Marine insurance must adopt digitalisation

Marine insurance needs to adopt digitalisation rapidly in response to the prolonged global coronavirus pandemic and changes in shipping industry processes

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Insurers and underwriters need to implement digital processes and products as more of the international shipping industry interacts through online networks.

During the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) annual conference, IUMI Data and Digitalisation Forum Chair, Patrizia Kern highlighted the issues and the need for change.

“Digitalisation is not an option anymore, it is here to stay, and the marine insurance sector needs to keep pace,” she said.

“For some time now, the shipping industry has been seeking cost-effective ways to operate and key logistics players have already begun to partner and digitalise the global marine supply chain,” Ms Kern continued.

“The current pandemic has accelerated this process and marine insurers and underwriters need to upgrade their skills and embrace digitalisation to minimise the risk of becoming redundant in the future,” she added.

Marine underwriting practices need to use more risk data and less manual processes for adequate risk assessment and premiums’ pricing. Insurers can use data analytics and more periodic monitoring of situations and environments to make more informed decisions.

“It allows for a total re-thinking of the way that the logistic industry operates,” said Ms Kern.

“Thanks to evolving client data lakes and the adoption of advanced technologies, new opportunities have opened up for insurance companies to improve their services.”

Insurance companies can improve customer relationships through digitalisation and video conferencing. “Our industry is a people business, with personal relationships at the heart of what we do, but Covid-19 has shown us that we can still maintain these relationships whilst embracing new technologies,” said Ms Kern.

However, there are risks to using big data and digitalisation; the insurance industry is highly regulated and marine insurers must operate within many legal and compliance frameworks.

IUMI created the Data and Digitalisation Forum to reflect the growing importance of new technologies.

IUMI will continue to raise awareness and share information on the key trends, challenges and opportunities arising from enhanced data and digitalisation.