An expert in corporate law with 20 years of industry experience in business consulting, insurance, and legal management, Caroline Hanotiau is the General Counsel at Qover – the Brussels-based IaaS (Insurtech-as-a-Service) solutions provider that offers plug-and-play services to the insurance industry.
Q: Tell us about your role in Insurtech. What does it involve and how did you get there?
Working as a general counsel at an insurtech company is an enriching experience. Not only do you take care of the company's legal affairs, but you're also closely involved with the design, development, and governance of the company’s product, which positions you as a key business partner. As the legal expert, you need to have deep insight into the existing regulatory framework to be able to leverage it for the development of standardised, innovative solutions.
I didn't plan to work for an insurtech, but the industry's current challenges and the value that these new companies bring provide new perspectives to the role of general counsel, which I was very interested in.
As Qover's General Counsel, I lead the legal, compliance, and insurance teams. Together, we design and distribute transparent, high-quality insurance products. We build a legal framework that is efficient, digital, and customer-centric and supports Qover in executing its strategy.
Q: What attracted you to insurance and the sector you're currently in?
Working in the insurance sector today requires an innovative, entrepreneurial mindset and a collaborative attitude.
The World Economic Forum indicated that 'the most imminent effects of disruption will be felt in the banking sector; however, the greatest impact of disruption is likely to be felt in the insurance sector.'
To remain relevant and efficient, and to continue serving customer interests, the insurance sector will have to innovate and adapt to the digital global economy. Legal counsels have a key role to play in this highly regulated sector. We all have to be creative, develop new models that allow us to fully benefit from technology while complying with a complex regulatory framework. General counsels and compliance officers are a major part of the evolution and simplification of this framework.
This is a very exciting challenge where our legal expertise is mobilised to support the mutation of the entire industry.
Q: If you weren’t in insurtech, which industry would you have chosen to work in and why?
The industry is not decisive – the values and mission are. Being instrumental in the design of innovative, legal, and compliant solutions that will transform an industry is the real motivation as a general counsel.
Q: Is diversity a problem in the insurtech space – and if so, what should we be doing about it?
Diversity is a challenge in all industries.
FinTech and InsurTech are actively addressing this challenge. They know that they need diverse profiles to challenge the status quo. However, there is still a lack of understanding that diversity is not a nice-to-have but a must. To be a global, innovative and customer-centric company, you need diversity in all divisions, at all levels.
Diversity is a strategic business tool for success and the right focus should be put on it with clear, measurable objectives and commitments.
Q: How do you see the insurtech industry developing over the next five years, particularly regarding your specialty?
From my perspective, embedded insurance and the new models of insurance distribution are here to stay, and will quickly become mainstream.
Customers increasingly seek simple, holistic, embedded and direct experiences. They're flocking to these multi-product customer experiences, known as ecosystems.
The development of those new solutions will largely depend on the trust that legal and compliance experts build around and in cooperation with regulators.
Q: What inspires you in Insurtech today?
Today, what inspires me is our team at Qover. The enthusiasm, motivation, respect and loyalty of our people are above average. Every day I can feel the energy of multiple generations making things move and getting work done.
People remain the greatest source of inspiration.