InsurTech: three misconceptions and 1 connect with to collaborate

The writer views InsurTech as a collaborative movement where insurers and technologists partner to solve insurance-specific problems. (Photo: iStock)

The writer sights InsurTech as a collaborative motion in which insurers and technologists partner to fix coverage-unique problems. (Image: iStock)

My colleagues and I have recognized a couple vital doubts, or apprehensions, that seem to be keeping some insurers again from embracing the genuine worth of InsurTech.

Relevant: When worlds collide: Insurers and InsurTech

The term “InsurTech” gets thrown about a lot. With all the hype, it will become easy to start out tuning it out and diluting its worth.

So, what does “InsurTech” truly indicate?

I look at InsurTech as a collaborative motion in which insurers and technologists partner to fix coverage-unique problems. As a result of this collaboration, insurers are ready to reap the added benefits of electronic evolution and transformation (e.g. improved underwriting profitability, minimized statements expenses, improved operational efficiencies). From Blockchain to the World-wide-web of Points (IOT) and transformative organization products, InsurTech can touch any piece of the organization.

But here, I’m chatting about InsurTech in the context of innovative details and analytics.

As a software program service provider that builds answers specially for insurers, InsurTech is, of system, in close proximity to and pricey to our hearts at SpatialKey. We have been groundbreaking geospatial coverage analytics considering that 2011, and collaborating with insurers and skilled details vendors to provide worth to the business. We’re passionate about showing insurers what InsurTech can do for them. Likely over and above disruptive technological innovation and details answers, InsurTech enables insurers to contend, innovate, and recognize new prospects in an business that is quickly modifying.

Relevant: 3 InsurTech updates to the underwriting method

Specifically, it solves some vital details and analytics troubles: Deficiency of worth-extra details, visible analytics, and cross-team interaction to name a couple (as illustrated below):

InsurTech solves some key data and analytics challenges

Appropriate now, insurers are becoming presented with the chance to embrace InsurTech — to improve and innovate promptly as a result of collaborative partnerships. InsurTech partnerships signify the new route ahead and are poised to transform how quite a few insurers do organization. This is all favourable however, it appears to be as although unfavorable misconceptions crop up when InsurTech gets linked to “disruption.” “Disruption” is just an acknowledgement that technological innovation is modifying the business. But, for the reason that disruption carries a unfavorable connotation, InsurTech often does not get the favourable vibes it warrants.

Probably you’re however on the fence wondering, “I’m not positive InsurTech is value it” — value the transform, stress, financial commitment.

Let us tackle these doubts head-on and debunk some typical InsurTech misconceptions that could be keeping you again…

Misconception 1: InsurTech is a bunch of hype.

Actuality: Judging by the financial commitment landscape on your own, I come to feel confident that this motion has gone earlier hype.

Investment is occurring by buyers outdoors of coverage. Observing VC corporations like General Catalyst, with passions that are ordinarily outdoors of coverage, step up to invest in InsurTech is a indicator that this motion has traction.

Relevant: Insurance 2017: Priorities for innovation, automation and transformation

From 2011 to 2017, VC funding for InsurTech firms grew 31 percent. Concerning Sequence B and Sequence D funding, $2 to $three billion is becoming directed to InsurTechs on a yearly basis. And as of April 2017, Venture Scanner is monitoring 1,185 coverage technological innovation firms in 14 categories across sixty international locations, with a complete of $seventeen.8 billion in funding.

Investors obviously see the worth of InsurTech as a catalyst to transform how buyers interact with coverage a way to recognize troves of details streaming in from important new resources like IOT, catastrophe details, and much more. Buyers assume real-time statements and clever driving applications, clever household devices, and even rewards for wearables. Why then ought to insurers on their own assume fewer from technological innovation? It tends to make perception that what technological innovation can do for their buyers, InsurTech can do for them.

And, with the international coverage technological innovation expend predicted to achieve $185 billion this yr, it is becoming obvious that insurers on their own are actively pursuing investments in InsurTech. Some big insurers and reinsurers are even producing models targeted on pinpointing new financial commitment prospects to generate innovation to the reward of the business. Some also provide as incubators to get new firms off the floor.

Relevant: Technology is tremendous — when it performs

As Stephen O’Hearn, international coverage chief at PwC, said, “InsurTech will be a video game changer for people who select to embrace it.” So, InsurTech is not just hype, it is occurring, and “good enough” is no for a longer period — very well, fantastic sufficient. Whether you’re in underwriting, statements, exposure administration — or you’re a CIO — InsurTech impacts you.

By refusing to embrace the positive change spurred by the rapid advance of business technology, insurers are stuck in limbo. (Photo: iStock)

By refusing to embrace the favourable transform spurred by the speedy progress of organization technological innovation, insurers are caught in limbo. (Image: iStock)

Misconception 2: Utilizing InsurTech is also high priced.

