- Where Insurance & Technology Meet

A New Bet on The Insurance Technology Leaders of the Future

New SMA Blog by Karen Pauli, Principal, Strategy Meets Action

In five years, the premier insurance technology providers will be Aon, Marsh, Munich Re, Allianz, and Swiss Re. This is a fairly radical statement to make, but it is not made without evidence and support. The following five announcements led me to this conclusion:

  • Aon announced it has agreed to acquire InsurTech startup CoverWallet[1] in a bid to boost its presence in the growing digital insurance market for small and medium-sized business customers.
  • Marsh launches WC analytics platform Blue[i] Claims[2] that leverages advanced, anonymized benchmarking capabilities to allow clients to do such things as craft targeted safety programs, identify complex claims early, expedite the closeout of legacy claims to reduce balance sheet liabilities, and improve collaboration with claims administrators.
  • Munich Re’s data analytics initiative AQUALYTIX combines an insurer’s portfolio data with external sources to analyze water-mains damage.[3] Using machine learning, experts can identify the risk drivers for individual buildings and predict the losses for the coming year.
  • Allianz SE and their subsidiary Syncier partnered with Microsoft Corp. to offer ABS Enterprise Edition to insurance providers as a service.[4] This insurance platform will benefit customers by reducing costs and centralizing their insurance portfolio management.
  • Swiss Re Corporate Solutions’ Innovative Risk Solutions team has launched a digital parametric natural catastrophe platform in the U.S. for the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market, called Parametric Online Platform (“POP”) STORM.

Obviously, one announcement does not make these companies into premier technology solution providers. But, a quick web search of the named organizations will reveal other announcements and offerings, so this is not a one-time thing. What does make a premier insurance technology provider? It includes a focus on delivering business value, a keen understanding of what customers will need over the upcoming years, and a quick time to decision to deliver solutions. So, the above companies appear to have the makings!

In July, I wrote a blog entitled “The Reinsurers are Coming – And It Might Not Be How You Expected.” It cautioned primary insurers against being complacent about who their competitors are. This blog is taking the same stance with traditional technology providers who have kept their eyes focused on the same set of competitors they have had for eons. Or who believe that once you have established a beachhead, your customers will always keep you there. So, tech providers, be alert! This may not be what you expected, either!

Isn’t this a unique – and wondrous – time to be in the insurance industry? It has been said that in the digital age, every company is a technology company. In the case of these insurance leaders, they are taking that to the next level by becoming providers of technology solutions to others in the industry. Bold organizations are not letting traditional definitions of where they fit into the insurance ecosystem hold them back from delivering business value in new ways. Insurers and technology providers that are holding onto traditional roles are putting themselves at risk of falling far behind in a market looking for differentiation.


1. Aon to acquire CoverWallet, the leading digital insurance platform for small and medium-sized businesses (Nov. 20, 2019).

2. Marsh Enhances Cyber Risk Consulting Capabilities (Nov. 21, 2019).

3. Munich Re presents variety of digital solutions (Oct. 21, 2019).

4. Allianz partners with Microsoft to digitally transform the insurance industry (Nov. 14, 2019).

About The Author

Karen Pauli, Principal at SMA, has comprehensive knowledge about how technology can drive improved results, innovation, and transformation within insurance operations. Karen has worked extensively with insurers and technology providers to reimagine processes and procedures to change business outcomes and support evolving business models. Her areas of focus include underwriting, claims, business intelligence and analytics, data sources, agency distribution, and customer management. Karen’s real-world experience with digital transformation projects has given her unique insight into the changing customer and distributor experience in the digital age. In her more than 30 years at insurance companies, and in the technology research and advisory space, Karen has developed her talent for aligning business goals and perspectives with technology roadmaps to create competitive advantage.

About SMA

Exclusively serving the insurance industry, Strategy Meets Action (SMA) is an advisory services firm offering retainers, research, consulting, events, and innovation offerings to both insurance companies and solution providers. Learn more about SMA at

SOURCE: Strategy Meets Action (SMA)