Technology disruption has been creating countless sleepless nights for insurance practitioners - in part due to the excitement about what’s to come, but also due to the concerns regarding other industries penetrating and disrupting the current insurance model.
Tesla, Google and even Amazon have been making noise and threatening to revolutionise the insurance ecosystem. Many insurers have already transformed themselves digitally to offer convenience, security, choice and comparison to their customers. Internet of Things (IoT), telematics, drones, blockchain, smart contracts, and artificial intelligence (AI) are providing new ways to measure, control, and price risk, engage with customers, reduce cost, improve efficiency and increase customer experience.
Last week, Boston opened its doors to 350 InsurTech gurus and hosted the inaugural InsurTech Rising US 2018 event, following the success of its sister events in London and Hong Kong – with two days packed with content, discussions and fast-paced demos full of innovative ideas, food for thought and ready to challenge preconceptions. The insurance industry is picking up on technology trends and the participants were ready to prove it.
Hartford Insurtech Hub powered by Startupbootcamp was the official InsurTech innovation partner bringing 6 of the most innovative and relevant startups in the insurance galaxy. Following their successful demo day back in April, Aureus Analytics, Pentation Analytics, Rozie.ai, Truedime, UBIOS and YAXA owned the main stage for 7 minutes each demonstrating the functionality of their products, ready to engage with potential investors.
You can lead the way by putting the customer at the heart of everything you do, experimenting, and most importantly, changing the mindset and culture of your organisation.
Zia Zaman, Chief Innovation Officer at Metlife opened the conference explaining that digital optimisation, data monetisation and trusted ecosystems are the key three areas insurers should focus on to successfully transform. You can lead the way by putting the customer at the heart of everything you do, experimenting, and most importantly, changing the mindset and culture of your organisation. Metlife has launched their fourth global innovation challenge, Collab 4.0 – this challenge is based on the back of previous success in Japan, Singapore and EMEA
Dan Preston, CEO at Metromile continued the conversation saying that financial services need to be rethought for a new world of transport and customer needs in which millennials are the first digital generation expecting seamlessness, car and ride sharing and complete autonomy. He carried on saying that AI is not about replacing humans, indeed the human touch is often necessary particularly for empathy. It’s an axiom in the industry that higher adjustment expense means lower losses and fewer adjusters means higher leakage however, Metromile breaks that cycle to truly integrate operations and using AI to create simplicity and seamlessness, while maintaining empathy and fairness
Partnerships played a predominant role in all debates – InsurTechs are playing a crucial role as enablers of change and large corporates and start-ups need to learn how to form effective partnerships. AmTrust allied with Israeli tech startup Reply.ai to modernise customer and agent processes and sat together at Insurtech Rising US to discuss the challenges they encounter in their working relationship. It was discussed that the key to a successful partnership is establishing investment objectives, setting clear KPI targets in advance, seeking opportunities that create mutual value against shared business objectives and seriously considering operational fit.
Succeeding in today’s insurance market is directly related to how we use data and unlocking all its potential. The technology now exists to connect legacy systems, while Machine Learning and analytics allow for transformational work to take place. More personalised products allow insurers to better assess the risks they are exposed to and design their products accordingly. Individuals may find products more tailored to their individual circumstances, thereby paying a premium more aligned to their assessed risk profile.
The key to a successful partnership is establishing investment objectives, setting clear KPI targets in advance, seeking opportunities that create mutual value against shared business objectives and seriously considering operational fit.
Matteo Carbone opened the second day stating that all insurance players will be InsurTech and that irrelevancy is only a choice for an insurer, not his inevitable destiny. Matteo is the founder and director of the IoT Insurance Observatory, an insurance think tank supporting the IoT evolution. He believes some insurers will succeed in the IoT war and will stay relevant in the life of their client – these insurers will create an IoT proposition looking as: insurance contract + IoT data + services.
The conference concluded discussing the potential of blockchain to transform the insurance industry with many rolling their eyes in disbelief. Blockchain has started to make its entrance in the insurance industry with the use of smart contracts particularly in the travel and auto sectors.
InsurTech Rising US 2018 saw the participation of 350 delegates, 100 speakers and 30 demos. The discussions were high-powered and fast-paced, informative suggesting that the US technology insurance market has so much potential. We can’t wait to see what’s next!