Innovation and technology are dramatically changing client interaction at every delivery point of insurance services

"Don't forget the human factor!" was the call made by the first of two keynote speakers addressing the 8th AIDA Europe Conference, considering the impact of technology upon all aspects of insurance and reinsurance business.

Jorge Magalhaes CORREIA, Chairman & CEO Fidelidade Seguros, Portugal reminded those companies competing to innovate and remain successful in a fast-changing market that whatever efficiencies might be achieved by technology, lasting success will always ultimately depend upon having happy customers and staff. This is something many overlook.

Arranged in conjunction with AIDA Portugal and with the support of many sponsors from across Europe and Media Partner, XPRIMM Publications, the event saw 230 leading insurance and legal professionals, academics and regulators, from over 30 countries, gather at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation for lively discussion and debate at the beginning of October in Lisbon.

Julia UNKEL, PwC Germany Insurance Leader, went on to provide a detailed look at how innovation and technology were dramatically changing client interaction at every delivery point of insurance services.

Presentations and discussions took the form of plenary, breakout and working party sessions. They covered most aspects of the latest legal, risk and coverage issues emerging. Specific consideration of the Cyber Risk Landscape revealed concerns from every quarter - for those seeking, providing and trying to regulate cover.

The promises of the implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) were compared with the reality in many important jurisdictions. Challenges presented by artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles and what new legal skills lawyers will need to acquire to be fit for the new age were all considered.

Hot Topics / Key Developments and Working Party sessions included discussions on dispute resolution challenges in Europe in a post-Brexit Environment; asking "Who is really accountable when climate policies and cat event safeguards fail?"; identifying challenges for in-house Counsel presented by automated contract reviewing facilities; and the specific effects of artificial intelligence in the marine insurance markets.

AIDA Europe's important role also as a supporter of academic work in the field of insurance and in the promotion of young academics was further demonstrated by the opportunity afforded to four prizewinning authors of papers delivered in response to AIDA Europe's Call for Papers both to outline the nature of their contributions to the plenary session and then deliver their papers during the Young Academics Afternoon held at the Nova University in Lisbon, who further supported the event.

AIDA Europe's Chair, Christian Felderer observed, "The very positive response to our conference demonstrates the relevance of the new technology driven trends for insurance lawyers. The diversity of the delegate base, from the insurance sector, private practice, the regulatory side and academia, is a key asset of AIDA Europe Conferences, allowing for effective information exchange and discussion. I am also particularly pleased with the response from young academics to AIDA Europe's Call for Papers. As a non-profit organisation, we are particularly interested in supporting the development of young talent. I would like to thank all who contributed to the success of the conference. In particular, AIDA Portugal for their hosting and co-organisation."

Prof. Margarida Lima REGO, President of AIDA Portugal, added: "We at AIDA Portugal are delighted to have contributed to the conference's overall success. As the hosting chapter, we believe that we have done our best to make all those who have visited from abroad feel welcome, whilst providing local delegates with an excellent opportunity to take full advantage of a conference which would otherwise have been out of reach for those unable to travel professionally. Hosting the first Young Academics Afternoon at NOVA University gave our prize winners a chance to present the results of their research before an audience of conference delegates and graduate students. A selection of academic papers will also appear in an upcoming volume of the new AIDA Europe Research Series on Insurance Law, published by Springer."

A full set of conference materials is available in the event document repository to be found on the AIDA website.

The date has already been set for the 9th AIDA Europe Conference to be held in Zurich over 17/18 September 2020. The issues of climate/digital/political disruption are likely to feature prominently.

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