This article is part of Carrier Management’s series on the Future of Insurance.

Russell JohnstonRussell Johnston, CEO, QBE North America

Q: What major changes do you see on the horizon for the property/casualty insurance industry in the next 10 years? What will insurance companies, insurance leaders, the industry and its workforce look like in the next decade? What risks will they insure?

Johnston (QBE NA): The power of technology to drive change and disrupt traditional industry models will continue to have a paradoxical effect on the industry. It will give us more tools to collect and analyze data to price certain risks, but it will also accelerate the pace of change and give rise to unknown risks. Who would have thought several years ago that a cyber event could potentially equal the losses from a major hurricane? Businesses will need help to manage these “unknown unknowns,” yet insurers will be challenged to assume risks that historical methods of calculating risk and return won’t reliably evaluate.

Insurers will need to continue to evolve the means and methods that they use to assess and assume risk at the same time the risks will continue to evolve, but I have faith that we will do just that. One hundred years ago, with the advent of mass production of the automobile and spread of in-home electricity, there was limited accessible data to support how these changes in the risk landscape would impact the industry—but the industry adapted. I am optimistic we can do the same today, but it will require thinking differently.

One hundred years ago, with the advent of mass production of the automobile and spread of in-home electricity, there was limited accessible data to support how these changes in the risk landscape would impact the industry—but the industry adapted.
The industry will increasingly need to move beyond our traditional risk transfer role and deliver more holistic risk solutions to customers. The companies that will perform best in this regard will be the ones that follow a rule that never changes: build the strongest partnerships with customers. Only then can you best understand their needs and help them have the confidence to achieve their ambitions…The industry’s historical orientation around product will need to evolve to a more solutions-based approach.

To match the pace of change, specialized teams will need to be more fluid, and nimbly assembling partnerships will allow companies to constantly adjust the optimal mix of technical experts and industry specialists tailored to the needs of each customer. The historical norm of outright ownership of all products and services will have to evolve to a more flexible approach to solution-based outcomes. As collaboration and skills-tracking technology improve, the options for assembling these teams will become less about location and more about having the right skills and experience for each client situation at a specific time…

Read more Future Insights by person

  1. Mike Albert, Co-Founder, Ask Kodiak
  2. Tim Attia, CEO and Co-Founder, Slice Labs, Inc.
  3. Arun Balakrishnan, CEO, Xceedance
  4. Ilya Bodner, CEO, Bold Penguin
  5. Bobby Bowden, Executive Vice President, Chief Distribution and Marketing Officer, Allied World
  6. Andy Breen, Senior Vice President, Digital, Argo Group
  7. Adam Cassady, CEO, Tyche Risk
  8. Chris Cheatham, CEO, RiskGenius
  9. Trent Cooksley, Head of Open Innovation, Markel Corporation
  10. Mike Foley, CEO, Zurich North America
  11. Guy Goldstein, Co-Founder and CEO, Next Insurance
  12. Mike Greene, CEO & Co-Founder, Hi Marley
  13. Brian Hemesath, Managing Director, Global Insurance Accelerator
  14. Russell Johnston, CEO, QBE North America
  15. Dr. Henna Karna, Managing Director and Chief Data Officer, XL Catlin
  16. Tony Kuczinski, President and CEO of Munich Re, US
  17. Rashmi Melgiri, Co-Founder, CoverWallet
  18. David W. Miles, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, ManchesterStory Group
  19. Pranav Pasricha, CEO, Intellect SEEC
  20. Mike Pritula, President, RMS
  21. Kathleen Reardon, CEO, Hamilton Re
  22. Jeff Richardson, Senior Vice President, OneBeacon Insurance Group
  23. Vikram Sidhu, Partner, Clyde & Co
  24. Christopher Swift, CEO, The Hartford
  25. Rebecca Wheeling Purcell, Schedule It
  26. Keith Wolfe, President US P/C—Regional and National, Swiss Re

The industry’s historical orientation around product will need to evolve to a more solutions-based approach.