Insurance compliance teams: busy does not equate to efficient

Insurance compliance teams the world over are busy, very busy. But being busy is not the same as being efficient. Nick Mair, co-founder and CEO of bootstrapped startup Atticus DQPro explores how Insurtech is streamlining compliance.

It’s not easy being a Compliance Officer. Whether it is for a specialist insurer or a global property and casualty carrier, the challenges are the same. After all, it is a role that has increased exponentially in complexity since the 1990’s. Back then it was considered an important if slightly obscure back office function, sometimes even combined with other responsibilities such as company secretary.

But since then things have changed. The underwriting compliance burden has dramatically increased around the world as a result of new regulations, from Solvency II to the Dodd-Frank. And the myriad of regulations have been coupled with the introduction of the risk of fines, capital loadings and reputational damage for those organisations falling short.

At the same time, the complexities and threat of financial crime have also increased exponentially as a result of the internet revolution. This is turn has brought new requirements for oversight, monitoring and licensing in key global insurance territories. So it is now clear why there are now dedicated compliance departments and teams in most insurance operations, and they have never been busier.

Compliance pain points

But busy is not the same as efficient, and that’s where there is a problem. Here are the four main non-life insurance compliance pain points:

  1. Legacy system pain: to do their job well, compliance teams often have to work around a frustrating array of legacy systems and manual process to identify and resolve issues with front line business users. Combined with the increased global regulatory burden explains why compliance teams are getting bigger.
  2. Audit trail pain: recording underwriting compliance issues on Excel spreadsheets and/or emailing underwriters is inefficient, error prone and hard to track. It also makes keeping a credible audit trail very challenging.
  3. Constant change pain: as new risk areas emerge, for instance cyber risk and new fraud risk, the regulation and compliance checks are updated. These new checks require quick deployment and remedial action, but can be complicated to implement operation-wide without a proper overview of the data being held.
  4. Daily checks pain: performing these control checks daily, across business branches and at scale, has produced a significant increased workload for Heads of Compliance and their teams the world over.

Pain relief – where insurtech can help

When we launched Insurtech data confidence tool DQPro, through our work with leading insurance brands, it became clear that DQPro stands out thanks to its unique ability to flexibly deploy, apply and fully automate new controls.

This means compliance users now constitute a significant and growing percentage of our global user base. Heads of Compliance using DQPro have praised their ability to now react much faster and more completely to issues in real-time, and deploy new market checks efficiently and quickly.

They also told us that DQPro automatically provides them with evidence that greatly assists with all audit controls. In fact, we have been told that DQPro is actually reducing spend with external auditors by having all of this information readily to hand for analysis.

One compliance user has estimated a monthly time saving against manual process of 3-4 days (approx. 17-20%) for this benefit alone.

A wise person once labelled the insurance industry as a simple industry made complex by the diligent efforts of generations of practitioners. We cannot guarantee that the compliance burden will reduce any time soon, but we can help our global compliance users make significant, tangible gains from the their current process. Why not ask us for a demonstration to learn more?

Nick Mair, co-founder and CEO of Atticus DQPro