Decile 10 reviews for data quality?

An urgent call to action from Nick Mair, co-founder of insurtech start-up DQPro


The so-called “Decile 10” reviews by the Lloyd’s Corporation – reviews of the worst-performing 10% of syndicates – have led to a flurry of activity and urgency the likes of which I’ve rarely seen in the London Market.

Such a sharp focus on the profitability of front-end business and underwriting discipline was always going to get people to sit up and listen, particularly when underperforming operations could be compelled to close.

It’s a big stick to hit the market with but when it comes to performance there are many other facets requiring attention.

“Data Performance” is now a prerequisite

For today’s specialty underwriters, taking decisions on a daily basis across lines of business requires timely analysis of high-quality data.

However, too often specialty carriers are handling global business with an unwieldy mess of legacy systems and sticking plaster controls that were not designed for the insurtech driven needs of today. This is an anathema to effective data controls, and the resulting efforts are typically tactical, disjointed or downright dysfunctional.

Data is risky business

All of this means that without proper controls, the risks of data uncertainty have increased, posing an urgent question for underwriters and business leaders: when the chips are down, how confident are you really in your data? What about the underwriting decisions and regulatory reports that are based on that data?

Data hygiene might seem like unglamorous nuts-and-bolts detail, but it is only one short step behind the modern underwriter. This is why the need for improved data controls requires urgent acknowledgement and action from the industry.

Front line decision-makers are only as good as the data at their fingertips. Lack of data oversight upstream leads to costly inefficiencies downstream which, in turn, can produce mistakes that have serious underwriting or regulatory implications.

Data – a positive decile 10 KPI?

The carriers taking confident underwriting decisions for a strong 2019 will be those with true, global data confidence. How about decile ten reviews highlighting the top performers for data quality and oversight?

It’s becoming a pressing boardroom topic and is now a leading indicator of the health, efficiency and data reliability of a business.

So here’s my call to action: Lloyd’s must go beyond the current Minimum Standards to make data quality a key performance indicator for the market, right up there with underwriting profitability.

 A confident, data-enabled market is a foundational bedrock for the Lloyd’s market of the future.