Bitesize InsurTech: Shift Technology
May 21, 2016 Chris Sandilands
Shift is a claims analytics startup offering SaaS fraud detection solutions to insurers. Not, in and of itself, that interesting. However, the Paris-based company created a stir this week when it announced that it had raised a $10m Series A round with backing from Accel, the VC made famous for investing in Facebook very early. So why the interest?
Shift claims to use “the best of AI” to find patterns of fraudulent claims thereby allowing users to cleanse their books of polluting claims. Every little bit of margin helps as insurers struggle to differentiate themselves in a crowded and confusing market. Reduced claims – and the claims expenses associated with handler efficiency – should give Shift’s clients a competitive advantage.
What Shift offers is smart, but the way in which it plans to embed the service into claims teams, is even smarter. Shift has clearly watched and listened to claims handlers – integrating its offering into a handler’s daily life is a priority for Shift and much time is spent enabling handlers to test and use the full Shift spec.
To date Shift has analysed over 50 million claims, growing at the rate of nearly two each second. Claims data is being used to hone the algorithms, and part of this week’s funding will go on further product development. A large chunk has been set aside to build the salesforce.
Over time, all insurers will come to have such a system, and a new norm will be set. Customers will be happy with lower premiums as the effect of fraud on pricing is reduced. In the meantime, however, those that do not will be selected against, attracting more fraudulent claimants.
From here it seems that Shift has a chest of cash, experienced backers, a great product (designed to get ever better) which should result in lower claims and possibly therefore lower premiums, and a commitment to customer care. Insurers will scramble to keep up with systems like these – Shift is on to a winner.