the flexibility to service their customers".