The conservative nature of the insurance sector was summed up last year by Andrew Brem, who is chief digital officer at insurance group Aviva who said, as quoted by TechWorld, that the sector is “not known for its incredible radicalism”.
Whether it is due to threats from startups or realization that startups can provide competitive advantages for big insurance companies, the major players are starting to engage with startups. This trend is captured in the Digital Journal article “Platform to link insurance brokers to InsurTech partners.”
The types of new technologies disrupting the insurance sector include mobile apps, investment in digital channels, process to hire technology talent and platforms for analyzing customer data.
Moreover, research from London accelerator Startupbootcamp InsurTech and PwC, where more than 1,300 startups across the world were reviewed, indicates that 75 percent of incumbent insurers “believe the biggest impact to the industry will come from building new products in order to address the changing needs of the customer”.
Five InsurTech startups of interest
The start-up Cytora is first. The company has produced technology termed Risk Engine. This software can be used by commercial insurers to target and price risk using artificial intelligence algorithms. The star-up was supported by the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School Accelerate Programme.
Second up is InMyBag, which came about following a gap in the insurance market for mobile workers who are reliant on portable technology. InMyBag insures mobile devices such as laptops, phones and cameras. InMyBag works with Amazon Prime and Apple to guarantee same day replacement of the devices.
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The third InsurTech profiled is Brolly, which is a London-based start-up that is deploys artificial intelligence to provide customers with a mobile insurance locker. The locker stores existing and expired policy documents. Also offered is an advisor, to suggest insurance coverage and an online shop.
Fourth is Digital Fineprint, which uses machine learning technology to form smart insurance policy recommendations. This is based on the social media profile of the user data. As an example, LinkedIn data might be used to assess a person’s income and Facebook data provides an assessment of an individual’s appetite for risk.
The fifth and final InsurTech is Digital Risks. This company targets technology companies, and it provides a flexible, pay monthly Insurance-as-a-Service model. The scheme enables companies using the services to start off with insuring small items, like a laptop, and then gravitating to something like employer liability insurance or insurance against data breaches.
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