Interview

'Faster innovation, that’s what everyone is focusing on'

Harold Mahadew (of the Association of Insurers) argues for more cooperation in relation to digitalisation

Interview

'Faster innovation, that’s what everyone is focusing on'

Harold Mahadew (of the Association of Insurers) argues for more cooperation in relation to digitalisation

Harold Mahadew is a senior policy adviser for distribution and sales at the Association of Insurers with responsibility for innovation policy.

We met Mahadew at the right time for a discussion of digitalisation, as he had returned from the USA the day before our interview. He had attended the InsurTech Connect, which is the world’s largest congress on the future of the insurance industry.

‘One can see that everyone, even including people in Africa, is trying to find how to use artificial intelligence (AI) and changing customer behaviour. The main thing I took away from it is that cooperation with start-ups is becoming the new norm. Faster innovation, bringing new forms of service to the market faster, this is what everyone is focusing on. And we need more room for this in the Netherlands.’

'Creating one central innovation hub would be very positive’

Problematische schuldenlast

Central hub

Mahadew argues for an environment in the Netherlands in which innovations can be developed more rapidly. And constructive cooperation with and between supervisors is needed for this.

‘I think the InnovationHub of DNB and the AFM is a good example of this, but why are the Dutch Data Protection Authority and the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets not involved as well? It would be very positive if we could create a single central hub in which experiments could be conducted safely. If digitalisation blossoms here, this will be in everyone’s interest.’

Although Mahadew prefers to focus on the advantages that digitalisation can offer, such as better accessibility and lower cost, he is also aware of the challenges. “Insurers are very carefully considering how they can apply new technologies and the Association focuses very intensely on the ethical aspects and the careful treatment of data. We want to fulfil our responsibilities as a matter of policy. Here too, it is important that we continue to engage in dialogue with the supervisors and the consumer organisations. Digitalisation is developing rapidly and we all want to find the best ways of using it. We all share this objective.’

Blurring of borders

Mahadew is pleased to see that supervisory arbitrage is featured in the Trend Monitor. 'Digitalisation is blurring borders. There is a potential risk that new parties enter the Dutch market from other Member States where the regulation is different to what we are used to in the Netherlands. It would be a good thing if we can continue to guarantee a level European playing field as a result of positive cooperation between the supervisors.’

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