By Phil Reynolds, President, BriteCore
InsureTechs are progressively disrupting the insurance industry to meet changing insured preferences. Carriers must adopt new strategies to remain key market players.
Market Demands Evolution
The economy is shifting towards concierge and convenience services as seen in increasing preference for convenience and concierge services like Uber over taxis. Modern companies are successfully meeting consumer demands by integrating technology into their services to enhance ease of use and customer accessibility.
The trend of changing consumer preference is reflected in the insurance industry. Only 24% of millennials purchase homeowners insurance through local agents. Similarly, consumer satisfaction is decreasing with traditional access channels as customers now expect highly automated processes that emphasize transparency. Celent research finds 37% of current policyholders prefer smart technology to human contact, which is expected to grow to 90% by 2022.
The evolution of customer preferences has created a demand for new products and services, yet many carriers are retaining traditional offerings, leaving customer needs unmet. InsureTechs—challengers disrupting the current insurance model through technology-powered strategies—are quickly emerging to fill the gaps. In order to contend with shifting consumer preferences and respond to InsureTech disruptions, Traditional insurers must modify their core, data, and digital solutions.
Types of InsureTech Disruptors
InsureTech companies are transforming the insurance landscape with three types of disruptors: Distribution Disruptors, Core System Transformers, and Supplemental Data and Device Users.
- Distribution Disruptors capitalize on the digital economy to deliver innovative ways of providing products. Carriers are using direct-to-consumer web portals, data pre-fills and policies packaged with other services to anticipate and meet consumer expectations, all with the ultimate goal of improving customer experience and convenience.
Example: Jetty Inc. is a prime example of an InsureTech that has created technology-driven, user-centric distribution solutions to make insurance processes more convenient for renters. Jetty is a rapidly growing InsureTech with a direct-to-insured distribution model. Through their customer-focused website, renters and landlords can purchase insurance without ever talking to an agent. The process is simple, is beautifully designed, and conveniently provides users with an insurance policy in minutes.
- Core System Transformers strive towards comprehension, automation, scalability, and ease of use in their administration and insurance processes. Transformers employ the latest in technology (e.g., AI, machine learning, straight-through processing) to create the most efficient, easy-to-use processes for both employees and customers. InsureTechs use a multitude of core system transformers to enhance efficiency and customization including: fraud detection algorithms, self-service chatbots and digital assistants integrated with technologies such as Alexa or Siri.
Example: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a leading infrastructure provider, offering a workspace with hundreds of tools to build a product or software system with top-of-the-line automation and security. Technical carriers can build from scratch and effortlessly deploy their core systems through AWS.
- Supplemental Data and Device Users implement modern data collection and processing tools into their insurance processes. From telematics to wearables and drones, these companies collect and process data in innovative ways to accurately predict policy risk and provide benefits to insureds. Pairing supplemental data with automatic FNOL responses, detailed customer profiles, and straight-through processing improves the quality of risk data and speeds quoting and claims processes for insureds.
Example: Many insuretechs are disrupting insurance by implementing supplemental data and devices into everyday insurance processes. Major insurers—State Farm, Allstate, and Progressive—reward policyholders for safe driving through data collected from telematics systems. The data provided allows for accurate, user-specific risk information for more precise risk calculation.
Engaging the InsureTech Revolution
Established insurance carriers have a unique opportunity to engage trends in InsureTech. The following three strategies augment traditional approaches:
Compete Directly - Transform internal systems to compete directly for consumer business using modern technology.
Underwrite the Insurance - Partner with InsureTechs to underwrite the products their technology platform is distributing.
Invest as a Capital Partner - Utilize capital reserves to purchase equity in InsureTechs, benefitting from their success.
InsureTechs are a growing force for change in insurance and technology. Carriers are responding to insure-tech disruptions by competing with, underwriting for, or investing in insuretech-powered solutions. Take time this month to consider how your company can participate in the InsureTech revolution to deliver better products and services to customers.
This article was featured in the PAMIC 360.
- Narcisco, Eric (2016). 5 reasons millennials aren’t buying insurance from local agents. Retrieved from: http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2015/09/16/5-reasons-millennials-arent-buying-insurance-from
- Santana, Danni (2017) Insurers adopt AI to keep up with customer demands. Retrieved from: https://www.information-management.com/news/insurers-adopt-ai-to-keep-up-with-customer-demands
Phillip Reynolds is the CEO and co-founder of Intuitive Web Solutions, creators of the BriteCore insurance processing system. He holds a certificate in "Leading Change in Complex Organizations" from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and speaks frequently on organizational design and technological innovation for property casualty carriers. Mr. Reynolds received the "Governor's Missouri Entrepreneur of the Year" award from Governor Jay Nixon and led IWS to the #288 spot on the Inc. 500 list. He is a frequent presenter at State conventions and is currently serving on PAMIC's Information Technology Committee. For more information on InsureTechs and what you can do to remain competitive, contact Phil at firstname.lastname@example.org.