Actuality: Cloud technological innovation has produced implementation and servicing economical and minimized, or eliminated, the will need for IT help.

Cloud technology has made implementation and maintenance affordable and reduced, or eliminated, the need for IT support.

Insurers face so quite a few troubles, it can be tough to dedicate means to InsurTech. The organization situation for “fantastic sufficient” can show up more powerful than the situation for transform. Adjust arrives with preconceived useful resource and expense notions.


Relevant: 3 coverage technological innovation trends for building customer interactions in 2017

But, by not embracing transform, insurers are caught in limbo — with “good enough” legacy systems and procedures that restrict advancement. In actuality, in a single survey eighty one% of contributors admitted their present IT methods hinder innovation. Place only, there is a major expense to inaction—to your capability to contend, to keep and appeal to new buyers, and to make greater hazard decisions. Also, all of this could check the extensive-term relevance of your organization.

When there is a expense to inaction, there is also the major chance for expense reduction. A 2017 Accenture report, “The Cloud as Rainmaker,” states, “Without cloud’s capacity and firepower, electronic does not happen. Nor does an eighty percent expense financial savings.”

Relevant: Planning the coverage industry’s mainframe exit strategy

The actuality is, SaaS-based mostly software program via the Cloud has produced implementation and servicing a mole hill alternatively of a mountain (see illustration below). With SpatialKey, for instance, there is no will need for IT help. Insurers can be up and working on an intuitive platform — gleaning further analytic insights with fantastic details in actually several hours.

The fact is, SaaS-based software via the Cloud has made implementation and maintenance a mole hill instead of a mountain

It's hard to refute the positive impact of high-quality analytics on the insurance industry.

It really is tough to refute the favourable impact of large-high-quality analytics on the coverage business.

Misconception three: In this tender marketplace, my bottom line is below siege and knowing the upside of InsurTech is extensive term.

Actuality: Insurers are in actuality reaping the rewards of greater analytics. Constructive impacts of greater hazard decisions can be felt in the brief term.

A 2016 report from McKinsey & Organization noted large carrying out businesses had been almost 2 times as probable than their reduce carrying out peers to make innovative details and analytics available across their businesses. And, 2 times as probable to utilize self-provide analytics for their organization end users.

Also, in a survey by West Monroe Partners, “Data Pushed Insurance plan: Harness Disruption and Lead the Way,” fifty seven% of insurers stated they rather or strongly agree that their firms are absolutely knowing the added benefits of innovative analytics. The most typically cited added benefits had been improved purchaser working experience (27%), minimized statements expenses (21%), and improved profits (14%).

Harnessing the energy of InsurTech to combination details and make improvements to analytic insights generates the possible for a healthier, much more financially rewarding e-book and competitive advantage. We have observed this with our very own clients who have been ready to much more precisely assess hazard in buy to comfortably underwrite prospects they normally may have handed on.


InsurTech: three misconceptions and 1 connect with to collaborate

Student athlete gets $3 million insurance windfall

Former Oregon Duck cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu will soon collect $3 million on a loss of draft value insurance policy – the first of its kind — the university took out on the star player to protect against moving down a round or more in the annual NFL draft.

Last December Ekpre-Olomu tore his ACL just prior to the NCAA’s football playoffs resulting in a move from a projected first round pick all the way down to the seventh round where the Oregon player was selected 241st by the Cleveland Browns.

“That claim is close to getting paid,” Keith Lerner, the Gainesville, Florida-based head of Total Planning Sports Services told CBS last week. “His hope is that he is going to come back and play. Hopefully he’ll come back and have a great career.”

The policy, underwritten by Lerner’s firm for Lloyd’s of London, cost $24,000 in premiums. The premiums are indirectly paid for by the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund, which helps student athletes meet financial needs while participating in intercollegiate athletics. Each school receives approximately $300,000 or more to deal with these types of situations. While it seems like a lot, this has to cover a number of sports and not just football.

In Ekpre-Olomu’s case he was able to borrow the money (using his future earnings potential as collateral) to cover the premiums. Oregon reimbursed him from that $300K pot of gold.

Interestingly, loss of draft value insurance policies have been around for 25 years but only in recent years have they become more popular with student athletes. Different than disability policies whose payouts are for permanent injury, both types rarely experience claims of any kind.

Whether you agree or disagree with this type of payment by the NCAA, loss of draft value insurance definitely fits the description of specialty product.

Who helps insurers recover from disaster?

Who helps insurers recover from disaster?

Insurers and brokers are used to helping clients recover from disasters – but what happens when they themselves are hit?

