Interview with Craig Olsen | CEO IAG

Craig Olsen

"I think we have to be very careful in business that we don't get so many metrics that it makes things more confusing because you are measuring lead indicators other than outcomes."

We wanted a purpose that could resonate with any stakeholder, not only a customer. We do very practical things around how we make your world a safer place. If you take cyber risk for example, that isn't just about having a cyber product for communities. If you are really extending 'we help make your world a safer place', it's not just about having an insurance product for them. We might be able to help them think about litigation and partnering as an example with the likes of Vodafone to educate parents around how to keep their kids safe online. So it isn't just the risks of corporates having their data manipulated or stolen.

There are a few threats to growth prospects for us, starting with how people buy the product and also what they are insuring. If we take driver-less cars for example: the technology is emerging quite quickly. When you are looking at what will be reality in five years' time – the assets we usually would insure – the products are going to have to change into liability-style cover for someone hacking into your car, rather than the driver. For example, at the moment we would base the assessment and the underwriting on the moral value of the driver. How well do they drive? What is their history? Where is the car located? These questions will become quite irrelevant – one, if the driver doesn't drive the car and things like automatic parking, lane detection technology – they are changing the risk quite dramatically.

A current challenge is that you have low inflation and low interest rates – we are in an environment that hasn't played out before historically in that kind of condition. We want a stable capital market and I'm not sure we are in that environment. You don't have to be an economist to understand that actually there is a lot of noise about how countries are trying to manage monetary policy but we are going into unchartered waters.

If you think about reputation, ultimately that is 'published' within the goodwill of your brand. I think we have to be very careful in business that we don't get so many metrics that it makes things more confusing because you are measuring lead indicators other than outcomes.

So when we think about our purpose, it is about making the world a safer place. We are trying to protect the community and yes there is an interest to us in terms of exposure, penetration and the appropriate coverage, but importantly it is about working with communities to understand collective accountability.

Contact us

Mark Averill

CEO and Senior Partner, PwC New Zealand

Tel: +64 21 646 418

Follow us