User-friendly Insurance

By Anna Game-Lopata — ANZIIF Writer | 24 Jul 2017
  • General Insurance
  • Claims
  • Insurance Broking
  • Life Health and Retirement Income
  • Risk Management
  • Reinsurance

Given general insurance products are bought and sold on an annual basis, it follows that the revision of pricing and coverage is also required on an annual basis. 

Even life insurance products have an annually renewable component to them.

But does the increasing availability of data and insight mean that we could transform the insurance product to insure an individual for their ‘whole life’ not just for their assets at any one point in time?

That’s the curly question 2017 Aon Benfield Scholarship applicants were asked to address for a chance to attend the 52nd Annual Aon Benfield Global Clients Reinsurance Seminar in London from 26 June–6 July.

Debating 'lifetime' insurance

The winner, Jack Hunt (pictured above), who works with Clyde & Co’s Corporate Insurance team, made a very eloquent case for the negative.

‘With the rise of insurtech, IoT and mobile applications, we’re more likely to see a surge in the adoption of micro-coverage type policies in the immediate future,’ Hunt writes in his essay.

‘Down the line, larger insurers may attempt to dominate the industry from "cradle to grave" and the likely outcome is that we’ll see a lot more strategic partnerships. One day we might even see data powerhouses, Google or Facebook, enter the insurance market and disrupt the value chain entirely.

‘However, if the trends point towards customers wanting flexible, UBI [usage-based insurance] type insurance products, insurers will need to allow customers to buy what they want in the way that they want or risk being left behind.’

Passion for insurtech 

Hunt, who was surprised but thrilled to have won the scholarship, admits he couldn't find much that had been written about the concept of ‘lifetime’ insurance.

‘So quite a lot of it involved me drawing upon my interest and understanding of the various categories of the insurtech space, including UBI, to come up with a general thesis for the paper.’
Hunt was certainly well-placed to do so, having attended ANZIIF's inaugural Insurtech Conference this year.

‘The conference pulled in some real industry heavy-weights and I think it was a resounding success. I'm sure it will come back even bigger and better next year,’ he says.

‘I have a particular interest in insurtech as I think the industry is ripe for disruption. In my mind, the focus for insurers should be to offer best-in-class customer experiences.

‘I believe insurers and brokers alike can achieve this by harnessing appropriate technologies to improve customer journeys across channels and business functions — at the moment the industry is playing catch-up with banks and retail.’

Advocate for ANZIIF

As an ANZIIF member since 2014 when he started his insurance career at QBE, Hunt also says he reads articles on the Members' Centre regularly.

‘They're often well-written and are right up-to-date with the latest industry trends and developments.’

‘Whatever your role within the insurance profession, I believe that insurance can be exciting and more importantly plays a fundamental role in the functioning of society,’ Hunt adds.

‘As such, the industry requires an educational body like ANZIIF to help set the standard of professionalism and promote thought leadership.

‘ANZIIF achieves this by facilitating continuous learning opportunities via the publication of industry articles, training programs and various seminars.’

Learning a must

Now in its thirteenth year, the Aon Benfield Scholarship was established by Aon Benfield and ANZIIF with the priority to strengthen the insurance industry in Australia and New Zealand through ongoing educational opportunities. 

It aims to recognise and educate outstanding insurance professionals who demonstrate the potential to be industry leaders in the insurance market.

This is all part of the plan for Jack Hunt, who says ongoing learning is paramount to him. Like many millennials, he says if he’s not learning he gets bored. 

‘Plus I know there's a whole lot more that I don’t yet understand out there, that I know will ultimately help me in my job and assist my career.’

Not sure at first

While Hunt is clearly determined and self-assured, he says when he finished law school he wasn’t entirely sure what to do.

‘I knew I wanted more commercial experience, so I applied to numerous financial services graduate programs as well as a few law firms,’ he relates.

‘In addition to the allure of being a global company, QBE seemed to offer a really interesting and diverse 18-month graduate program and so I went with that option.’

As part of the QBE graduate program, Hunt rotated through various underwriting and claims teams as well as completing a placement in the in-house legal team.

‘This gave me a holistic experience of the industry and is something I really value to this day,’ he says.

‘After the graduate program, I worked as an underwriter for a short while and subsequently landed a full-time role back in the in-house legal team. 

‘I later moved on to Clyde & Co, a global specialist insurance law firm — given my background, it just seemed like the natural transition to me.’

Proud achievement

Aside from winning the 2017 Aon Benfield Scholarship, Hunt nominates his appointment to a role at Clyde & Co in Sydney as one of his proudest achievements to date.

Within the firm's Corporate Insurance team, Hunt says he’s exposed to a variety of commercial, regulatory and transactional work which generally ‘has a (re)insurance flavour to it’.

‘I find insurance law particularly technical and enjoy the challenge of getting to grips with intricate legislation and drafting succinct and pragmatic advice for our numerous clients,’ he shares.

‘On a side note, I'm also fascinated by insurance-linked securities and would like to work more closely with these in the future.’

Hunt says he was absolutely thrilled to have been given the opportunity to go and learn more about reinsurance in London at the Global Clients Reinsurance Seminar (GCRS), which is highly regarded around the world as an outstanding educational opportunity for insurance and reinsurance professionals.

‘As I often work closely with a number of reinsurers, the two-week intensive reinsurance seminar provided me with a much deeper understanding of the technical aspects of the industry and how reinsurance programs are calculated and practically developed by specialist brokers such as Aon Benfield,’ he says 

Global Clients Reinsurance Seminar wrap

He says the first week of the GCRS was heavily theory-based with numerous speakers making presentations about their respective areas of expertise, while the second week was more hands-on as it involved applying the knowledge gained.

‘Essentially, we were divided into teams or "syndicates" where we had to review a hypothetical scenario where an insurer required an entirely new reinsurance program. We had [to] develop a suitable reinsurance program and later pitch our proposal to the whole group,’ he relates.

‘The key takeaway for me was a far better understanding of the numerous reinsurance arrangements available and the technical language that goes with it — it really is like another language.’

Time for a change

Looking to the future, Hunt says he aims to help change the insurance industry’s image and how it's perceived by younger generations.

‘In order to stay ahead of the curve, we need to attract talent (the best minds in the business) and I think the industry could do a better job of promoting itself as a rewarding and exciting career choice,’ he says.

As NSW Joint Vice President of the Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs), he argues the first step would be for insurance professionals to start talking more with schools and universities.

‘Also, get involved with the Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs)! If you haven’t heard of us, look us up.’

Jack Hunt will be formally recognised as the 2017 Aon Benfield Scholarship winner at this year's Australian Insurance Industry Awards to be held 31 August at the Star Event Centre, 80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW.

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