Levels of insurtech activity reached a record high during the second quarter of 2017 with a growing focus on claims management technology, according to a report.
The Quarterly Insurtech Briefing by Willis Towers Watson Securities, Willis Re and CB Insights reveals that insurtech funding was close to $1b in the second quarter, compared to $398m in the same period of last year.
Projects and partners
The rise is due to a growing number of insurtech deals and a global move towards research and development across all parts of the insurance chain. The report notes that well-established insurers and reinsurers are increasingly investing in technology partners.
Targeting claims management
The report identifies claims management as an area of growing interest, adding that one of the most disruptive scenarios of the insurtech revolution could be ‘a change in underlying function of the insurance value chain, from volatility management (paying claims) to risk mitigation (making losses smaller)’.
The rising number and growing importance of chief digital officers (CDOs) is a sign of how high up digital change is on the business agenda. And as a study by PwC reveals, insurance is leading the field.
PwC strategic consulting group Strategy& has released the findings of its 2016 chief digital officer study of the world’s largest 2,500 public companies. The study showed that 19 per cent of companies have a CDO, up from 6 per cent in 2015.
Meanwhile 35 per cent of insurers have appointed a CDO, putting insurance ahead of all the industries examined in the study. In second place is communications, media and entertainment (28 per cent), followed by banking (27 per cent) and consumer products and retail (27 per cent).
The insurance market is losing ground to insurtech startups and must focus on digital business to stay competitive.
In its UK Insurance Underwriting Digitisation Study 2017, research firm LexisNexis revealed the opinions of 107 insurance professionals, most of whom spend more than 80 per cent of their time pricing and underwriting policies.
The study examined the views of personal lines motor and home insurers on issues such as whether digitisation will create stronger business opportunities, and how their organisations are embracing new technology.
- Just 4 per cent of personal lines insurers say their businesses are entirely or almost entirely digital, while 92 per cent recognise that digitisation has allowed new insurance providers to emerge and disrupt the market
- 31 per cent of motor insurers and 25 per cent of home insurers are using mostly manual underwriting processes
- 78 per cent believe digitisation is valuable for improved speed to market for new products
- 64 per cent consider policy history data as an important way to improve the customer journey
The need for speed