Devoted readers of Carrier Management’s magazine will remember that we ended the year with a special feature on geospatial information systems—a collection of technologies involved with mapping the Earth and deriving insights from information.

One of the most remarkable images we published in that edition—besides the vivid “eye in the sky” we featured on our cover—was the graphic below, created by a company known as Skytek. It demonstrates the impact of the grounding of the Ever Given last March. By matching satellite images with ship manifests, Skytek was able to advise insurers, brokers and shipping companies on risk aggregations. Those pink triangles are representations of the ships that were stuck.

I remembered that image in early January when I received a news alert on my phone from the Associated Press about a traffic jam along Interstate 95 in Virginia during a snowstorm. We published the article about the climate-related event, along with the compelling AP photo that we have also used for our cover page today.

Not unlike the Ever Given, a single container ship stuck in the Suez Canal that caused weeks of shipping delays around the globe, the AP article described one obstacle that prevented hundreds of cars from moving forward for more than a day on an impassable highway. According to the article, it may have been a truck jackknifed during the snowstorm on I-95 that caused the chain reaction, blocking the forward progression of many.

The snowstorm also probably had some insurers tallying auto and homeowners claims in the days that followed. But it was the image, and the idea of roadblocks, that got me thinking about the bigger picture for insurance executives—and the obstacles that occupy their thoughts during the first weeks of the new year.

What’s the one thing that has you stuck going into 2022? What roadblock stands in the way of your company moving ahead with innovation, growth, customer service, whatever you set as your 2021 goal?

Click here for a free copy of Carrier Management’s January 2022 digital edition, “Forging Ahead: Getting Past Roadblocks
Not enough talent? Old technology? Lack of new ideas? Competitive pressures? External forces like inflation and litigation? Personal burnout? Collective burnout?

What is the destination that property/casualty insurers, reinsurers and InsurTechs want to reach together—as an industry—in 2022? What innovations will move the entire industry forward?

What obstacle is systemically shutting down the progress of our industry as a whole? How can P/C industry participants collaborate to reach their common goals?

The last few questions were inspired by Bill Gates and his own reference to the Ever Given event in his Dec. 7 “year in review” blog item on Looking back on 2021, he wrote:

“Every time you looked at the news, you were reminded of just how significantly something happening on the other side of the world could affect you at home. (Just look at how one container ship stuck in the Suez Canal for a week caused shipping delays around the world.)

It’s never been clearer that tackling big problems requires people working together across borders and sectors.”

Gates seemed less optimistic about the year ahead than he’s been in the past, even though he titled his post, “Reasons for optimism after a difficult year.” He did say that increased digitization and increased climate conversation give him reasons for optimism. But he concluded a section about a trend he finds particularly worrisome—declining trust throughout the world that makes it harder to tackle big challenges (particularly trust in government)—by writing:

“This is usually where I’d lay out my ideas for how we fix the problem. The truth is, I don’t have the answers. I plan to keep seeking out and reading others’ ideas, especially from young people.”

As an editor, I don’t have answers to the questions on the minds of our readers. But like Gates, I plan to seek them out. Let us know what you view as your biggest obstacles. Going forward this year, we’ll research the passageways to move past them and present the answers we gather in the pages of Carrier Management’s 2022 quarterly print magazines.

Building New Roads

Before forging ahead with that plan, today Carrier Management is publishing one of two completely digital editions of our magazine, intended to update readers on outlooks and trends impacting their businesses between the regular quarterly print editions. (The second digital-only edition publishes in June.)

In our current edition, we present articles that describe some of the struggles that we already know carriers are dealing with: cyber insurance losses, COVID consequences, social inflation, revamping core systems, distribution challenges, keeping up with customer needs, and making use of data and analytics.

Leading off the edition, we offer articles about two companies that have paved entirely new paths to tackle problems that stood in the way of forward progress at their organizations.

The first, Burford Capital, isn’t even a company in the P/C insurance space. But in the minds of some leaders of the P/C insurance industry, it may be the biggest disrupter to their businesses. The article profiles Chris Bogart, a lawyer turned innovator who, in a sense, invented an entire new segment of the U.S. financial world. In 2009, Bogart co-founded a company that has become the biggest U.S. public company in the litigation finance space.

Did he disrupt the insurance industry? Is Burford the driving force behind social inflation? Read what he thinks and what problems he was solving by starting up Burford in Russ Banham’s profile, “An Innovator’s Journey: From Star Litigator to Litigation Finance.”

A second innovator described in these pages is a company that sits squarely within the insurance industry: Hiscox. Read about the company’s unique collaboration with an industry outsider, Attensi, a provider of gamified training, to create a “3D Insurance Training Simulator for Underwriters.”

“Many business sectors are grappling with growth targets and the need to get the most out of highly skilled employees, and this is especially the case in sectors like financial services, where the knowledge bar is high and the unemployment rate is relatively low,” writes Des Bishop, the group head of People Development at Hiscox, starting the article he co-authored with Attensi’s Huw Newton-Hill by laying out the problems being solved on this new thoroughfare to talent management.

With our editors allowing them to use a bit of hyperbole, Bishop and Newton-Hill conclude the article suggesting that their collaboration succeeded to “break new educational ground in the complex world of financial services…showing an entire industry how to better engage new team members in a highly competitive sector for highly skilled talent.”

What other collaborations and innovations will pave the way to individual company and industry-wide breakthroughs this year?

We’re eager to find out and welcome your ideas on the roadblocks and brand new highways we should cover.

Contact me at to share your ideas.


The two articles described above and a selection of some of the other articles in this digital magazine are available in today’s newsletter. All the magazine articles are available to view on the magazine page of our website.

If you’re not already a subscriber, be sure to download the full PDF of this edition, “Forging Ahead: Getting Past Roadblocks” by clicking the title or on the “Download PDF” button on the left-hand side of the CM website magazine page. To be able to read and share individual articles more easily, consider becoming a Carrier Management member to unlock everything.

(AP Photo/ Steve Helber: Drivers wait for the traffic to be cleared as cars and trucks are stranded on sections of Interstate 95 Tuesday Jan. 4, 2022, in Carmel Church, Va. )