In uncertain times, insurers can trust both the fundamentals and innovation

By David Fontain, CEO, Foresight

In uncertain times, insurers can trust both the fundamentals *and* innovation

As investors track the cycle of market fluctuations and inflation, leaders in our industry are answering questions about how these economic factors are impacting the insurance sector as a whole. Insider Engage recently took the temperature of a number of leaders at the RIMS 2022/Riskworld conference, who shared their perspective on the convergence of market volatility and emerging risk factors, including climate, geopolitical, COVID, and cyber variables. 

While many interviewees highlighted the word “uncertainty” when giving their perspective on 2022, what resonated with me most—both in my investor-focused insurtech founder role and as the CEO of the profitable insurance MGA arm of that insurtech—were the remarks made by Rohit Verma, CEO of Crawford & Company. He said: 

“I think that there have been uncertainty in the world all along. I think that we have a different picture of that now. I think the industry is doing a fair job. I won’t say that we’re doing a great job at managing the uncertainty, but I think the industry is doing a fair job of really understanding what is beyond the horizon and trying to anticipate it. But I believe there’s more work to do for us in really understanding how that is going to impact our lives, how that’s going to impact our risk profiles, how that will change how risk at price today. So I do think that more work is needed for us to really understand the uncertainties that are around the corner that are going to come and how they will change our lives.”

I couldn’t agree more with this assessment. We know that insurance has been managing through uncertainty for centuries (and some historians would argue, for even longer). Cyclical markets call for solid business fundamentals, conservative management of balance sheets, and hard market pricing. But these times also call for us to continue researching, as Mr. Verma said “understanding,” and continuing to innovate our businesses so that we are better equipped for both the challenges and the opportunities of tomorrow. As smart leaders evaluate budgetary measures in the current economic climate, we must make certain our commitment to innovation remains unwavering. 

Our customers’ dynamic needs and exposures don’t stop evolving in a fluctuating market environment. In fact, some of the very factors cited by Mr. Verma’s peers in the Insider Engage piece will accelerate risk in the very near future; and we cannot treat market volatility and rebound as a red light/green light signal for investment in the technology, services, and key talent necessary to drive the industry forward. 

RIMS/Riskworld kicked off a busy summer season of industry conferences and events geared towards provoking insurance leaders to think like innovators. I’m looking forward to hearing more perspectives and sharing ideas—starting at Insurtech Insights in New York in two weeks—on how we can continue to demonstrate that our industry can serve our clients, partners, and shareholders through both financial strength *and* modernization, in any market condition.

David Fontain is the Founder and CEO of Foresight, the workers compensation insurtech that ties Foresight completed its $39 Million Series B round at the close of 2021. An entrepreneur and thought leader in the insurance thought leadership space for nearly a decade, Dave has been featured in Business Insurance, Insurance Business America, The Leadership in Insurance Podcast, InsNerds, Risk & Insurance, Insurance Journal, and as a speaker at various influencer conferences and trade shows. An Australian native, Dave resides in the Bay Area and enjoys surfing and the outdoors when not working.

More from this Author