Issues & Answers Special Advertising Section:
 September 2022

Issues & Answers: Meeting the Insurtech Challenge

Bryan Clark, President, Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA), and President, Gorst & Compass Insurance, said WSIA’s Insurtech Conference features exhibitors who come with technology solutions that are specific to the insurance industry. “The opportunity to meet with them, share specific needs, see demos, and hear about their services and products is great,” he said. Following are excerpts from an interview.

Bryan Clark
Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA)

“Many of us wear a lot of hats in our firms and having peers and experts all in one place to share ideas and best practices is an efficient way to make sure you’re not being left behind in this race to digitize.”

“Insurtech” can be literally defined as the use of technology to improve the efficiency of the insurance industry. Can you touch on how you see it impacting wholesale, specialty and surplus lines right now?

The term certainly has become a buzz word, but rightfully so because it is, and should be, an integral part of everything we do in surplus lines insurance. As the market for emerging risks, it’s appropriate that we would be aggressively leveraging insurtech in our businesses. We are finding that adopting digital solutions is good for everyone involved in the transaction and can be beneficial to the bottom line as it makes us more efficient across the board. I think it’s becoming necessary to get up to speed on solutions to remain competitive.

What are some of the challenges of adopting insurtech?

They vary by size and type of firm. In general, like with any new technology adoption, it can be challenging to integrate existing IT infrastructure with a new platform or technology. The key is to find ways to digitalize processes that have historically been more manual and to get help integrating them. There are a lot of solutions out there that can help with that process, but when you’re busy with client relationships and managing other aspects of business, it can be difficult to find and leverage them. It’s also obviously critical to keep data and cybersecurity in mind with adoption of these tools.

How does WSIA’s Insurtech Conference help firms overcome these challenges?

I think the real value comes in merging that exhibitor piece with great education opportunities targeted specifically to our segment of the industry. Many of us wear a lot of hats in our firms and having peers and experts all in one place to share ideas and best practices is an efficient way to make sure you’re not being left behind in this race to digitize. The sessions are varied and target people at different levels of expertise, and there is great content for CEOs, IT professionals, underwriters, brokers and HR professionals. It’s all technology-based, but technology is impacting the entirety of our organizations, and it’s nice to have a one-stop for people across our businesses to learn.

Tell us about the 2023 Insurtech Conference.

The next conference is April 2-5 in Nashville. I think that the basic structure of the conference will remain unchanged because it works so well to marry education with exhibitors there, but I would also anticipate more dedicated time for private meetings and networking opportunities because we know that attendees appreciate being able to interact outside of the structured sessions also. This is the only WSIA event that also welcomes nonmember attendees, so it’s an opportunity for those registrants to learn more about the industry and the association and interact as well. I would encourage anyone who is impacted by their firm’s technology in any way to save those dates and consider attending.

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