SAN DIEGO — New tools and technologies that weren’t available five or 10 years ago can provide significantly more data and information to bolster submissions, while technology also remains a central part of growth for wholesale players, sources said at this week’s Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association’s Annual Marketplace .
“There is more data available,” said Christa Nadler, Chicago-based area manager and vice president, real estate brokerage, for Risk Placement Services Inc., part of Arthur J Gallagher & Co. “Ten years ago, we couldn’t open up Google Earth to take a look at what the roof looks like.”
Such new tools and information can be used to distinguish contributions, Nadler said. “Now we can include an image of the roof in our submission,”; where previously such an image might have required the use of an aircraft.
The variety and availability of technology tools “continues to expand,” said Vanessa Sullivan, New York-based senior vice president, excess and surplus insurance manager for Munich Re Specialty Insurance, part of the Munich Reinsurance Group. She added that the brokerage community is also increasingly embracing technology and analytics and that “as an underwriter, I’m always looking for that extra piece of information.”
Technology can also help boost growth.
“We do a lot on the IT side to support the business to be as efficient as possible. We will continue to make these investments, said Jack Kuhn, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey-based president of Westfield Specialty, a unit of Westfield Insurance Co. He added that such investments would be “significant” as the company builds out its capacity for new lines of coverage in the coming years.