Agility Recovery provides disaster recovery services to thousands of companies across North America – including over 5,000 in the insurance industry, from small independent insurance agents to large agencies, carriers and claims organizations.

Learn more about insurance broker insurance here.

Insurance companies represent approximately 20% of Agility’s customer-base – the largest proportion of all the verticals, and some high-profile clients include Arthur J. Gallagher & Co and Gillis, Ellis & Baker, Inc.

Agility’s CEO Hyune Hand described the relationship between the insurance industry and Agility as a “natural fit,” due to the risk-conscious nature of the industry.

The firm has close relationships with a number of associations in Canada, such as the Insurance Brokers Association of Ontario (IBAO) and Insurance Brokers Association of New Brunswick (IBANB), and was endorsed by The Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (Big “I”) in 2010.

“It lends naturally because insurers – from carriers, to brokers and agents, the whole continuum – they have innate understanding of risk and of the value Agility solutions can deliver for insurance professionals serving customers during times of crisis,” Hand told Insurance Business.

In the modern world, consumer expectation is higher and those in the insurance industry in particular, are expected to be available immediately in a customer’s time of need.

“If you think just from a consumer perspective, when you call a business, you expect them to be operating 24/7,” Hand said.

“The digital world makes you continue to operate – so this notion that because there was some kind of a flood or fire, or an event, and the business is not open, that’s somewhat substandard these days.”

This week, the company launched ReadyComplete, its new bundle of disaster recovery services which extends its network of available office spaces to 3,200 global locations – aiming to give customers an occupancy-ready office within a short drive of their current location.

“Companies are adapting more and realising there’s a strategic aspect of client, brand protection in having this kind of discipline in their realm of responsibility,” Hand said.

Long days, hot nights make for riskier summer business: TruShield

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Don’t get caught with your shorts down is the message that TruShield Insurance is sending to small business owners, as one out of three Canadian entrepreneurs heads into the busy summer season without insurance coverage.

“Long days and hot nights often make for riskier summer business,” says Ilda Dinis, Head of Customer Innovation & Experience at TruShield Insurance. “Whether it’s a slip and fall on the patio or a power outage that spoils thousands of dollars’ worth of inventory, just one incident can lead to liability issues or significant financial loss.”

Yet, many entrepreneurs feel their operation is not big enough to need coverage, and others believe they’re sufficiently protected by their personal insurance.

“Small business owners are starved for time. Insurance is certainly not top of mind as they ramp up to take advantage of the summer rush,” adds Dinis. “However, seasonal businesses need the same risk coverage as year-round operations.”

From an accident to theft, a thriving business can go belly-up in an instant

This year, TruShield Insurance is diving deeper into some of Canada’s beloved summer industries to help entrepreneurs identify common risks and protect what they’ve worked so hard to build.

  • Patio season: Restaurants and cafes can enjoy revenue increases just by expanding their footprint to include an outdoor space. But if it rains, or someone drops food or an item on the ground, a customer could slip and fall. If they’re injured on your property, you could be facing a costly claim – it might even be enough to shut down your business completely.
  • For the love of ice cream: As temperatures rise, lineups for the cold treat get longer. But heat and humidity can cause power outages due to equipment overheating, which could leave those beloved double-scoops melting into a warm, sticky mess – and shop owners to cover the cost of equipment repair, along with the loss of product and sales.
  • Calm before the storm: When summertime arrives, farmer’s markets pop up around the country. From bakers, butchers, cheese and beverage manufacturers to florists and hobby craft enthusiasts, any one of these small businesses can be sidelined if unexpected inclement weather hits. A strong gust of wind or torrential downpour can easily blow over tents, resulting in damage to business property, or even an injury to a member of the community.
  • Beware of Bridezilla: For most wedding planners, the allure of everlasting love is what drives their business year after year. And, while a well-executed summer wedding has all the ingredients to make those dreams come true, one misstep like booking a vendor on the wrong day, or at the wrong time, can turn a blushing bride into a bridezilla. More importantly, it can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
  • The grass isn’t always greenerWhen the warmer months roll around, many homeowners come down with a serious case of lawn envy. Trusting a landscaper to bring their perfectly manicured garden back to life is a no-brainer and many landscaping companies will enjoy a big spike in business. But with a thriving black market for stolen equipment, landscapers and gardeners are at risk of losing more than just their hedge trimmers. In fact, replacing costly equipment could put them out of business altogether.

“A small loss can have a big impact on your business,” says Dinis.

“We want to make sure this summer’s entrepreneurs consider the risks involved in running a small business, and that they have insurance to protect them when they need it most.”


We are 100% Canadian and wholly owned by Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited.

