Analysis: What do the millennials think of insurance?

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  • The industry is facing a talent gap, with 81% of global insurance CEOs seeing this as a threat to growth in 2018
  • Industry bodies are seeking to address this with schemes and action plans
  • Post spoke to half a dozen young insurance workers to find out how well the industry is performing in key areas

Insurance has struggled to attract talent in recent years, finding itself competing with ‘sexier’ industries

Within financial services, insurance CEOs have the biggest concerns over skills shortages. According to a global 2017 PWC report, 81% see it as a threat to growth. In addition, 83% were concerned about the pace of technological change. Both were up from 70% the year before.

The Chartered Insurance Institute has called for a “focused approach and clear action plan” in tapping in to fresh talent.

Tali Shlomo, CII people engagement director, said: “Our profession has taken some great strides over the last few years and we must continue to have clear action plans, keep the dialogue open and ongoing, and support each other as we evolve our profession.”

Trade bodies have pushed their members to embrace fresh talent. Three-quarters of Association of British Insurers members now employ government-approved apprentices, while the British Insurance Brokers’ Association has made attracting talent a manifesto commitment.

Miranda Cochrane, advocacy manager at the ABI, said: “Sourcing and retaining talented young individuals is vital to the future of our industry. If we don’t look after our young workforce today, there will be no workforce of tomorrow. As part of this, we have to be flexible and open to new ideas and ways of doing things if we want to remain attractive to the ever-evolving young pipeline of talent. Insurers need to raise awareness and build excitement about the fascinating opportunities that they have to offer at the forefront of tech and data exploration.

She added: “While it’s good to see that thousands of new apprentices join the industry each year, this isn’t enough on its own.”

A Biba spokesperson added: “Those making career choices now base their decisions on a myriad of factors. Twenty years ago these may have been limited to pay, prospects and holidays, but they are now expanded to include flexible working, environmental and social responsibility, diversity, opportunities to grow as a person and the general working culture in a business.”

To find out how well insurance is doing in its bid to appeal to a fresh generation of talent, Post spoke to half a dozen millennials working in insurance roles.

Jacqueline Carter [square] 

Jacqueline Carter: digital apprentice, LV

Jacqueline has worked across a number of roles in LV, having joined the insurer while deciding whether to go to university or begin a career. She has recently moved from an underwriting role to a digital apprenticeship.

On technology

A lot of insurers in the UK are held back by legacy systems and processes, which means there are some limitations and difficulties with integration of technology. Until everyone gets rid of those systems, we can’t go full speed. Once they are replaced, things will change dramatically. Companies are making great steps and everyone knows the importance of adopting new technology. Things are progressing, but it would be unfair to compare some insurers in the UK to the likes of Lemonade that live and breathe this new way of providing insurance.

On diversity and inclusion

There are some good steps towards the industry becoming completely diverse and inclusive, which is shown by how many ABI members have diversity and inclusion strategies, but there is still a way to go. Which is probably fair to say of any industry. An important area of development for me would be for the industry to have more senior female role models to help inspire and influence the next generation of female leaders.

On the industry in 10 years’ time

It’s hard to predict, with technology changing so rapidly. I would like to think the industry will change quite a lot, and for the better. It would be great to see insurers working confidently with artificial intelligence and having fully digital end-to-end journeys available. There will probably be more diverse product offerings, some things we consider niche becoming more mainstream.

Joe Catris [square]

Joe Catris: commercial account executive, Jelf

Joe first entered insurance on a six month government scheme. He took on an apprenticeship at an independent broker in Cardiff, before joining Jelf. He is a Biba young ambassador for South Wales.​

On technology​

In regards to the role of technology, brokers have a real opportunity to service clients better through analysing data to get a better understanding of their risk exposure and subsequent insurance requirements. Technology is allowing us to provide our clients with better solutions and these will continue to improve over time.

On diversity and inclusion

It’s getting better but as with any industry, there is always room for improvement. From what I’ve seen, there is clearly a mandate for equal opportunities across the board at all levels. If you show you are keen and have a desire to grow professionally, you will be given the platform to do so no matter your age, gender or background.

On the industry in 10 years’ time

In regards to trends, I see more mergers and acquisitions as insurers fight for market share. Facilities will develop further with technology enabling the systems. Although ultimately, providing tailored and bespoke solutions for clients, many with varied and complex requirements, will always be better served through developing relationships face to face.

Priya Dawgotra [square]

Priya Dawgotra: contingency broker, Marsh

Priya studied business management at university and had decided she wanted to work in insurance following a module that included risk. She gained experience at a local broker, before entering the London market.

