Whilst the future of UK politics remains uncertain, Xavier Woodward talks to Insurance Age about how the stability of the commercial insurance market depends upon bright industry leaders disrupting the status quo with innovative solutions for consumers.
When asked about the effect of Brexit on the commercial insurance market, Xavier comments that "the only thing I can say with certainty is there's quite a lot of uncertainty. I have no idea how the Brexit story is going to unfold, although it does have to unfold soon."
"Whatever the future holds for the UK and its relationship with Europe and the rest of the world, it's the job of business and the insurance industry (as a subset of the broader business community) to find better, newer, more innovative and customer-satisfying ways of doing things. If we can keep doing that then we'll be okay. If we don't then we will stagnate."
He adds that "whether political events give us a tailwind or headwind, it doesn't change the fundamental truth that we need our bright people to be finding better ways of doing things. The more people that are out there in the market thinking creatively, the healthier that is for the UK insurance industry."
"The more people who are in our industry that really understand the problems that people face and how we might help design the solutions, the better."
Commenting on the importance of innovation in business, Xavier says "people tend to view economic growth as though it's some magical thing that government can create. It's not. It's something that businesses create by doing things better."
"No commercial lines broker should assume they have a right to exist just because of the way the supply chain has worked previously in the insurance industry; there are always people coming up with better ways of doing things and disrupting the status quo."
Addressing the importance of a clear customer proposition, Xavier suggests that "at the heart of the longevity of the industry is customer focus and a differentiated proposition. That's stating the obvious perhaps but I'm often surprised by how much people seem to forget that. Lots of businesses are so consumed by the day-to-day, that their market share can almost feel like a sense of entitlement, and actually, that's not the way things work."
These comments were originally published in Insurance Age.