Sequel’s Business Development Director, Tim Rayner, and Global Head of Pre-Sales, Stuart Browes, addressed a meeting hosted by the MGAA in the Old Library at Lloyd’s on the topic of “Harnessing the power of real-time product distribution.”
Members of the MGAA were told that the ability to leverage real-time product distribution was available to the market in the form of Sequel Rulebook and Sequel Rulebook Hub (Hub). The continued demands from brokers and underwriters to use their own systems has, however, exacerbated the “portal wars” and as a result, this is blighting the industry’s progress and represents a major obstacle in the way of reducing the much talked about acquisition costs in the delegated authority sector.
As a result, the ability for brokers and coverholders to streamline their business processes is being hampered by the insistence of brokers and underwriters on the use of their proprietary portals. In addition to this, the market is still reliant on the use of spreadsheet based bordereau which impairs the ability of the market to not only deliver operational inefficiencies and reduce acquisition costs, but also to deploy and manage capacity more effectively.
In his introductory address, Tim also told attendees that there is no such thing today as a “quote bordereau”, therefore, brokers and underwriters remain “blind to what is being quoted against delegated authority facilities, what the hit rates are, and where potential coverage extensions could benefit their business throughput”. The Hub platform provides an answer to this, with all participants in the distribution chain able to see a real-time view of what is being quoted, referred, declined, bound, as well as the reasons for each occurrence from the underlying enterprise rules engine.
The audience was shown how the use of the Hub can shorten the process from coverholder, broker and underwriter, and enable the insurance product owner to better manage the capacity available within the limits and layers. The Hub also allows broker and coverholder limits to be effectively grouped and managed collectively under a portfolio spanning what would be multiple binders or facilities in today’s market.
“The use of the Hub provides the ability to utilise more of the capacity available with lower administrative and market overheads,” explained Tim. He then added that the Hub platform had been built on an API first basis, as Sequel believes that the ability for users to access the Hub via existing systems was, and remains, important to its success. The Hub has proved its ability to deal with complex and speciality risks and, as such, the transaction of simple and commoditised risks can very quickly and easily be configured on the platform.
“We started with complex business and moved to the simple,” he added. “Other solutions have started with the simple risks and encountered difficulties when they looked at the more complex.”
Tim explained that the Hub was already delivering real benefits to its users which includes leading brokers and underwriters. It has delivered real-time insight which encompasses the whole distribution chain. It has created and encouraged better practice and adherence to underwriting guidelines with all data validated at source. It has also driven operational efficiencies and allows enhanced reporting which enables brokers and underwriters to more effectively manage their production sources.
Attendees were provided with a demonstration of Sequel Rulebook in conjunction with Sequel Impact, an exposure management tool, with Stuart explaining that the systems had driven a change in the outlook for the use of technology in the market.
“We are now seeing the benefits of technology assisting the underwriting process rather than retrospectively, post the binding of business.” He added that the market was now at a point where underwriters faced additional challenges and needed to ask a simple question, “what is the impact on the business, and my exposure, if I write this business?”
Stuart highlighted that whilst the Hub’s initial uptake allowed the London market underwriting community to distribute their insurance products and capacity, increasingly we are now seeing broker and coverholder implementations. Stuart concluded that for all clients, they are now looking beyond data capture to managing and utilising the data to improve underwriting and how they run their business. “We are now seeing clients looking at what they can capture with the system and what they can then do with that data.”
The presentation prompted several questions from the audience.
One attendee asked whether the system had the ability to build the front end for the broker or coverholder user given that for many coverholders, the insured will often fill in the required details. Stuart explained that the system enabled the client to choose the option best for them be it integrating the Hub with their own front end or utilising other Sequel offerings to create a bespoke front end.
Tim was questioned as to how similar the system was to what was envisaged by Lloyd’s and its risk exchange initiative within its blueprint for the future?
He replied: “We believe the Hub is a very good fit with the Lloyd’s Risk Exchange initiative. The delegated authority sector is ripe for the use of a standardised risk exchange as outlined in the Lloyd’s Blueprint for the future.”
The final question came from MGAA Managing Director Peter Staddon who asked about the use of the Hub in different regulatory domiciles and GDPR. Stuart responded that Sequel solutions were in use globally and that “Clients benefit from Sequel delivering effective and transparent tools for them to enter and manage their own data and thereby meet local reporting requirements.”