Monday, 14 January 2008

Web 2.0 and Insurance

Andrew Berry wrote a thought-provoking article for IRMI last quarter and I wanted to offer a couple of comments.

Readers should know that IRMI's stated mission is to be an "authority in providing expert advice and practical strategies for risk management [professionals]".

To summarize some salient points, Andrew explains how the web as a platform and software as a service is a key part of the newest generation of internet applications and Andrew even credits Advisen for being one of the first such providers.

He correctly points out that the insurance industry is slower to adopt technology and that firms are notoriously hesitant to contribute data and insight to the public domain in order to reap the rewards from looking at aggegated information from the whole industry. For example, Advisen benchmarking took years to get critical mass in terms of data.

Couple of comments. First off, I hope Andrew follows up his commentary on collaboration. Key to the success of web 2.0 applications is user-generated content and collaboration. The most-trafficked part of the website is its members forum.

How will other forms of web 2.0 tools help IRMI readers (risk managers) leverage the greater community to learn more? Some of the risks may be specific to particular companies, but there is so much overlap in how companies manage risk and implement ERM, that I see a huge opportunity for Advisen to help risk managers come together.

I'd be interested in Andrew's thoughts, especially about one of his conclusions, "The industry is still wary of the Internet and the potential disruption it could create for parts of the distribution channel".

Secondly, I noted his point that insurance-industry blogging is very popular and showed the following chart depicting it as much more popular than blagging in banking or real estate. And the data was summarized before this blog started, I can only imagine the spike when they next tally this data...

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