1. Digital platforms: build it and they will come?
Based on a simple straw poll, around 40% of startups at DIA were B2B digital distribution platforms (possibly unsurprising given the conference name). The platforms fall into two categories:
Pure distribution, where the platform’s primary focus is the distribution of insurance products e.g. Vlocity and Neosurance
Digitised risk management services, where platforms help customers manage and mitigate risks e.g. Leakbot (a platform to reduce risk of flood claims powered by sensors) and Drivies (which uses telematics and gamification to reduce risk of motor accidents)
The key challenge we see with these offers is getting consumer adoption. We believe the winners will be those that conquer the marketing and distribution challenge, rather than those which employ the most advanced technology or in app experience. Clearly insurers need to tackle the digital challenge but must avoid the simplistic assumption that ‘build it and they will come’.
2. Claims automation: reducing costs and improving customer experience
Claims was a significant focus at DIA. Startup propositions clustered around three areas:
Process automation, particularly FNOL process e.g. Keylane, Bdeo
Life and health had some coverage at DIA. Notable examples are Ladderlife, Sureify and Dacadoo. Despite this life and health is still underrepresented in InsurTech.
4. Growth of ecosystems
We often talk about (re)insurers needing to build flexible ecosystems, picking the best of breed technology as opposed to monolithic systems. We are starting to see this ecosystem mindset take hold within the InsurTech community, for example startups coming together to build ecosystems. At DIA, Sureify and Sentiance collaborated to provide a health insurance platform that uses customer behaviour data from smartphone sensors. Another example is BrightMaven and FRISS coming together to provide a solution for recovering stolen vehicles. Watch out for more collaboration in the next 12 months.
5. Established players on the offensive
As InsurTech startups grow in scale we see the established players make a more concerted effort to respond to this new wave of innovation. Players like Guidewire and Fadata are at DIA boasting about new digital capabilities to match those of their nimbler counterparts.
Greg leads engagements on digital, operational, and technology strategy and transformation. He spends most of his time in the Lloyd’s and London Market and European retail insurance.Graduating with a degree in Engineering and Computer Science, Greg has a strong technical background which allows him to give his clients confidence in the feasibility of their strategic choices. CEOs often rely on Greg to look through the hype and advise them on the relevance of technical trends. Topics where Greg’s range of experience comes together include digitisation in the London Market and the impact of Lloyd’s Blueprint 2, strategic choices available to syndicates around the bifurcation of lead/follow, and using technology as a vehicle to drive underwriting transformation.
Greg is a regular commentator on transformation and digital topic, and often speaks at industry events. He has authored many pieces on the Oxbow Partners blog.