Who’s Driving Change in the Insurance Industry? You and me!

InsureTech Connect 2019 AITE Group Panel

After attending my first InsureTech Connect event this fall, I was impressed with the level of commitment and dedication to the InsurTech industry by all the key players in the ecosystem. From 7 am coffee to way past 6 pm in the exhibit hall, the insurance-focused attendees were engaged. What were they all talking about?

Customer expectations, empowerment, and ingenuity.


1. Customer expectations align with their technology engagements today not yesterday’s.

    • Need for Digital Transformation: During one keynote, Allstate’s CEO remarked, “5 years ago the claims process looked like this… Today, the claims process looks exactly the same!” Carriers are realizing they have to change or die. The insurance industry decision-makers are fully committed to the “need” for digital transformation and realize it is no longer a “nice to have” in order to meet customer expectations.


    • I want an answer now, not tomorrow: Established insurance companies are competing with the expectations set by online, born in the cloud companies like Lemonade. They are delivering the “new normal customer experience” and disrupting the slow legacy processes. By going online, customers expect an immediate response, quote, chat, or answer to their question. The days are numbered of calling up an insurance company to get a quote after an hour of Q & A.


  • New Innovation departments: Solid, stable, and experienced carriers are walking the talk by listening, adopting and investing technology changes like never before. Innovation departments are the new sexy group within the insurance companies. They are staffed with outsiders who can think differently and be progressive in addressing customer expectations


5 years ago the claims process looked like this… Today, the claims process looks exactly the same!
– Thomas J. Wilson, CEO, Allstate


2. Customers are empowered to demand full integration and seamless experience.

    • A collaborative ecosystem: The InsurTech ecosystem understands that the power of collaboration is stronger than any single vendor. At InsureTech Connect, it was great to see the heavily resourced partners investing in the insurance industry to help guide the digital transformation – EY, Deloitte, Excell, and other consultants.


    • Stronger InsurTech stack: New advancements in technology are bringing together a stronger ecosystem to address customer demands and solve integration issues. We talked to FRISS, Shift, RightIndem, and Swift to name a few. Together we provide the seamless InsurTech stack customers are demanding, not alone as a one-point solution.


  • Customers are going beyond Carriers: For the high-risk policies, the reinsurance companies are beginning to talk directly with end customers. In some cases, they are entertaining the idea of creating new products for the consumer. This could be a first for this important segment of the industry.


3. Customers are evolving and adapting new ways to commit fraud.

How do you consistently create an exceptional customer experience for the 90% of your customer applicants and claimants who are low risk while flagging accurately the higher risk applicants?

Fraud continues to rise and plague the insurance industry despite the multitude of verification data points being used today. How do you measure for integrity, the indicative datapoint in the verification process?

  • The human element of fraud: At InsureTech Connect, the AITE Group hosted a panel focused on “Addressing the Human Element of Fraud: How to Prevent Application Fraud and Make ‘Pay and Chase’ Passe.” The discussion, led by analyst Jay Sarzen, Samantha Chow and Greg Donaldson centered on the human element of mitigating fraud. Zendrive discussed telematics, while MIB focused on Identity verification/authentication. Clearspeed presented voice analytics as an indicative datapoint in the verification process. The key take away is many InsurTech vendors are working together to help the industry accurately verify the information to improve the customer experience and reduce fraud.
  • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Automation: All stakeholders are genuinely pursuing technology to move the industry forward with AI and AI/ML in order to implement accurate underwriting and claims automation. With the use of sophisticated AI/ML to detect fraud earlier in the process, the greater the benefit to the low risk, loyal customer base resulting in increased customer retention rates.


  • Increase customer transparency: Communicate. Communicate. Communicate. It’s a known fact that when customers understand how they benefit from the verification process and can ultimately lower their premiums, they’re more willing to engage and increase their customer satisfaction score. When we all pulled together to get ahead of the few bad fraudsters, we all benefit as well.


My main takeaway from InsureTech Connect 2019 was that the momentum in the InsurTech ecosystem is being driven by the customers… you and me!

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