PR 2014: Underwriters are like headmasters

He joined a host of other speakers at today's Protection Review Conference in London by stating that underwriting must to continue to embrace technology to provide more seamless and faster transactions.

Collins said: "Underwriting is like the headmaster of an exam board.

"You hand over the information and you sit there waiting for it to come back.

"Then 'computer says no'."

He added: "We have got to try and look at the world in a different way.

"We need to change. Is this an industry I want to work in?"

Guy Williams, sales and marketing director of Liss Systems, agreed.

He said: "This is the time to adapt. We think there is going to be less questions; we think there is going to be less complexity."

He cited the growth of 'big data' as an indication of the future.

Warren Copp, chief underwriter at Pacific Life Re, said the industry is in a "test and learn phase".

But he added: "On a technical basis we have made a lot of progress around the last 10 years in terms of underwriting."