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SAN DIEGO — New tools and technologies not available five or 10 years ago can provide materially more data and information to bolster submissions, while tech also remains a core element of growth for wholesale players, sources said at this week’s Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association’s Annual Marketplace.
“There is more data available,” said Christa Nadler, Chicago-based area executive vice president, property broker, for Risk Placement Services Inc., part of Arthur J Gallagher & Co. “Ten years ago we couldn’t open up Google Earth to take a look at what the roof looks like.”
Such new tools and information can be used to differentiate submissions, Ms. Nadler said. “Now, we can include in our submission a picture of the roof,” where previously such an image might have required the use of an aircraft.
The variety and availability of technology tools “just keeps expanding,” said Vanessa Sullivan, New York-based senior vice president, excess and surplus underwriting manager, for Munich Re Specialty Insurance, part of Munich Reinsurance Group. She added the broker community is also embracing technology and analytics to a greater degree and that “as an underwriter, I’m always looking for that extra data.”
Tech can also help fuel growth.
“We’re doing a lot on the IT side to support the business to be as efficient as possible. We’ll continue to make those investments,” said Jack Kuhn, Berkeley Heights, New Jersey-based president of Westfield Specialty, a unit of Westfield Insurance Co. He added that such investments would be “significant” as the company builds out its capabilities for new lines of coverages during the coming years.