Source: Insurance Business by Mia Wallace
What’s happening in the affinity insurance sector?
Assessing the lay of the affinity insurance landscape as it stands today, Hobson emphasised that “consolidation” is the word on the lips of many across the market. However, he noted that when discussing affinity, it’s important to be aligned on what that actually entails. Often, when people talk about becoming an affinity broker or carrier, they’re pursuing a one-to-one sales model. Real consolidation is where a client is tapping into a wider ecosystem to help acquire and retain its end customers.
How embedded insurance has evolved
“There are so many examples of innovation across the consolidation model that I’m seeing in affinity business,” he said. “We’re looking at moving away from one-to-one acquisition and far more towards that embedded ecosystem solution. One-to-one acquisition still has its place because there are still products that require and support that model, with professional liability being one example.”
Increasing engagement with service providers and partners
“The other thing I’m seeing, for us, is a lot more engagement in our ecosystem with service providers and partners,” he said. “That’s specialist technology providers, specialist education services, risk management services – and partnerships within our own organisation that allow us to tap into the wonderful insights and capabilities delivered by Oliver Wyman and Guy Carpenter.
What’s top of the agenda for Hobson and his team?
With the year stretching ahead, he noted that there are several pressing items at the top of his agenda for 2024. First is firmly establishing what the team want the future of embedded insurance to be within Marsh, he said, because it represents such a huge opportunity – and that delineation will be critical going forward.
Secondly, is ensuring that the affinity team continues to really deliver on the data insights piece so critical to their clients. That’s especially important, he said, because the more and better quality data they get, the more it supports their insurance buying decisions and their risk management decisions – which is an element that should be considered by the industry more broadly.
“And finally, the third focus for me is always the same,” he said. “It’s about getting my brilliant team to the end of the year and making sure they have some fun and celebrate the great work they’re doing along the way.”