Beazley is a specialist insurer with three decades of experience in providing clients with underwriting and claims services. Beazley participates in the Lloyd's market, the largest and oldest insurance market in the world. Through the Lloyd's broker network and the market's trading licenses, Beazley is able to access a wide range of insurance and reinsurance businesses from around the world.
InsTech's Ali Smedley speaks to Ian Fantozzi and James Wright about Beazley’s newest business unit, how it’s being used to solve problems, and how Beazley promotes responsible business - both internally and externally.
Last year Beazley launched a new business unit: Beazley Digital. Can you talk a bit about this?
Ian: Beazley Digital is focused on our higher volume, simpler risk business. The aim is to develop and deliver digital insurance solutions for our clients and brokers. For several years we’ve seen an opportunity to digitise our simple, smaller business and offer it through various digital channels. Whilst pockets of the organisation have been focused on this with some success, we needed to bring the concept together under one team with a single strategy and approach. I’ve worked in various teams at Beazley, and was the Group COO for 10 years. I became the CEO of Beazley Digital at the start of 2021 – it's a really exciting opportunity to offer something new to our brokers and clients.
James: Beazley Digital is a global team. What differentiates it from other trading teams within Beazley is that it has underwriters, technology and operations all on one team. By bringing everyone together under one umbrella we believe we've created a much more efficient business model. My role is the Head of Technology for Beazley Digital and I am focused on developing and delivering digital insurance solutions for Beazley’s SME clients.
How is Beazley Digital taking a new approach to solving problems?
Ian: Beazley Digital is structured into teams that match our digital distribution channels: portals, APIs, market hubs, voice and email, and one team focusing on data. Within each of these teams sits a multi-skilled group of colleagues that are able to manage the pipeline of customer opportunities for each channel and develop client solutions.
James: Within Beazley Digital we all have a common set of strategic objectives and key results (OKRs). These include minimum touch, being customer-centric, access to specialists for our customers, using data driven insights and striving for better through continual innovation. Everything the distribution channel teams deliver aligns with these objectives. We call this the golden thread, and it ensures that we are moving towards our strategic goals.
What is currently the biggest challenge within underwriting?
James: It is very important to provide a highly responsive service to our brokers and clients, whilst providing the specialist cover that most fits their risks. This requires us to design products and services that are simple enough to offer through digital channels, but also capture the right data to enable good underwriting decisions – getting this balance right is particularly important to digitally underwriting business for the SME sector. A broader challenge for the industry is the lack of standards, particularly when transacting via APIs - Lloyd’s and ACORD have done some good work on this, but more progress is needed.
Ian: Cyber underwriting is an area of both challenge and opportunity. The cyber threat is very dynamic and there are a number of evolving factors that need to be considered when assessing cyber risk now that may not have been there a few years ago, or even months ago. In order to underwrite a risk efficiently, we must check several data sources, and in a digital underwriting business, the trick is to be able to check those data sources with as much automation as possible.
What is Syndicate 4321 and why was it launched?
James: Syndicate 4321 is our new ESG syndicate. Within the syndicate we have established four specific focus areas: ESG Cyber, ESG Marine, ESG Casualty and ESG Property. The syndicate will provide additional capacity exclusively for clients with good ESG ratings. We use a variety of specialist rating agencies and in-house data science capabilities to score companies. As the world becomes much more aware of ESG issues, it’s great to be able to provide our clients with the choice of where their capital comes from.
Is Beazley looking to expand into any new areas?
Ian: As we move forward, we'd like to develop more products that are specifically designed to be digitally distributed. We want to work with partners to provide complimentary services to our clients when we offer specialty insurance.
Why has Beazley supported InsTech as a corporate member?
James: Even though what we’re doing at Beazley is already quite innovative, our aim is to keep improving. As a smaller insurance carrier we also see partnerships as strategically important, especially in the domains of technology and distribution. InsTech is great in helping with both of these things: it gives us a very effective and efficient way of being connected to the insurtech community.
For more information on Beazley, go to beazley.com