Insurtech: The New AI Disruption Hitting Insurance
Insurance Is Getting Smarter And More Customized Thanks To AI. The Focus — On Improving Customer Experience For Tech-Savvy Insurers And Better Risk Underwriting
No matter how much you grow up; there are some jobs that remind you that you aren’t a well-settled adult just yet. Taxes and insurance are that for most of us. It’s the one time you Google profusely but end up sighing and giving your dad a call. Why is buying insurance such a dad-job? We’re going to put it down to your insurance agent being about the same age as dad and offering you a one-size-fits all plan. No, I don’t have a fax machine, Tom!
Well, that’s fast changing. Move over, banking! Insurance is being disrupted by technology in much the same way that the healthcare sector is seeing change. It’s big, it’s personalized and it’s being driven by Artificial Intelligence.
What is insurtech?
Traditional banks and fintechs are increasingly becoming partners in ventures in which the incumbents retain ownership of the end customer, while the fintech help to improve the user experience and customer-centric approach
The market opportunity for Insurtech is huge when you consider that an estimated US$ 1.2 trillion was collected as insurance premiums in just the United States during the year 2015. Globally the insurance sector is growing at a healthy rate of 5% annually, according to PWC’s report.
Insurtech is a subset of fintech. It’s the technology that lies behind the creation, distribution and administration of insurance business. Smartphone apps, wearables, claims processing tools, online policy handling and automated processing are all insurtech. Insurtech is useful for collecting and analyzing customer data to provide a better service, according to the Arrk Group.
Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT) are the current focus of insurtech, with the majority of invested capital going into these areas.
Everest Group reports that the majority (53 percent) of insurers are opting to build in-house AI capabilities through hiring, internal training, hackathons, acquisitions and InsurTech partnerships.
Conversely, 47 percent of insurers are turning to IT service providers to address the skills gap and accelerate time to market. Many of these service providers bring AI implementation expertise not only from their work with other insurers but also from their work in other industries that are further ahead on the AI adoption curve. Service providers such as Capgemini, Cognizant, HCL, IBM, Infosys, LTI, TCS and Wipro are building insurance domain-wrappers on top of their existing AI platforms to demonstrate early Proof of Value (POV) and accelerate the time to market for their clients.
“Global insurance executives correctly believe that adopting AI can catalyze the transformation of their business models and help their companies stay competitive in the market,” said Ronak Doshi, practice director with the IT Services research practice at Everest Group. “However, among all technologies being adopted by insurers, the skills gap is the highest for IoT and cognitive and AI-based technologies. So, insurers are exploring creative ways to address the skills gap, not the least of which is partnerships with InsurTechs and service providers who can bring AI expertise to the table.”
According to a report by McKinsey, the key business objectives and leading use cases for AI in the insurance industry fall into these three categories:
- Customer Experience (58 percent). Improving front-end customer experience remains the top priority and accounts for 58 percent of all the analyzed use cases. Insurers are trying to provide personalized and instant services to customers using chatbots and mobile applications. Leading use cases include validating insurance cases against business rules and using speech analytics solutions for sales and operational efficiency.
- Process Improvement (43 percent): AI is helping insurers optimize processes, both internally and externally. Claims management remains a priority for the insurer, helping customers to fast-track their claims process and reduce the time taken for payments. Insurers are also using AI to improve efficiency in documentation and call center operations. Leading use cases include mobile applications and web portals to answer customer queries and give policyholders one-stop access to their documents.
- Product Innovation (19 percent): Leveraging AI for product innovation is in the nascent stage of development. Insurers are using IoT devices such as those for telematics, connected homes and connected self, to develop more usage-based insurance products for customers. Leading use cases include leveraging data from connected vehicles and using AI-powered wearable devices and mobile applications to help customers with personalized advice.
Innovative new insurance products on offer
Corvus Insurance announces the release of Smart Cyber Insurance, offering broad cyber insurance to organizations with up to $1 Billion in annual revenue. This innovative new insurance product will have all the features of a conventional Cyber Insurance policy while also helping brokers and policyholders to predict and prevent cyber insurance risks and claims.
Smart Cyber Insurance provides Dynamic Loss Prevention, with both transparent underwriting and ongoing assessments of an organization’s cyber risk exposures. Corvus creates a risk score for each account, analyzing numerous IT security domains in order to both underwrite risk and to provide added value throughout the policy year. Corvus also provides cyber insurance benchmarking and other business intelligence to brokers and policyholders.
The Corvus underwriting process relies on data scans of web traffic and other non-invasive reports. Corvus security scans greatly reduce the information required by an organization and its broker in order to obtain an insurance quotation. The Corvus online application is one of the shortest in the marketplace.
In addition, the Smart Cyber policy form contains broad 1st party and 3rd party insuring agreements and includes enhanced coverage for Contingent Business Interruption, System Failure, Social Engineering Attacks, Ransomware, Reputational Loss and Multimedia Liability.
REIN, an insurtech company offering a flexible, data-driven platform designed to create usage-based insurance products, announces $7.3M in venture funding. The capital was secured from investors including Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures and Kiplin Capital; individual and family office investors, Jason Griswold (Founder, Brown Aviation Lease), Christopher Ellis (Managing Director at AvPro, Inc), Bert Roberts (former CEO of MCI), Steve Rabbitt (Formerly Founder/CEO at The Registry), and Anderson Bell (Senior Executive, AvPro, Inc.).
The REIN platform is built to use unstructured business data to better understand risk, specifically the emerging risks linked to continued technological advancement within mobility, robotics and online ecosystems. With REIN, companies can better adapt to changing customer behavior, and the unprecedented demand for speed and simplicity in insurance products, while bringing those products to market faster.
“REIN was constructed to unlock new, next-generation insurance product opportunities,” REIN CEO Christopher Dean said. “Our platform fills a gap by providing a toolset needed to better understand and deliver insurance solutions to our increasingly connected world. Those tools will then help deliver insurance products into large online ecosystems, turn a profit on usage-based products, and support insurtech products in IoT-related verticals.”
The company recently launched its first digital product, DroneInsurance.com. Built on the REIN platform, DroneInsurance.com offers commercial drone pilots tailored drone insurance coverage solutions. The intuitive web and mobile-ready dashboard replaces paperwork and complexity with data-driven automation and user control.
Today, REIN is leveraging the exponential growth of unstructured business data through active projects in robotics, online ecosystems, and across the automotive industry—all aimed at solving modern distribution issues, operational efficiency challenges and new risks.
Zesty.ai, an Artificial Intelligence-enabled risk analytics platform for Property and Casualty insurance, was honored with the People’s Choice Award for the Insurtech vertical of Plug and Play’s Summer Summit. Zesty.ai leverages the latest advancements in computer vision and deep learning on 115 Billion data points on residential and commercial properties to model key risk factors for loss events, such as hurricanes, floods, wildfires among others.
- LiST: Transforms life insurance policies into blockchain technology based tokens, and provides a marketplace for trading life settlement tokens.
- OKO Weather: An Insurtech company bringing crop insurance to emerging markets.
TheGuarantors is an InsurTech startup aimed at improving tenant/landlord relationships through innovations in product development and delivery. In 2016, the company launched its residential lease guarantee business focused on helping qualified renters secure apartments. The company has since guaranteed over $100 million in rent. In 2018, TheGuarantors launched residential security deposit replacement and rental insurance offerings, adding to their suite of products designed to help landlords further reduce risk when finding tenants.