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Technology won’t alter essence of insurance: Greenberg


Technology will help usher insurance into the future, but it will not fundamentally change the industry, according to Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Chubb Ltd.

Technology is changing the insurance industry in a significant way because “it is providing tools and capabilities to improve all functions and activities from the customer experience to the process of underwriting and risk taking,” through to the claims process, Mr. Greenberg said Tuesday at the InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas.

Insurtech companies may improve customer experience and other aspects of the business, “but they are not changing the fundamental nature of risk taking,” Mr. Greenberg said at the conference, which was held live but was also accessible virtually. “Insurance is the art and science of taking risk. Fundamentally, that’s the business.”

Ultimately, change is less about implementing technology – “that’s the easy part,” said Mr. Greenberg - “it’s about the culture and it’s about the skill sets,” and the organizational structure, he said. “Chubb is an underwriting company. Chubb in the future is an underwriting and engineering company.”

While technology and connectivity have helped the insurance industry get through the pandemic in a very “efficient” manner, Mr. Greenberg also used the word “sterile” to help define that efficiency.

People are connected, but “the longer the pandemic has gone on, there is this disconnectedness that is occurring.”

Technology and virtual connectivity must complement human interaction, he said. “You can’t build culture virtually. You can’t train people. You don’t have the same creativity. You don’t have the combustion that goes with people together.”