Automation widening skills gap

The automation of entry-level underwriting positions has the potential to create an unscalable skills gap, according to a recent whitepaper examining the effect of data modelling on the insurance industry.

Suncorp’s latest Insurance Insights white paper suggests that the automation of basic home, motor and small businesses packages have forced underwriting recruits to develop their skills on more complicated insurances.

Suncorp Commercial Insurance Executive General Manager Darren O’Connell says that this shift in skills training could prove problematic.

“Previously, new recruits to the industry would be introduced to risk assessment and pricing in these basic lines,” O’Connell says.

“However, as a result of automation, entry-level underwriters are now forced to cut their teeth on more complex risks in other lines before they’ve had the chance to develop.”

“The next generation will be entrusted with their business’s risk appetite without having the depth of experiences as their predecessors,” O’Connell adds.

“For the insurance industry, this could lead to missed opportunities or, worse, crippling errors.”

O’Connell says that insurers need to provide targeted, entry-level training to ensure underwriters are supported.

“Insurers must be proactive in identifying people who share the traits necessary to be a successful underwriter and provide training and support to help them make the transition,” O’Connell says.

“Rather than facing extinction, the underwriting profession is actually undergoing the next stage of its evolution.”

O’Connell says that developments in data and automation provide powerful resources for helping underwriters perform better, offering opportunities for growth.

“This is why it’s so critical that underwriting career pathways and educational resources are updated to ensure that new recruits are given the best chance to develop their expertise and experience without being thrown into the deep end,” O’Connell says.

Access the white paper in full here.