This should be an interesting start to a new decade with another busy year for InsurTechNZ in the making. If the start of this year is anything to go by, the wider insurance landscape is shaping up to be an interesting one. In front of us right now we have election year, the uncertainty brought about by the Covid19 (Corona) virus, global warming chaos and closer to our industry right now, the looming FMA licensing regime changes and focus on customer outcomes. We can expect a lot more on these topics, I’m sure. The common thread here is that all these issues present some opportunity for InsurTech innovation.
For this summer update I would like to provide some opinion on my ‘picks’ for the InsurTech sector this year and in particular welcome founding Insurtech member, Kai Dwyer as the Insurance Working Group co-chair. I am particularly looking forward to his thought leadership contributions. His involvement will add a great deal to our efforts to ensure continued success and engagement within our group. For those with an eye on export growth, do especially explore the Singapore Insurtech conference below.
HotPicks for 2020
- Licencing and Regulation. The role of the FMA and the new licencing regime will put much more focus on customer transparency, sales & distribution, compliance and more. From Rob Everett’s comments at the FSC event last week, it would appear legislation will be before the house by end of the year and guidelines are coming out between time. I predict a scramble by many companies trying to work out where they need to lift their game – and how to respond. Let’s hope companies don’t focus too heavily on rear-guard compliance activity, but rather also explore innovative investment in improved customer engagement.
- A growing eco-system of InsurTech Innovation. Of the (roughly) 25 InsurTechs I am aware of in the New Zealand market, I believe only one or two companies have ceased market trading. When you look at the start up sector as a whole, this is a tremendous achievement and reflects a healthy product/market fit. Most are finding international customers as well.
- Partnership. In line with the above point, again most InsurTechs are finding more positive engagement with incumbent companies, all of which opens up market opportunity. This situation will only improve as growing trust and comfort expands across the sector.
- Capital and Investment; I think this remains a core sector challenge. On a positive note, we are already seeing many companies now finding suitable Seed/series A funding and indeed some companies moving on to series B/C funding where there is clearly international product/market fit. Congratulations to specific InsurTechs like Monteux, JRNY , Digisure and others who have had great success in not only raising funds, but securing international customers.
- International InsurTechs moving into NZ. As we are seeing over the ditch, companies like Trov, Slice etc. are beginning to have a growing footprint in Australia. It is interesting to see companies like US company Lemonade specialising in pet insurance (and other verticals) all of which are also ripe for some level of disruption in NZ. With our significant Aussie owned insurance presence in NZ, it is inevitable we will see their international partnerships creeping in to NZ as well. In my view, international interest will raise interest, awareness and opportunity for the whole sector but we still need to be mindful of not letting go of our need for ‘made in NZ-for NZ’ services.
We have an active list of InsurTechConnect and NZTech partnerships events already lined up and more in the making with our NZT Tech partner alliances. If you/your company would like to more activity participate in these events, please let us know.
InsurTech related events:
- 20th Feb – ANZIIF, Sydney
- 12 March – JRNY & Deloitte. Wellington
- 19th March – JRNY & Deloitte, Auckland
- 25th March. InsurTechConnect event. Business acceleration and sales. With Farraday and Insured HQ. Invite coming out shortly
- 23rd April with Delta Insurance. Topic TBC
- 5th May. Techweek. Topic TBC
- 2-4th June. InsurTech Connect, Singapore
- 18th June, with Quanton. AI and RPA in Insurance,
- September, FSC conference . Topic/date TBC
- 24th September. With AA Insurance. Customer focus
International Trade development
If market exposure and forging business links is important to you, I would urge you to focus on the ANZIIF Insurtech event next week and following this, the Singapore InsurTechConnect event in June. InsurTech is actively promoting both
- ANZIIF conference 19-20 February in Sydney. This is an InsurTechNZ supported event with benefits for InsurTech alley, pitching, discounted rates etc.
- InsurTechConnect event, 2-4 June, Singapore. Similar benefits to above. We are working closely with event organisers, NZTE, ATEED, Insurers and NZ InsurTechs with a focus on an ‘NZInc’ presence for this well regarded event and actively fostering curated trade opportunity. If you are interested to be included in the Singapore delegation in particular, please contact Jason here or complete this early application form soon!
Have a great year and we look forward to seeing you during the year.
Jason and Kai