- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

New Insurance & New Tech for a New Year?

Happy New Year!

And with the new year, insurers and brokers are introducing new insurance products tied in to new technologies.  

Pretty slick.  The outstanding question is simple:  Will users take the digital bait?  

Let’s look at two experts.

Profound changes in a short time…

Seth Rachlin, executive vice-president and chief innovation officer at Capgemini,  penned “Three P&C industry Predictions for 2019” in Property Casualty 360.  Rachlin posted an over-arching assumption:  

“Transition is constant, but no matter how we may look at the year ahead, changes in the property & casualty insurance space will be profound.”

More later.  Meantime, here are summaries of Rachlin’s three predictions.

  1. Customers will buy insurance from Big Techs.”   Customers are not satisfied with existing insurance offerings.  With big tech firms entering the insurance industry, existing out-dated systems and inefficient operations increase user and customer dissatisfaction.
  2. Mountains of IoT data will need to be owned and secured.  With smart homes, connected vehicles, etc., the question ‘Who owns the Data’ is germane.  Insurers are capable to manage their in-house data.  However, with data being created by insurers, brokers, users, “who owns the data” can be tricky.
  3. Partners and customers will  need to be the core.  Customers are driving insurers that are becoming a fully digital ecosystem; seamlessly interconnecting insurers, customers, and partners.  Rachlin says, “Because we live in a mobile, multi-screen, multi-platform world, customers expect to be able to interact with companies however and wherever they are. The platform variety is astounding, but not surprising” (emphasis supplied).

Narrow and deep coverage …

Kate Stillwell is co-founder and CEO of Jumpstart, a surplus lines insurance broker which is developing new coverages that underwrite specific risks with simplified premiums and payments.   From Jumpstart’s FAQ:

Jumpstart is a surplus lines insurance broker with a mission to help you build financial resilience to natural disasters.  We are making a first layer of earthquake insurance accessible to more people. Jumpstart coverage is based simply on your insured location and your experience of extra expenses, not time-consuming claims paperwork.

Stillwell wrote an article, also in PropertyCasualty 360, titled “In 2019, Insurance Innovations will Enable Faster Recoveries.”  Similar to Rachlin’s predictions, Stillwell underscores the critical nature of technology to improve processes and products and to meet / exceed user expectations.  Unlike the predictions, Stillwell drills into specific approaches to new products and user profiles.

Similar to Rachlin, Stillwell relies heavily on data.  She notes:

In 2018, we saw the insurance industry evolve with advancements in real-time data capabilities that have paved the way for faster, more-streamlined payouts.

But Stillwell also targeted utilization and additional opportunities. Continuing from above: 

Traditional models were put to the test as a cluster of natural disasters ranging from hurricanes to wildfires wreaked damage from coast to coast, leading to an elevated conversation around how insurance should adapt to help our communities recover faster. 

And Stillwell dug deeper, seeking additional opportunities.  Utilizing parametric models for distribution, she is able to shorten payout times, improving satisfaction.  

Stillwell is also leaning heavily on social media, mobile, and technology, which “will also contribute to improved recovery speeds. In addition to facilitating communication and payout processes, our connectivity directly affects how a community recovers from disaster.”

Where will this all go?

Our two experts are looking to move insurance to greater productivity for the insurers and engaged users for the customers.  However, these need to be approached logically.

Rachlin – and a number of others who focus on delivering new digital applications and platforms – has a good, integrated target.  However, the extant insurance technology modules have systems that may not be completely digital.   They do have the capability to continue working without a  crippling transformation to fully digital.

Stillwell has a targeted approach that carefully follows technology to the utilization.  This could grow quickly, assuming there are sufficient data and processes.  That could expand after some good success stories.

The target is fluid

Whether this will be available in 2019 is open.  It will be interesting to follow.  While that is moving along, we will keep you up to date with new programs and products.  Our first event is our 17th annual Insurance-Canada Technology Conference 2019 (#ICTC2019) on 26-27 February.  

We’ll be adding additional information as we move along.  Stay tuned!