Visit to Insuretech Connect 2016

Posted on Tuesday, 25 October 2016
Reading time:
2 minutes

PwC published a report this past March that called insurance a golden opportunity for innovation. The authors explained;
“InsurTech, is emerging as a game-changing opportunity for insurers to innovate, improve the relevance of their offerings, and grow. InsurTech, has seen funding in line with FinTech investment overall, and we expect investments to increase as new players and investors enter the space.”

Against this backdrop in October 2016 I visited the first annual InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas, USA the largest and most global gathering of insurance innovators to come together under one roof. 

By now, almost everyone has heard the facts, from the trillions in global annual premiums seemingly up for grabs to the billions being invested in new startups. The common thread, though is not disruption. It is the belief that better is on its way. Better could come from disruption, but it is just as likely to come through collaboration. 

These are really exciting times and there are some courageous teams out there bringing potentially disruptive and much needed innovation to our industry. Two that really stand out are Trov and Lemonade. These are high risk, high reward ventures.

There is also incredible short to medium term value in incremental innovation albeit more on the personal lines side. We normally overestimate the change that will happen in two years but underestimate the change that will happen in 10 years. Those that have the patience and perspective to not get carried away will be well positioned. 

The good thing is that across all participants, insurers, reinsurers, technology companies and venture capitalists, there is agreement that brokers are here to stay. It is hard to imagine a global corporate buying their insurance through an app or online. Brokers will just look a bit different and be more digitally enabled. A lot of focus in the next few years will be to use technology to improve current distribution chain and not to destroy it. 

Technology innovators bring speed and focus, and traditional players bring strength and experience. The combination will be good for the consumer and industry at large. It is clear that any business that can successfully create cohesion between these two groups, leveraging the strengths they individually bring is better set for success

Gerhard
de Bruin
Managing Director
+27 (0)11 778 9178