2023 Predictions: Fusion of talent and technology will transform perception of insurance

As we enter 2023, my hope and prediction is that the global insurance industry is about to undergo an exciting shift in perception through the fusion of talent and technology. For years, our reputation has been tarnished with stereotypical claims of being staid, conservative and faceless, but today we are seeing a new spirit of restless ambition that is challenging this and empowering us to punch above our weight and shake things up.

While digitalisation has undoubtedly been, and will remain, one of the biggest influences, even more so will be a renewed focus on talent as the beating heart of our industry. I believe that personal relationships, and importantly the symbiosis between risk and relationships (my version of R&R!), will take center stage in 2023 and increasingly prove to be key to continued success in our sector. On a personal level, my New Year’s resolution is to do my bit in enabling this shift and dispelling the myth that insurance is not a people’s business.

Communication, collaboration and cultural intelligence are the secret weapons for any successful risk manager. I hope that, through this three-pronged plan of attack, these values will come into play more so that we can break down siloes and shift to a more exciting, people-centered business.

As we look ahead to a post-pandemic world, the need to focus on workforce well-being and instill a culture of care has never been greater, and insurance can play a key role in embedding this. This can only be done if we align relationships at all levels and forge a closer line between risk managers and HR professionals to ensure that our employees are protected. This will also result in a clearer understanding of the retention of risks and how to differentiate them, in turn elevating the authority and position of the risk manager.

The rise of the global economy, notably the people movement that we are seeing in every corner of the world with employees continually looking for opportunities outside of their countries, presents both risks and opportunities. Expansion will remain a growing phenomenon given the active M&A space, and in any global economy requires careful thought, due diligence and close collaboration from the start. Again, this is where people power and the value of personal relationships will come into play.

The biggest competitive edge that organisations can maintain is their ability to offer clients cultural intelligence, namely the knowledge gained through understanding and embracing differences in ways of thinking and risk tolerance levels, as related to various places around the world.

Placing emphasis on people and where they come from will pave the way to providing a wider choice of perspectives and approaches, which breeds out of the box thinking and innovation, something our industry craves more of. Cultural intelligence will become even more relevant with the ever-changing needs of clients and employees, the continued shift in working patterns, greater focus on health and well-being, and the increasingly stringent legislative and environmental challenges.

In all my 20 plus years in the industry, I have never felt such optimism and appetite for change. Yes, insurance may predominantly be a numbers game, but talented people are behind those numbers, and it’s time we put them at the forefont.

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Deborah Ritchie speaks to Chief Inspector Tracy Mortimer of the Specialist Operations Planning Unit in Greater Manchester Police's Civil Contingencies and Resilience Unit; Inspector Darren Spurgeon, AtHoc lead at Greater Manchester Police; and Chris Ullah, Solutions Expert at BlackBerry AtHoc, and himself a former Police Superintendent. For more information click here

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CIR's editor, Deborah Ritchie speaks with Giorgio Baldasarri, global head of the Analytical Innovation & Development Group at S&P Global Market Intelligence; and James McMahon, CEO of The Climate Service, a S&P Global company. April 2023