Insurers are lagging behind in the adoption of big data technology

The head of retail property and casualty actuarial believes that too many insurers are still steeped in traditional practices and risk missing the opportunity to embrace digital technology.

Barton claims some insurance firms are implementing modern developments, such as social media platforms, but fewer are incorporating sophisticated solutions such as big data.

Barton told Reuters: “Compared to many other industries, (insurers) are still playing catch-up. The sector has a very traditional culture.”

The comments featured in a report which claimed that the insurance industry has historically relied on personal contacts and the London insurance market had not shaken off its roots of ‘starting in a coffee shop in the 17th century’.

Barton’s remarks come in the wake of similar comments by Lloyd’s Chief Executive Inga Beale, who claimed the sector needed to ‘attract new, tech-savvy talent’. According to Beale, if insurers in the UK are going to remain competitive globally they need to embrace new technology. With the aim of putting technology at the heart of Lloyd’s, Beale recently appointed a Chief Data Officer.