Insurance works- it's just that it doesn't work as well as it should nor is it optimised for either the customer or the insurer. Many Insurtech innovators are guilty of hubris- those that present themselves as the "New Insurance Paradigm" are generally niche players in a niche market and often not even nationwide- never mind global- products and services.
The large incumbent insurers are global and offer multiple products to multiple sectors both commercial and consumer. And they do this day in day out despite having to cope with a motley mix of legacy systems and processes inherited from multiple acquisitions.
The incumbent insurers strength is the broad portfolio and the changing mix- moving more to prevention than cure. The connected person, home, vehicle, pet, trip makes it easier for innovative insurers to care for their customers. Help them mitigate risk utilising IoT & sensors, wearables, and products that help detect and mitigate risk.
New digital platforms connect the claimant with the insurer and by rejuvenating legacy core systems enable incumbent insurers to:-
- speed up FNOL - immediate to a few minutes
- offer claimants self-service to speed up a decision and keep them informed
- transform the supply chain to speed up settlement and strip out cost
- do this across products to provide a compelling insurance "prevention & cure" portfolio to customers.
"At its core, insurance is sharing or “mutualization” of risk — a concept that has been practiced for thousands of years in different formats, but with the same fundamental principle: the distribution of the risk of loss, and ensuring mutual aid."
Braden Davis, Chief Insurance Officer at Jetty.com.
Incumbent insurers are better placed to achieve this than upstarts. They may partner with some insurtech innovators but that is probably the best hope for the most successful. Most will go by the wayside- a fleeting moment of glory in a tumultuous frenzy of VC investment and unsustainable business models. We have been there before in the dotcom days, in analytics & BI vendors spawning forth by the day. We will be there again with DNA sequencing technologies.
The insurtech market is maturing and most are too late on the scene. Some start-ups have already matured, have deployed to global insurers and proved scalable, secure, resiliant, compliant and compelling.
While everyone is racing to throw chat bots, AI, and IoT at the problem, the consumer’s fundamental expectation is this: a simple and straightforward process that leaves him or her feeling happy and relieved at the end. Most consumers view insurance as a necessary evil — how refreshing would it be if they can instead experience insurance as a problem-solver and an enabler. Providing a great consumer experience is more than tools and process (and far more than buzzwords) — it’s the entire look-and-feel, the voice, the lingo — everything that is tied up in the “brand.”