MGAA Conversations: Talking Tech with Paul Templar

19th April 2024

Paul Templar, Founder and CEO of VIPR Solutions, sat down with Mike Keating to discuss  the increasingly important role for technology in the MGA market, both today and tomorrow – and some of the challenges and opportunities presented to those playing in the London and Lloyd’s Delegated Authority market.

Asked about the bigger picture, Paul Templar surmised that looking across the wider insurance eco-system there is clearly a genuine desire across all stakeholders – from insurers, brokers, and MGAs, through to claims service providers –  to really embrace technology. However, he added,  there is certainly a big gap between those who are reaping the benefits of digital technology – and those that, so far, are not. And whilst cost has proved to be a barrier for some of the smaller MGAs, technology is getting cheaper and more accessible by the day.

Insurers, for example, said Paul, are overall in pretty good shape, despite clear legacy platform issues, and are actively promoting and encouraging the adoption of common standards – such as for transferring data. And whilst there is still a long way to go, with a lot of work arounds for those handling data today, change is coming with both Blueprint Two and CDR. These provide lots of promise, and despite the fact that past projects in the Lloyd’s market have  not delivered, hope remains strong.

MGA sector bill of health

The MGA market is  pretty healthy when it comes to the adoption of technology added Paul  – partly due to the fact that MGAs are by their nature very customer focused – a business objective that is certainly also being encouraged by the regulator. There is widespread use of quote and buy platforms, and straight-through processing, a reflection of MGAS entrepreneurial, growth and efficiency focused models – all  helping to deliver a good customer experience. However, that said, cautioned Paul, there is clearly much more work to be done.

The human touch

The conversation also looked at the question of how far technology can go – and whether the need for human interaction will diminish. Paul commented that whilst there is a move towards digitalisation of more complex insurance products, the reality is that whilst technology can remove many of the mundane tasks, human intervention from experienced underwriters is still needed. Unlike in personal lines and micro-SME, he added, this hybrid approach is the way to go – at least in the short to medium term in terms of the quest for automation.

Longer term, AI may of course change that, added Paul. It has been around a long time, but AI is now advancing at an incredible speed, and whilst still out of reach, its ability to eventually provide human levels of intelligence and reasoning are teeteringly close. That said, today AI has two distinct areas where it can, and will, add value to insurance. These are operational improvements – such as the ability to access and provide policy/product info for both underwriters and customers; and secondly, the opportunity to improve/order and validate non-standard data.

AI, added Paul, should be seen a bit like a bionic suit – as an accelerator; and that adopting it can provide you with a super-power. However, he cautioned, the ability for AI to do things autonomously  – and for society to accept it if it does – is still a way away.

The conversation also touched on the challenge of attracting and retaining IT talent in the insurance market, and what is likely to happen in the insurance market in terms of how transactions will be done in five years’ time.

📻 To hear more, including Paul’s crystal ball vision for the market, listen now at

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  • Author : Jess Norman
  • 19th April 2024