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Top Takeaways from InsurTech Week 2022:

Data, Claims and Customer Service, Diversity and Talent

Data, Claims and Customer Service, Diversity and Talent

The week of 14th – 18th March was a hectic one for those of us keeping up to speed with the fast-moving InsurTech world. We raced from event to event, meeting hundreds of people over the five days, from old industry friends and contacts to new disruptive CEOs, investors, and industry veterans.

Here are the top takeaways of three members of the Sheffield Haworth Insurance and InsurTech practice.

Top 3 takeaways? Data, data, and data!

By Ben Johnson, Managing Director and Global Head of Insurance & InsurTech, Sheffield Haworth

Whatever the conversation, whatever the strategy, whatever the innovation, whatever the initiative, whatever the product it all comes down to data. Until you understand the data you have and what you want to do with it, innovation will prove elusive.

Data is the foundation for everything else, from digital transformation and customer centricity to fair value, ESG, DEI, and agile methodologies, which is why it’s so important to get it right.

With that in mind, here are some key statements regarding data during the week from some thought-provoking speakers and experts:

  • Parul Kaul-Green, CFA – a culture that supports change is essential to data transformation. We need different types of people, those who will challenge the status quo.
  • Ed Gaze – data standardisation is required
  • Eric Schuh – legacy builds quickly & data sharing across the value chain and ecosystem is essential.
  • Nic Gordon – data strategies often fail due to a lack of execution capability or a misalignment between the business and IT.
  • Moshe Tamir – data partnerships are key
  • Jean-Charles Velge – data exchange between partners must be deep and frequent enough.
  • Steven Mendel – if you want to build strong ecosystems that work for your customers you need to start with the data. Who are they and what do they want.
  • Ian M Thompson – how can we structure data better keeping unstructured data to the customisation veneer.

Claims, underwriting, and incumbents’ attitudes towards InsurTechs

By Gareth Burden, Consultant, Global Insurance & InsurTech, Sheffield Haworth

For me, there were three key trends that stood out from the many topics being discussed throughout the week.

Claims – customer service is key. The question right now is how to combine empathy with a good mobile experience and easy to use technology. Data will only take you so far, sooner or later as social creatures we will want to speak to a human. Insurers new and old need to work out how to get the balance between automation where it makes sense, and where to add the human element that most customers expect. 

Underwriting – now that technology is shaping this key part of the value chain, do we need to train old underwriters to a new way of thinking? Or do we push digital natives into an older style of thinking and be more risk averse? There is no clear answer to this question, but the debate was lively and raised several times at different events throughout the week.

Incumbents and reinsurers are not as sceptical as some might think when it comes to new technology. They know they are operating within 300-year-old business models and have to justify to the regulators how they reach certain pricing conclusions if they choose to use technology, which slows innovation and disincentivises adoption.

Technology disruption still hasn’t happened in insurance

By Gwen Inarejos, Associate Consultant, Global Insurance & InsurTech, Sheffield Haworth

There were so many topics discussed during Insurtech Week, but the ones that stood out to me were as follows:

  • Insurance 3.0 is yet to happen – technology disruption still needs to take place for the insurance industry; the majority of InsurTechs are partners with incumbents rather than disruptors.
  • The ABCD of insurance technology: Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Cloud and Data are the key technologies transforming insurance right now and in the foreseeable future.
  • Hiring top talent and increasing the diversity of that talent is a top priority on the agenda of insurers and InsurTechs alike. Methods discussed to minimise hiring biases and thereby increase diversity included anonymising CVs, and communicating externally that you take such measures, which can influence the types of people and profiles who will apply for your roles.
  • It’s vital to understand where customers want technology and when they want to deal with people instead at key touchpoints or ‘moments of truth’. Combining digital and human capabilities the right way will be key to ensuring greater customer loyalty beyond price.
  • Claims automation: the barrier to this is never money for IT or operations; it is almost always leadership.
  • Future of mobility: while the trend for electric vehicles is becoming clearer, will vehicle ownership will be scrapped altogether in favour of a pool/rental approach? Some business models still assume mass private ownership moving forward, for example Laka, which specialises in bicycle insurance.