Modernisation initiatives taking place across the market are being held back by senior practitioners who are unwilling to collaborate with rivals, Charles Taylor’s underwriter for Europe Ben Burkard has said.

Speaking on a panel at the inaugural Marine Insurance London conference in London today (5 June), Burkard said that it is imperative that carriers, brokers and service providers share data in order for market modernisation to move forward.

Burkard blamed this on the competitive nature of the market and concerns that if firms share their data with competitors they would be giving away an advantage.

He said this lack of trust was baseless and a relic of bygone years, before the technology to share data had reached the insurance market.

“I think the fear is unfounded, and that comes from the older generation,” he said.

“Historically we’ve been a more secretive, closed off industry – and that’s what we need changing,” Burkard added.

Discussing the challenges in modernising the market, Kristof De Bremme, global head of marine at AIG said that as well as changing attitudes towards data sharing in the market, investment is crucial.

De Bremme said that due to under investment in the past, many market initiatives are now severely overdue.

“We’re in a situation we’re being forced into as we [the market] haven’t acted or been willing to do it,” he said.

“We have to wake up to the fact there is no magic solution to fix this,” De Bremme went on. But he added: “We need money to fix it.”