Peter Clarke, founder and managing director, Insurercore
The shift to online working due to the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically boosted the use of Insurercore, the online platform that enables re/insurance professionals to research the market and advertise and search for risk appetites.
Peter Clarke, Insurercore’s founder and managing director, told Intelligent Insurer that use of the platform rose by 40 percent week on week during the early period of the pandemic.
“We saw a huge spike in users shortly after the lockdown was announced. We found that insurers were slower to respond to the new working dynamic, but brokers and the managing general agent (MGA) market were extremely adaptable and took advantage of the digital networking capabilities of Insurercore,” Clarke said.
“We are still seeing some very good numbers on take-up as the market has started to realise the benefit of virtual networking—particularly now the insurers have started to be more engaged.
“We saw a lot of niche business coming through the platform during the lockdown months—everything ranging from terrorism to faith insurance. Also, we have seen a number of MGAs come to the platform after their capacity was pulled by their current carriers.
“The ability to network in order to develop or make new contacts has been dramatically impacted by the coronavirus outbreak. They would normally turn to conferences and networking events to find new markets but are now relying on Insurercore to place those non-standard risks.”
Clarke added that there has also been an increase in the number of people searching the platform for professional indemnities and professional liabilities.
“The risks people are facing professionally are unprecedented, with significant corporation losses, and the public face losses through their property, savings and property exposures. The natural reaction is to recoup such loss from their PI insurance,” he said.
In terms of the general market, he noted that as the market continues to harden, brokers are likely to find this renewal season a challenge.
“With rate increases as well as adjusted appetites based on insurers’ losses during the pandemic, this will probably be one of the hardest renewal periods they have faced in a long time.”
Talking more generally about the way the industry has responded to COVID-19, Clarke said he has been impressed by its ability to switch to remote working.
“If someone had asked me at the end of last year whether the insurance market could switch to 100 percent working remotely, I would have said no; so it’s hats off to the industry.
“It shows what can be done when people put their minds to it,” he said.
“Now the insurers have dealt with their initial challenges of moving to remote working, we are seeing many wanting to engage with the Insurercore platform.
“Many are even saying they are finding virtual working more productive—there has been a clear shift in attitude to insurers trusting their staff to work productively from home.”
Clarke added that with the growth Insurercore has seen in the past months, and as confidence in the platform continues to increase, Insurercore will look to expand its remit.
“We are looking to launch in Ireland in the few months,” he said.
“We’ve seen huge success in the UK regions, and now want to focus driving more business into London via other markets and internationally.”
Insurercore, Monte Carlo 2020, Insurance, Reinsurance, Coronavirus, Peter Clarke, Europe