On 11 May, the UK insurance industry will gather together in Manchester for the BIBA conference for the first time since 2019. This event is the perfect opportunity to reflect on how we work together as a community for our customers.
Since the last in-person BIBA conference, it is undeniable that the needs of our customers have evolved considerably. But now is the time to ask ourselves if we, as an industry, are ready to meet those needs. And if not, how can we work together to find new solutions that help our customers be more resilient?
The risk landscape has never been more unpredictable and UK customers are facing the perfect storm. We’ve all spoken about how no one predicted the Covid-19 pandemic or the effects it would have on every business.
As a result of this, along with a rapidly evolving geopolitical environment and myriad of other unexpected events, nearly all UK industries have faced supply chain disruption over the past two years. We’ve seen shortages of construction materials, retailers struggling to keep up with post-lockdown surges, and goods not arriving on time.
This has been exacerbated by labour shortages in many UK industries, further disrupting operations. We’ve seen this across construction, motor, retail, food and drink and more. At the same time, businesses have seen the end of government support provided during lockdown.
Businesses are more aware of their supply chain risks than ever before and increasingly need to consider what happens if they lose a key supplier. While most large organisations will have systems in place to address the more common shocks, the pandemic has taught us that preparing for tail events isn’t only prudent but, in many cases, vital. As this issue moves up the corporate agenda, we as an industry need to work with our customers to help assess where the risks may be and help them map where weaknesses are.
If that wasn’t enough, we’ve recently seen a surge in cyber-attacks in the UK. Adding to this unpredictability is the increase in 1 in 100 weather events throughout the country including windstorms and floods over the past few years.
It is clear our customers are facing unprecedented challenges, so what should the insurance industry be doing?
There is a real opportunity for us to collaborate to produce united solutions that are tailored help our customers face what is to come.
- Making sure we take the time to really listen to what our customers are most worried about and help them anticipate what risks are on the horizon
- Exploring what value added services we can offer along with our core insurance products
- Working more closely with our customers and each other on risk mitigation strategies and risk mapping
- Collaborating and sharing knowledge to find the best solutions for our customers
- Expanding the reach of our insurance community. How can we be working with local government bodies, emerging technology companies and more to make sure our customers are fully supported
At QBE, we aim to be a trusted partner in helping our customers be more resilient. We understand the crucial role that effective risk management plays in all organisations and work hard to understand our customers’ businesses so that we offer insurance solutions that meet their needs – from complex programmes to simpler e-trading solutions – and support them in minimising their risk exposures.
I look forward to seeing so many faces at BIBA this year. We have done a brilliant job as an industry to stay connected as a community over these past few years but there is significant value in face-to-face collaboration to find solutions for these issues our customers are facing. We need to work together now to ensure we can support them in the years to come, no matter what unexpected events come our way.