Flood risk AI is now a reliable tool- is there a desire to put it to work?

Flood insurance has been a wallflower at the coverage dance- an eager participant but not able to find a suitable partner.  Innovation efforts have found suitable risk prediction partners for carriers- FloodMapp, Hazard Hub, and Previsco among others- but is the flood insurance market ready? Politics, inertia, customer preferences and regulation might keep the music […]

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InsurTech efforts and the customer- who is being served with tech?

image The customer- easily overlooked on innovation’s path, and the continuous need for insurance companies to keep the customer as the ultimate focus of any innovation efforts. It’s a good week to revisit a favorite topic of mine; after presenting sessions on mobile claim applications to adjusters at the Property and Liability Research Bureau’s regional […]

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On the tides of insurance innovation

  A person has three choices in life. You can swim against the tide and get exhausted, or you can tread water and let the tide sweep you away, or you can swim with the tide, and let it take you where it wants you to go.  source Clever words for one’s life path, perhaps […]

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Always something new to learn under the insurance sun

TLDR     For the common good the policyholders will corporate with each other. The contribution of the policyholders is considered donations. To help those who need assistance, all their policyholders will pay their share. The liabilities are shared according to the pooling system of the community and losses are divided. According to compensation and subscription, […]

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Just in Time insurance- only what you need, when you need it

  Image TLDR   It wasn’t that long ago that production and retail inventories were gauged by the space available in which to store the supplies/goods.  Then some smart people determined that in a well-managed, lean operation inventory could be obtained upon instant need, and thus Just in Time (JIT) Inventory principles were developed. Is the […]

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Contents Cover- the under-served aspect of property insurance innovation

image TLDR  Consider: Structure losses– estimated to the nearest square foot or square meter.  Plenty of automated tools and techniques, and plenty of auditing for consistency. Contents losses– manual assessment and data entry.  Some automated tools for high value, niche cover or pre-inventory.  Little consistency in estimation as there is little consistency in what’s being […]

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Four of my Fintech posts connected to books

Traditionally we intend to read more in the summer. Environmental Sustainability and Finance: Poker or Chess? Inspired from the book `The Sustainable Organization` by  Miguel R. Brandao, already in its second edition co-creator of the #SORG index and the concept of Dolphin Organization.   Don`t confuse People-centric Banking with Customer-centric Banking. Linked to `Emotional Banking : […]

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InsurTech is still looking for traction with customers and companies’ staff

image   TLDR   Are the InsurTech advocates/enthusiasts ‘preaching to the choir’ and considering that to be conversion of the masses?   Within the orb of InsurTech press, social media, and conferences one would think innovation and migration to adoption of the most clever of tech and innovative practices is de rigueur within insurance- if one […]

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Environmental Sustainability and Finance: Poker or Chess?

In early July, Onalytica published an article on Sustainability with a focus in the financial services sector. Comparing the WEF`s Global Risks Reports over the past 10 years[1], they highlight a stunning shift. We are confronted with the reality that Sustainability risks are Business, economy, and Societal risks. All industries are realizing this and the […]

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Have the horse before the cart- problem first, then innovation solution

Image

TLDR Insurance is not complicated, say compared to sending a man to land on the moon, but it’s big, and its current challenges are like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.  Innovation, digitization, virtual sales and service, and so on.  Not unlike the elephant in the fable, insurance is perceived differently by each beholder- is it tail, ear, leg, trunk, sales, or underwriting, claims, accounting, actuarial, or customers?  What is to be innovated?

The drum beat of innovation is in some part fashion, but a large part reality- insurers need to evolve with their customers.  But there’s the rub- what evolution is meaningful, useful, profitable, doable, and able to be integrated into a carrier’s strategy, tactics, and admin superstructure?

This week’s discussion- who is useful to consult when you want to do it, or how to tackle it, innovation idea-wise.

