2021 looks set to be shaped by navigating hard market conditions across lines and managing the ongoing disruption from the pandemic crisis. AFL CEO Jonathan Bines urges determination, creativity and open minded thinking focused on securing the best results for clients over the next 12 months.
Here at AFL we encourage the team to take pride in everything that we do, never give up and enjoy the challenges that are thrown at us. And never have these values been more relevant than with the business conditions our clients face this year, with the upward pressure on rates continuing across lines in 2021.
We are already seeing the predictable flow of new entrants into the market in response to the harder rating environment, and in time we will see rates stabilising again, but to my mind this will not happen until beyond 2021. Meanwhile, the insurers are voicing their determination to ensure technical underwriting levels are not breached, making negotiations with both the insurer and insureds complex.
We also think 2021 might well start seeing an accelerated tangible and practical use of technology in what we do. Not all of the innovation and the excitement of the heady insurtech dreams will come true at once and change the industry forever – but we just need to focus on the more obvious and less fashionable use of technology which has transformative potential for re/insurance.
A shift in work life balance
At the same time I think that our industry, in London at the very least, will never look the same in terms of how we all go about our day to day working lives after the shift to remote working we saw in 2020. And despite all the challenges brought about by the pandemic, we must focus on the positives.
There was of course already a movement towards working from home or remotely and, while I hope we will spend more time in our offices interacting in person as a team and networking, I also hope this flexibility will serve to encourage more talent from different backgrounds to consider careers in the insurance sector.
I truly believe that we can find the right balance in 2021 of making sure we get together for the most productive meetings with our teammates and clients. And now we have the opportunity to capitalise on the perspective that 2020 gave us to recognise that everyone’s individual situations are different, and if we put our mind to it we can create environments that suit and get the best out of each and every person.
Whatever 2021 throws at us, navigating the best coverage and insurance solutions at the best pricing available requires expertise and determination, and we are here to help our clients for the long haul.