As the first direct-to-consumer small business insurance provider in Canada, we are dedicated to educating Canadian business owners on the risks of running their business through industry-leading expertise, and serving them through affordable and flexible insurance solutions.

TruShield Insurance and TruShield Insurance logo are trademarks of Northbridge Financial Corporation, licensed by Northbridge General Insurance Corporation (insurer of TruShield Insurance policies).

Norton Rose Fulbright looks at the future of blockchain-automated insurance


Insurance requires the sharing of lots of sensitive commercial data between parties and many business lines are conducted by a traditional broker network. Blockchain and related distributed ledger technologies look like the preferred way to automate the insurance industry and optimise its disparate and duplicated systems of reconciliation.

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has made insurance the focus of its second white paper on blockchain technology; its team of lawyers have done extensive work in the area of smart contracts, looking at uses of the technology within banking.

The latest paper envisages the complete digitisation of the insurance value chain. Insurance can be broken down into product, distribution, underwriting and placement, and claims and administration: a combination of big data, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain can create a platform approach that will blur these together.

Automation of this kind could change the broker/client relationship. According to the Association of British Insurers, as at 2016, brokers arrange 54% (£22bn/$28bn) of all general insurance businesses and 79% (£10.7bn) of all commercial insurance business.

Nicholas Berry, a partner in Norton Rose Fulbright’s corporate and regulatory insurance team, said: “The insurance market is interested in DLT [distributed ledger technology] because of the amount of data that is shared and the amount of duplication in current insurance processes.”

Berry gave the example of reinsurance where claims bordereaux, a report periodically furnished to a reinsurer by the ceding insurers or reinsurers, are held in traditional databases and verified by multiple parties, including insurers, reinsurers, third-party administrators, brokers and claims handlers, and where data and information is shared through the use of multiple systems and media.

“Think of a reinsurance transaction where you’ve got a book of business being insured, and then being reinsured perhaps by multiple reinsurers,” said Berry. “You have, for example, broker slips, the insurance contract, and then the reinsurance contract, the bordereaux – and they are all transacting on the basis of the same information ultimately, but through several different media.”

Using a blockchain, parties could view the information simultaneously and accept amendments. Policy and claims data could be produced with far greater accuracy, with the result that the bordereaux and reconciliation processes could be significantly reduced or even eliminated.

Other obvious uses for blockchains are areas like claims administration, where payment instructions could be automatically created when certain contractual criteria are met on a shared ledger. With a combination of DLT, smart contracts, the IoT and open data sources, the processing of claims could take place with limited human involvement, leading to significant reductions in the operating costs of the insurer.

Catastrophic events

In terms of product innovation, a smart contract (an agreement in digital form, signed and enforced on a blockchain) can be used to create catastrophe bonds, for example, covering weather or other risks with a parametric (event-driven) or index-linked trigger. Payouts to the insured or reinsured party are triggered based on the physical parameters of a catastrophic event, such as wind speed, the location of a hurricane or the magnitude and location of an earthquake, or on the basis of an index recording industry-wide losses in a particular geographic area in relation to a particular peril.

Motor insurance is another example of where products can be tied to automatic claims triggers. Indeed a motor insurance product might become fully automated (from policy issuance to claims settlement and associated services) using a combination of DLT and smart contract technology, running in conjunction with data fed in from IoT devices.

“The enemy of the underwriter is the unknown” states the paper, and underwriters have historically had to rely on the insured’s honesty in terms of the provision of information on moral and physical hazards. Distributed ledgers may enable underwriters to more easily verify material facts relevant to a risk, such as the ownership, location or provenance of an asset or the insured’s state of health or criminal record, as long as the information is recorded on a distributed ledger. Many “unknowns” in the underwriting process can therefore be removed before placement.

Best prices and terms

A distributed ledger-powered approach to insurance could herald real-time “auction” placements, where the digitising of insurance risks via platforms will mean insureds can hold direct capacity auctions to get the best pricing and terms available on the market – precluding the current notion of what an insurance broker is and does.

The paper looks ahead at governance systems and controls and what could happen if you start replacing aspects of existing insurance value chains with digital platforms. The question of who owns and runs these platforms will need to be settled by the industry.

Berry added: “Some people see these platforms as perhaps having a disintermediating effect and removing brokers. But brokers have fiduciary duties and obligations within that value chain and if they are removed from it, who do those duties fall on? Do they fall on the insurer? Or does the insured lose the benefit of them and do they cease to exist; how is that going to play out in the future?

“And in relation to smart contracts, insurers obviously have treating customer fairly obligations, and insurance has concepts like ex gratia payments. There are human considerations in claims handling. If you move to an automated model, how do you ensure that those treating customer fairly obligations and other insurance specific concepts are going to be retained?”