- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

Cohort Drivers & New Realities: A Tale of Two Keynotes

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The theme of the 2018 Technology Conference was “Insurance Vectors In Play”; the two keynote presenters addressed this head-on and provided new contexts for risk, technology, and engagement. There were more than a few questions still requiring answers. We’d like your thoughts.

Keynote 1 – Generational Change and Insurance

The first keynote was at the end of Day 1 and was focused on the millennial generation and its impact on business generally and insurance specifically. David Coletto, CEO of Abacus Data (an Ottawa-based research firm) was the author and presenter.

By all measures, Millennials have the largest percentage of the population now and will soon become the largest ever, eclipsing the Boomers in their heyday (1980s).

In this context, Coletto provided insights and potential opportunities and threats.  For example, Millennials’ received early, strong support from parents, teachers, and supervisors.  In a research study, Coletto found that 85% of Millennials agreed with the statement “Growing up, many people told me that I could achieve anything I wanted.”

This confidence allowed Millennials to take full advantage of emerging programs and technologies which accelerated maturity and delayed adulthood.  In regards insurance, Millennials found P&C insurance Companies  ‘Stale / Same Old’, ‘Secretive’ and ‘Makes it Difficult to Understand’.

According to Coletto,  Millennials had three areas which would appeal to them: On-demand insurance, Self-brokering, and Data driven coverage.

What will insurers need to do to meet these demands?  Is this possible?

Keynote 2 – Change Opportunities are Emerging Rapidly

In the Day 2 keynote,  Andrew Lo, President and CEO, Kanetix Ltd. showed his prowess as a thinker and doer.  In 45 short minutes, Lo responded to insurers which are demanding new insurance constructs for new risks, and to consumers for increased transparency and engagement.

Reminiscent of his presentation from last year at ICTC2017, Lo worked with a colleague to demonstrate Virtual Reality live.  This was no mean feat, given the vagaries of a new a technology environment and the attendant normal bugs, but Lo seems to feed on risk and it was very cool at the end.

Lo switched gears quickly, and focussed on some of the drivers for new insurance products and enablers.

According to Lo, Data and Artificial Intelligence will become the ‘Salt and Pepper’ for the emerging technologies.  And the first seasoning is likely the fast  approaching world of mobility, which includes smart cars and autonomous vehicles.

There are a number of trials underway in different domains.  Internet of Things (IoT) are demanding capabilities to have real-time responses.  Lo revisited his admonition from last year that 5G networks are sine qua non for full deployment.

Assuming that, however,  mixed usage will require new protocols that go beyond technology and into the legal and moral spheres.

Craig Haney – Head of Corporate Innovation, Communitech – joined Lo to respond to technical, legal, and moral issues, but the devil will be in the details.

What do you see that needs to be done first?  How can the bigger picture be managed?

Where to from here?

We’ve had several attendees at #ICTC-18 tell us that the changes are significant and would like to explore impacts and options.

But those who were not able to join us in person would not have the details.

However, we have videoed most of the sessions (and all of the two above) which will be ready in a few weeks.  If you are interested in being notified when the videos are available, please drop me a note ( and I will make sure you get the information.





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