I have worked closely with underwriting teams for nearly 20 years and all through that time, it has been clear to me that great underwriting teams really make the difference between whether an insurer performs well or not...
The evidence that we collect on performance also shows this but only recently have we begun to understand more about what specifically defines underwriting excellence.
Now in its fifth year, London’s Leading Underwriters Report 2019 is both an important piece of evidence about the developing and changing talent in the market and a who’s who of underwriting.
The rankings tell us a great deal, but it’s also the soft verbatim “qualitative” data behind the rankings that are providing exciting insights into why underwriters perform well or not.
In a changing market, this data and access to powerful analytics processing get us closer to being able to empirically determine what makes a successful underwriter.
Applying statistical science to why underwriters are chosen, reveals clearly measurable traits and characteristics. This allows us to ask the right questions and create hypotheses about performance and the future role of the underwriter.
For example, deal-making and sales capability seem to be in relatively short supply even among these leading underwriters, whereas technical prowess appears to be readily available.
In a market that needs to grow profitably and where technology can handle a lot of the technical aspects should the market now be investing in greater sales and business development capability?
Today, to get more and better insight, we are continually connecting our data to other ‘data pools’ to get more powerful insights into which characteristics and abilities correlate with performance.
The more work we are doing in this area the more we are seeing exciting and commercially valuable findings, findings we can use to create performance tools to help insurers. Insurance businesses who want to create commercial edge should therefore start to embrace this new and different way of learning about and developing talent now.
The ‘appliance of science’ in talent development has the potential to create much more than marginal gains for insurers, and will, I believe become fundamental to insurers’ future success.
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