Joining up the dots
Structure Data Capture is transforming the London Market with one touch data capture and common data standards at its core
The overall objective of all activity with the London Market Group is to build and maintain London's position as the global centre of commercial insurance and reinsurance excellence. Modernising the London Market is a key workstream within that, and the objective of the TOM is to make the London insurance market an easier place to do business, helping it retain existing clients and attract new ones.
To enable the London Market to grow, it needs to be highly accessible, efficiently run and relevant to the needs of our customers. By delivering simplicity and reducing costs, market participants can concentrate on using their expertise to deliver the value proposition that makes London so compelling.
All the various initiatives within the TOM aim to deliver these benefits but it is vital that they are joined up so that the entire value chain is as seamless as possible.
Providing the glue
The core to this is the ability to move data seamlessly from one process to another, but until recently it was not possible to do so without re-keying it – with all the potential errors and issues that this brings with it.
The first step to resolving this is SDC, a service that converts information held in a variety of formats into structured data using a combination of software tools and manual processes. This is one of the foundation stones of the TOM, embodying the principles of “one touch data capture” and “common data standards” that are at its core.
Having extracted the data, the next stage is the Global Placement Message so that this data can move between systems and organisations.
Proving the concept
In order to prove the concept and get market buy-in, the process was deliberately carried out in bite-sized chunks. After three months demonstrating the capabilities and benefits of the proposed SDC service, an in-depth six-week trial was launched last October with ten participating carriers – from both the company market and from Lloyd’s.
Gareth Francis, head of Business Change for Hiscox and a member of the Steering Board for SDC said: “On the principle of linking different initiatives within the modernisation programme, we chose Terrorism, which was the first class of business to go live for electronic placement on PPL, as our test case for data extraction. We wanted to do one line of business to the highest standards to clearly show what could be done, and what benefits could be delivered.
“We are very aware that the market has tried to do this before, so we needed as much input as possible from practitioners, and we are really grateful for the time and effort invested by the carriers that took part in our trial. Initiatives such as these need to be built by the market, for the market.”
The participants uploaded Market Reform Contracts (MRCs) through a portal, the content was then validated automatically (risk, information, authentication, fiscal and regulatory and broker commission), and where data was not legible or in the required format, there was manual intervention.
The trial allowed the London Market carrier community to engage with the SDC service as early as possible and experience the benefits that utilising common standards will bring: improved efficiency, increased data accuracy (if the extraction process is better, then your data is better) and an eye line through to reduced costs and the ability to create capacity for value added tasks. It also creates a single version of the truth. With information being digitalised only once and then made available to everyone, the potential for misunderstanding or misinterpretation is much reduced. In a world of increasing regulatory demands, this can only benefit market participants.
Building on success
The trial was deemed to be a success. Gareth Francis continued: “In terms of both the quantity and quality of data that was extracted, we were all very happy with the results. The key to this is actually using the tool so that individual businesses can get the efficiencies they need from it.”
Having completed this contained trial, the next step is to complete the vendor selection to provide the right service at the right price. We will also be looking at more complex contracts and lines of business.