By Stewart Williams, COO, VIPR
The Lloyd’s Market Association has announced its priorities for the year ahead, and they make for reassuring reading.
The list includes adapting to Brexit, product and wording simplification, driving underwriting discipline, and improving business processes. Most important of all from VIPR’s point of view is that the LMA has cited “driving common data standards across the London market” as a “top priority”.
“All market participants should be able to exchange and manipulate data without first altering it,” the LMA says. “That will facilitate the efficiencies now within reach through all the other platforms on the Future at Lloyd’s agenda.”
Standard data formats are key to success
We at VIPR fully support the LMA’s drive for consistent, quality data that can be processed by best-in-breed systems.
Standard data formats will be fundamental to the success of this. As the LMA also says: “Simple questions such as the way a year is recorded – with two digits or four – must be agreed and answered. We don’t care which option is selected, only that everyone agrees so we can have an efficient and effective way of transferring data.”
We also believe that by starting small, and seeing incremental gain, the market will be able to quickly embrace this idea.
A massive leap forward
With Blueprint Two, Lloyd’s is prioritising the implementation of end-to-end digital journeys from placement through to claims processing for open market and delegated authority business, which together make up 80% of total Lloyd’s premium.
Lloyd’s stated aim of open systems using best in breed solutions that all organisations can select based on their own needs is a massive leap forward. This open architecture will need to be underpinned by APIs that will facilitate ease of data exchange.
It makes sense to focus on business-critical data
There is a core set of data that delegated business requires in order to conduct business and report it to Lloyd’s. We believe this should form the basis of the new standards.
Lloyd’s is a specialist market and, as such, has specialist needs. So, whilst the creation of a digital and data-led market is essential for the continued success of the market, Lloyd’s needs to be careful that it does not become too restrictive.
For example, all of our clients seek additional data that is generally specific to their own needs. This data does need to be made available but does not necessarily need to conform to market-wide standards that will inevitably become restrictive.
We therefore believe that any central solution should focus on the business-critical data that is required for all interested parties to obtain the core information they need.
Greater flexibility will best serve the wider market
When all is said and done, the real architecture of the future is one where broker, insurers and MGAs can receive full data sets and extract as much or as little information as they require from it. They would then be able to pass a smaller, quality-controlled core data set to the central repository for the needs of the wider market.