On technology

The launch of the Placing Platform Limited is really good from an administrative point of view, as it streamlines many of the labour intensive processes associated with placing business via Lloyd’s. Marsh as an organisation is actively supporting the adoption of electronic trading, to advance the industry and improve efficiencies for our clients. Last year we bound over 10,000 risks by PPL. Technology is the next big step for the industry. Lloyd’s set up its lab last year, which is an important step in showing its commitment to the modernisation agenda.

On diversity and inclusion

The industry is traditionally associated with being male, pale and stale, but is becoming much more diverse and inclusive. When I joined the industry in the City in 2015, it was the second Dive In festival. Since then, Dive In has grown to become an international festival. This is something which will push the industry forward and help with the talent shortfall.

On the industry in 10 years’ time

In 10 years I’d like to see more diversity. We need more of this in the workforce, in our industry, and in the boardrooms, with more females at CEO level. Insurance is a people business, so we need to make sure people from all different backgrounds and all different walks of life are represented. Technological innovations will no doubt have a dramatic impact and will continue to be a key driver for change.

Sam Leverton [square]

Sam Leverton: property account handler, Morrison Insurance

Property account handler Sam has been with Morrison for four and a half years. He joined the industry through an apprenticeship scheme.​

On technology​

Technology is being utilised relatively well. The use of online platforms, especially on the commercial side. It’s being used relatively well from an insurer point of view and it’s probably a lot cheaper to run having question sets online and brokers using it in that sense. There are day-to-day efficiencies to be had if investment is made in systems on a daily basis. We use a system which is great and has had investment over recent years, but there are greater efficiencies to be had. I expect that is the same with other brokers.

On diversity and inclusion

Typically I imagine it is pale, stale and male stereotype. It’s probably not there so much anymore. A lot of younger people are definitely taking a look at a career in insurance and it is a lot more welcoming in terms of apprenticeships. With those more readily available, it is going to be diverse and inclusive and you will get people from all walks of life.

On the industry in 10 years’ time

There will be more of a drive on qualifications and professional development and people being fully qualified before they act as advisers. The lower minimum requirement would be Cert CII.

Adam Ross [square]

After experiencing an exploding wheelie bin claim while doing work experience at a loss adjuster, Adam says he decided on a career in insurance. He studied ancient medieval history at university, before securing an internship at AIG.

On technology​

As times change and technology evolves, there is a massive opportunity to use it more. Use of social media by the industry is something that has begun to pick up recently. It is a great way to get the industry exposure more widely, particularly to hear about claims stories and what the role of an underwriter is. There is scope to continue that.

On diversity and inclusion

At AIG we are really supportive of diversity and inclusion. At the start of our grad scheme they take the graduates globally and bring us together in New York for a week. We get to meet people from all the different offices and hear their stories about how they got here. That is massively important, because it’s bringing cultures together.

On the industry in 10 years’ time

Tech will become increasingly important. Cyber is the buzzing market at the moment. How the insurance market can help protect companies from cyber breaches; that is an area that is constantly being looked at and reviewed. The market will continue to grow and become more integrated. There will be new ways to automate our claims and underwriting procedures, and make things more efficient.

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Luke Perkins: partnerships development manager, BHIB

Luke joined Swinton fresh out of college and quickly identified a ‘talent gap’ in the industry that encouraged him to pursue a career within it. Before joining BHIB he worked for Aon in Leicester.​

On technology​

There’s a massive culture of independent brokers across the country expecting the Googles and Amazons to come into the space and create technology on their behalf. In 20 or 30 years’ time they will be moaning about how it has changed. Where I am now we take a technology-led approach. We are matching the audience in terms of how modern day business requirements are when buying insurance, whereas a lot of brokers are sticking to their guns.

On diversity and inclusion

It’s not diverse at all. There are too many of the same faces. It is so much better to work with a mix of people. The industry is so established and so set in its ways, people will surround themselves with people they want to be like or see themselves in. It becomes stagnant.

On the industry in 10 years’ time

There will be aspects that change massively. But there will still be traditional brokers refusing to change. But they’ll have their niche and customers, but as customers go through their lifespan, businesses will pass down to new generations. They will want to speak differently to suppliers. That is when the industry will start to get into trouble. We’ve already seen this in personal lines. Being at a forward-thinking broker is a great opportunity to be part of the change.


Jen Frost 100x100 [square]

Jen Frost @jeninsurance




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