We need to be bold to make real change happen: Justin Emrich blogs about the future of claims in the London Market

In the third in a series of blogs by senior claims professionals in the London Market, Justin Emrich, Chief Information Officer, Atrium, shares his views on the future of claims...

I believe that we have a once in a generation opportunity to re-work our core processing for the London Insurance Market. I suspect that some London Market firms assume that central systems are here to stay and changing them wholescale is just too hard and simply not necessary. I don't take that view. Yes I am a believer in incremental change, but we are staring at an opportunity to radically rethink and remodel like never before.

We all have systems and processes that are embedded into our businesses and many date back decades. What this highlights is that tinkering around the edges works to a degree, but this strategy must not constrain our ambition to reach for a better future.

The momentum of the LM TOM programme has put real change on the agenda and proved that we can mobilise if we really want to. The next phase is to push for a change to our Claims and Accounting processes too. It is only by doing this that we will really begin to see the benefits of the changes we are making to our Placing process.

I often hear ‘There is so much change going on, we can't cope with more’. I would say that it’s not just because our systems were designed in a previous era that we need to change. Nor is it just because there are new technologies out there, but it’s because our clients' expectations have changed. We should learn from the likes of Amazon. We, as clients expect more and there is no reason why we shouldn't be able to respond and give our own clients transparency over their insurance products in the same way.

I would like to see us move towards a truly frictionless market. This is where distributed, rather than centralised, solutions come in. I really believe that there is another model to our current one, one which comprises of no-touch transaction processing made up of data not documents - we just need to be bold enough to see it.

Introducing PPL has been tough, really tough. Locking the ink pens and stamps in the drawer is painful. I recall about 5 years ago first suggesting this as a target for the end of the decade, and I was nearly thrown out of the Room for it. However it is now happening - at the end of Q2, almost 30% of business had been placed through e-placement by Managing Agents, mostly through PPL, and usage is continuously increasing at a good pace. Can we do the same for Claims and Accounting? Yes we can. Doing nothing is easy but in my opinion is not really an option because that will not help London become easier and cheaper to do business with.

If we are bold, I believe we can transform our entire processing lifecycle - from quotation through to claims and payment. No paper, no ink, no manual checking and processing, complete transparency, faster, cheaper and more accurate all the way through. I have every faith that the Market can continue the change momentum, we just need to be willing to put in the hard yards and see it through to the end.

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