ITIC UK 2019 took place last week at the stunning Harbour Hotel in Southampton and ITIJ was delighted to attend. The conference opened with a bang on Wednesday evening with pre-registration and welcome drinks sponsored by New Frontier Group. This afforded delegates the opportunity to collect their attendee badges ahead of the conference on Thursday and also offered the chance to enjoy a glass of bubbles while networking. The convivial event set a positive tone for the conference with everyone in good spirits and enabled attendees to mingle in a relaxed environment.
After a sound night’s sleep in the most comfortable bed imaginable, Thursday opened with registration and welcome coffee before the first session of the day: Brexit ─ Impact Assessment. Despite the fact that nobody truly knows what is going on with Brexit, the word is everywhere and completely inescapable, so of course it was a necessary topic for ITIC UK to broach. We heard from three industry experts on the topic ─ Matt Francis, Director, KPMG; Alisa Dolgova, Manager, Brexit, Association of British Insurers, and Nel Mooy, Head of Travel, AXA Insurance. Francis described the ‘patchwork quilt’ of approaches different countries are taking to prepare for Brexit and discussed some of the options available to insurers, while Dolgova talked about what insurers have been doing to prepare for ‘no deal’ and for leaving the single market. Mooy broached the need to ensure that customers continue to be covered in an uncertain world.
After a coffee break and the opportunity to talk to the event’s exhibitors, Aquarium Software and Mears Repatriation, it was time for the next session, Cruises ─ Opportunities and Challenges. First up was Nigel Lingard, who is a cruise and travel industry management consultant. He highlighted that despite its image as a ‘sexy and newsworthy business’, the industry is surprisingly limited, with a ‘long way to go’. Then Kate Huet, Managing Director, International Travel and Healthcare Limited, offered her insights, including the fact that the average age of a cruise passenger within her market is 76. Dr Lynn Gordon, Chief Medical Officer, MBBCh, CEGA, then offered her take on challenges facing medical assistance companies, including communication difficulties.
After a networking lunch, the final session took place. This was a first for ITIC ─ the ITIC Innovation Hub. This brought about scintillating debate from insurtechs on changing consumer behaviour, how insurtechs are disrupting the travel insurance industry, machine learning and AI and virtual services. Then, after all of this soaking up of knowledge, it was time to eat, drink and be merry at the Farewell Dinner and enjoy the night’s entertainment.
If you missed out on the event, fear not ─ there is always ITIC APAC in Hong Kong in June. You can read more about that here.