I had a very useful conversation this week with an insurance veteran, Joël Bassani, founder and consultant at jinnbee who is now looking to share his knowledge gained over years with the insurance industry.  Our discussion reminded me that there are many aspects to insurance, many lines, covers, regulations, regions, etc. that one must deal with in the globally interconnected insurance world.  And how does one determine what path to take from that which one is on to one that leverages innovation or change?

What Joël told me as a foundational message resonates well- it’s not necessarily knowing the tech to apply, but it’s knowing what problem you have and working from that to what innovation has to help you.  In his opus of an InsurTech study, Joël notes early on, “An InsurTech is a solution, you need to focus on your Problem!”

And how do you know your problem?  Simple- you ask your customers, both external and internal and you strive to #innovatefromthecustomerbackwards .

What jinnbee has compiled for the industry is a compendium of InsurTech purposes:

You have an insurance problem, jinnbee’s analysis can help find an InsurTech solution from organizations that exist, are experts in their fields, and are available.  So you don’t have to create the wheel, you simply need to know the makeup of the wheel and jinnbee will help find a fit.  Do you make the innovation in house, or connect with an InsurTech?  Jinnbee will help lead your decision matrix.

And as comprehensive a study as jinnbee has produced, there are other organizations who have blazed a trail in terms of aggregating InsurTech organizational data, firms’ purposes, an ability to play ‘matchmaker’, and in providing accessible data. The two most prominent examples are Coverager, and Insurance Thought Leadership .

Coverager

I asked Coverage founder Shefi Ben-Hutta what synopsizes Coverager’s business model, what is the ‘elevator pitch’ that would best describe her firm’s approach:

  • Focus on tech, strategy, and alternative insurance distribution
  • Create and curate coverage (news, not lines of insurance)
  • Address the needs of insurance professionals, those who need access to information regarding how to address their unique problems (sound familiar?)

If the reader has yet to access the Coverage website (or better yet, subscribe to Coverager’s daily email), rest assured you will not be disappointed by a simple blast of information.  Coverager approaches information sharing with a wry tongue in cheek, occasional snark, but always best in class, topical information.  The firm’s web splash page gives an indication of the depth of coverage and information:

Everything from an encyclopedic source of insurance company information, a searchable database of InsurTechs, hosting of industry events, and to the latest marketing scheme or the scoop on a company that has gone off path.  As Shefi recounted, their purpose is:

  • Learn from the past
  • Understand the present
  • Better bet on the future.

Insurance Though Leadership

Take Coverager’s avant-garde approach to InsurTech assistance and look to a somewhat organizational opposite, and one finds Insurance Thought Leadership (ITL).  ITL approaches InsurTech advisory services with more of a formal suit, but with no less breadth of information as Coverager.  ITL has developed through the efforts of its founder, Dave Dias  into a premier source of innovation source/need connections, and a premier host of innovation education.  And the firm is the home of the man with a knowledgeable grasp on the innovation world, Guy Fraker, AKA the man with a thousand sneakers (runners, athletic shoes).  Insurance company C-Suites are encouraged to subscribe to the matchmaking service, and the organization’s excellent editorial staff keeps the industry appraised of the latest concepts.  A look at the Innovator’s Edge page of ITL website provides the searcher an idea of what the firm can offer:

Three very good sources to search and consider, and there are other InsurTech informational resources, e.g., GR Capital’s recent summary article, Why Next Year Can Be a Turning Point for Global Insurance Innovation, and industry influencers who can make connections from personal experience, including those in this list, or this one, or even this one (companies).

 

But it still requires the asker to know what innovation problem needs to be solved, what the customers are expecting (maybe it’s no change?), and how efforts are to be focused.  Innovation is not fashion, it’s strategic application of resources and there are good resources at hand.  And in most cases it’s not part of the elephant, but consideration of the whole beast.

 

Patrick Kelahan is a CX, engineering & insurance professional, working with Insurers, Attorneys & Owners. He also serves the insurance and Fintech world as the ‘Insurance Elephant’.

I have no positions or commercial relationships with the companies or people mentioned. I am not receiving compensation for this post.

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