Diary of an Insurance Post Editor: Emma Ann Hughes

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To give you a taste of one of our new features for 2023 – Diary of an Insurer - here is Diary of Insurance Post's Editor Emma Ann Hughes.

I have been overwhelmed with how welcoming the industry has been and the amount of interest in one of our new features for 2023 – Diary of an Insurer. The industry needs to attract, develop, and retain top talent and Diary of an Insurer will give you a snapshot of what it is like to work in different functions across an array of companies. So make sure you open our email alert every Monday to learn more about the working lives of those who work in the industry. To kick things off, and give a taste of what is to come, here is my Diary of an Insurance Post editor.


Emma Ann Hughes
Emma Ann Hughes

Monday

The week begins with the December edition of Post being signed-off and sent to the printers. I share on social media my exclusive interview with RSA CEO for UK and Ireland Ken Norgrove, where he revealed bold new environmental, social and governance targets for the insurer. Post content director Jonathan Swift, Insurance Age editor Lauren Ingram and I catch-up to discuss the British Insurance Awards, roundtables, webinars, our Motor & Motability event, opinion pieces, a new series of Claims Apprentice and the podcasts planned for 2023. The FCA publishes an update on how insurers have responded to the dual-pricing rules introduced at the start of 2022. After covering regulation for FTAdviser, I enjoy reading the latest tome from the City watchdog.


Tom Murphy, CEO Machine Learning Programs
Tom Murphy

Tuesday

Tuesday lunchtime sees me multi-task as I watch a Managing General Agents’ Association webinar on data science while eating pizza. Tom Murphy, founder of Machine Learning Programs, hosts the webinar and gives the industry food for thought. He observes the Financial Conduct Authority should tackle the “shockingly bad” use of data in insurance by setting qualification requirements for scientists working in the industry. He also notes how there are three main stages to any new technology: early mover advantage, herd approach and then an extermination event. Early movers take risk but gain some reward. The mass market will move when they are sure there is less risk but also less reward as it has become a standard way of doing business and then there are too slow to move who go extinct. Which insurers among us today will be as dead as a dodo in only a few years’ time?


2023 forecast

Wednesday

After working remotely I commute into Post’s offices in the heart of the City, where I am joined by senior reporters Harry Curtis, Pamela Kokoszka, and reporter Frances Stebbing. We discuss the most read stories on Post in 2022 – and ways to follow-up on the articles that clearly interested you most in 2023. I also begin ploughing through insurance analyst outlooks and expert predictions to work on an article covering what 2023 holds in store for insurers.


adrian-coupland
Adrian Coupland

Thursday

While I have enjoyed several catch-ups with insurers over steak and chips in my first few weeks as editor, today marks my first curry for lunch. As I enjoy my garlic-infused tikka masala, Adrian Coupland, head of sales for insurance EMEA at Earnix, talks about the importance of swiftly being able to make changes to your pricing in the current climate and the extent to which legacy technology is delaying rate changes, resulting in many insurers likely to be declaring losses on certain lines next year. Later, I meet with Michael Yabantu, director of mid-market, schemes and regional speciality at Aviva, and get an exclusive on the insurer’s growth plans.


Ukraine flag

Friday

Post prides itself on equipping insurers with the information and insight they need to work effectively. Today, given our plans to increase the amount of data analysis we produce and given that I need to write an overview of what insurers can expect from 2023, I have a timely catch-up over MS Teams with Henry Wilkinson, chief intelligence officer of Dragonfly. Henry has overall responsibility for the company’s intelligence and analysis operations and shows me data illustrating that next year will be defined by a ‘global unravelling’. A likely security crisis over Taiwan, escalating tensions between China and the US, and a prolonged conflict in Ukraine paint a picture of an increasingly volatile world that is seeing the erosion of its existing systems of global cooperation and governance. The geopolitical outlook illustrates how this is a world where the need for insurance products and services to help manage risk is greater than ever. A sobering thought to start the weekend.

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