Plus, Howden Group’s chief executive believes the current hard market ‘will certainly sort the wheat from the chaff.

“If we become irrelevant to clients and they decide insurance isn’t what it needs to help them build their business, protect their employees or make investments that they might not make without insurance, then it’ll be us that suffer in the long-term. The pandemic has brought a focus on that [which] we should not lightly ignore.”

Howden describes this drive to remain relevant as “the biggest and most interesting challenge [to come] out of this pandemic”.

“How do we make sure we make the right investment in the people, in focusing on product development that we actually become relevant through the changing issues in the world?” he continues.

“Our job as insurance is to be there to insure, to protect, support, so let’s really learn from this lesson and make sure that we are there and thinking about where could the next real hit come from and how can we help our clients, if and when that happens, [to] push through, survive and grow.”

Katie Scott Insurance Times Feb 11th 2021

David Howden points to the importance of digital and data for Howden Group, and by implication, for all brokers and insurers. 

Scott quotes Howden as saying “People don’t mind paying for good advice, they don’t mind paying for expertise, they don’t mind paying for good service, they don’t mind paying for finding capacity. What they don’t want to pay for is the frictional costs of just doing transactions, that’s a waste of money.”

The shock waves assailing business, commerce and consumers do not give carriers, brokers or reinsurers the time they normally expect to change and improve. The new no-code platforms empower them to rapidly test new processes, workflows, products and services and deliver continuous improvement. To strip out the frictional costs that Howden refers to whilst at the same time increasing customer satisfaction and NPS. 

In no way does technology avoid the need to plan, organise, direct and control as a part of effective strategic leadership and tactical execution of strategy. But it makes it possible.

And helps be wheat rather than chaff.