Good regulatory relationship 'is key for small insurers'

Published in: Risk, Risk management, Corporate strategy, Regulation, UK, Rest of Europe, US - Canada - Bermuda, ROW

Companies: RM Risk Consultancy, International General Insurance, Wesleyan

Risk management experts speaking at the Insurance Risk & Capital EMEA Conference. have explained how they meet the regulatory, market and strategic challenges facing small insurers.

The panel acknowledged that smaller insurers have limited resources compared to larger players. In addition, they have the same compliance deadlines as those from larger peers.

Speaking at the conference in London today, Roger Dix, chief risk officer (CRO) of Wesleyan, highlighted the importance of maintaining a good relationship with the regulator.

Dix said: “My task is to keep the regulator’s job easy. We still have the same deadlines. So [have] good relation with regulators, have quarterly conversations, and manage their expectations, that’s how we are where we are.”

The panelists acknowledged smaller firms have little or no influence in regulations.

Ross McGee, director at RM Risk Consultancy, said: “I don’t see where small insurers can have big influence in terms of adapting regulations.”

But Dix said although small players have not direct influence, he stressed the importance of informed market contact, for example, by attending industry events, “to see where the directions are going”. 

Despite their limited ability to shape regulations, panellists noted the benefits of being a small insurer.

Simon Spurr, group head of risk management at International General Insurance (IGI), said: “If something goes wrong, I know, I don’t need to wait for quarterly reports. I can’t hide them. I have the feel for the business. I can work with my team [to solve those issues].”

Dix said: “You can be more agile and think faster to go for innovations. You have the ability to be more creative but also more conservative.”

Cintia Cheong