An opportunity for Change

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An opportunity for Change

Carbon’s data-driven underwriting platform Graphene gives access to live data and analytics across the risk transfer chain, and it’s time to offer it to the market, writes Ben Laidlaw, founding partner and CTO at Lloyd’s MGU Carbon Underwriting.

Superior data motivates more profitable and informed underwriting decisions. We see a massive opportunity to change how the market underwrites delegated authority business – and data is the fundamental building block.

We initially developed the Graphene platform using a modern technology approach that transformed data flow for ourselves, but the fact is Graphene has market-wide, market-changing applications. After all, the challenges of data accuracy and flow efficiency are not unique to individual businesses in the delegated authority market.

The underwriter usually has access to detailed account data, but information becomes diluted, dumbed down or delayed when it gets passed along through the traditional bordereaux and broking processes that define information flow between the managing general underwriter (MGU) and their market partners, particularly capacity providers and reinsurers.

At Carbon we know this business, and we know how to manage it well. Developed using in-house expertise, Graphene is an advanced portfolio analytics solution, allowing live access to analytics, by sector or territory, as granular as you wish, but providing a single source of truth.

Symmetrical data across the market

Traditional insurance data chains are too linear, which leads to asymmetry, as the quality of data gets eroded between each link. Graphene’s lack of legacy dependencies allows for a truly modern and scalable approach enabling data to be transferred, stored, secured and analysed both accurately and at speed.

Through Graphene’s enhanced analytics, data is presented in a manner that supports sophisticated and ongoing underwriting adjustments, supporting growth as well as scrutinising sources of loss. There are three key themes to this: portfolio composition, macro performance, and portfolio segmentation. Importantly its conclusions are enhanced by combining claim and written data supporting full profitability analysis.

Speed of data flow is inextricably linked with the quality of data. Graphene is designed for instant communication of analytics and underwriting conclusions, across the entire distribution chain with low human input. A big decrease in manual processes and the costs associated with them is combined with the fact that fewer resources are needed due to the ease of data transfer; plus there is the central benefit of dramatically improved data quality

Moving away from the culture of annual reviews

Graphene supports ongoing and live monitoring of portfolios moving away from annual review processes that typically occur between MGUs and their capacity providers. Changes in pricing or claims invariably happen in the interim, meaning specific niches can drive overall profit or loss. Numbers passed on six or nine months after they were first fresh means they are past their use-by date for partners to crunch.

This advanced technology ecosystem was designed to be used for Carbon. However, the potential scope of Graphene has become bigger than we could have imagined when we started on the Carbon journey, driven by our focus on technology-driven decision making.

We’ve realised that what we have created is a powerful product for a range of stakeholders across the MGU risk transfer chain. Its potential transformative impact makes its wider rollout a priority for us: the time has now come to offer this proprietary product to third parties in the market.

There is a better way, and we want to take on the challenge to create a new model for the industry. Watch this space!



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Carbon Underwriting is a trading name of Carbon Underwriting Limited which is an appointed representative of Davies MGA Services Ltd, a company authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority under firm reference number 597301 to carry on insurance distribution activities. Carbon Underwriting Limited is registered in England and Wales company number 11193856. Registered office at 5th Floor, 20 Gracechurch Street, London, EC3V 0BG

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