- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

InsurTech, Climate Change, and a Tight Rope

While there are exceptions, the insurance industry is (still) not well known for using new technologies.

This was true in the past, but insurance leaders are bringing together various organizations which provide different views of internal and external alterations and improvements. The result can demonstrate not only the value for clients, but radically improved products and services inside insurance entities.

We’ll look at two emerging approaches:

  1. The evolution of InsurTech applications, and
  2. the impact of external climate change.

Each provides views, which might well be approaching a new world order.

Shaking the Insurance Industry

Writing for Forbes on 9 July 2019, Alison Coleman, a freelance contributor, provides a strong argument to shake up the insurance industry.

Coleman notes that “Insurance is one of the oldest and most traditional industries,  and, until recently, it has proved resistant to change.”  However, Coleman notes that insiders – U.K. insurers particularly – are taking down the walls.    (I would also suggest that this is true as well with US and Canada who take advantage of new technologies in local labs.)

According to Coleman, InsurTech companies “tend to focus on increased personalization and greater speed and efficiency of services to meet changing customer needs, with many using AI to offer deeper data insights.”

Coleman offers four InsurTech examples:

Tractable was founded in 2014 and has been changing rapidly.  Handling auto claims immediately is the core approach for repair costs from photos in real time.  Assessment reduces from days and weeks to minutes. Data and technologies solved issues with “training its deep learning technology on over 100 million images.”

Dinghy has launched “on-demand professional indemnity insurance” and “on-demand coverage for public liability, business equipment, legal expense, and cyber liability”.

Untangler – To decrease the inconsistent and unpredictable use of external data, AI is used to recognize inbound “data in any format, transforming it into readable data in seconds.”  This allows quotes without converting the data within cells.

Business Apps – Philip Brennan, who headed up the UK personal, expanded from personal lines to, which offers comparisons for “business energy, insurance and financial products”.

Meanwhile, back in the Big Apple

The Triple-I Blog in New York has the subtitle: “Improving public understanding of insurance.”   As one would expect, New York has a wide view across the content.  Fortunately, it has over 75 categories that target specifics. I selected New York City’s Disaster Resiliency, focusing on climate change.

The New York City Panel on Climate Change (NPCC) is an independent body of scientists that advise on the city’s climate risks and resiliency.  A 2019 report from Cynthia Resenzweig, co-chair of NPCC found that:

“in the New York City area extreme weather events are becoming more pronounced, high temperatures in summer are rising, and heavy downpours are increasing.”

The NPCC are balancing predictions carefully.  While there have been projections made by NPCC in 2015, “the 2019 report notes that such comparisons should be viewed with caution because of the role that natural variation plays in the short term.”

Can there be a different alignment?

William Solecki, also co-chair of NPCC, noted that there are advances that have brought forward new tools, which can track risks and determine effectiveness of climate strategies

From the insurance perspective, the report noted:

“Coordination of insurance and finance is an important future direction to achieve comprehensive resiliency in infrastructure that reduces negative climate change consequences.”

The NPCC is walking a narrow line, balancing climate change along with insurance.  However, the utilization of the NPCC offers a solid base to reach to deeper understanding and new implementations.  If we can take an InsurTech approach based on NPCC –  for example utilizing AI to bring in a different perspectives – this could allow bases for estimates and testing.

What do you think?


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