Start-ups are looking to collaborate and innovate, not disrupt

Georgia Taylor
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FinTech, InsurTech

Source: Insurance Business NZ

InsurTech NZ gathered 70+ attendants at its most recent event, Customers and Data, which focused on how insurers need to approach customer management amid the new technological landscape.

AI, robotics and robo-advice were the key areas under scrutiny, with a range of industry speakers discussing the potential of these advancements in improving customer engagement. The event also touched on the imminent contract law review, with MBIE principle policy advisor Daniel O’Grady speaking about the need for changes in the more technical areas of the almost century-old legislation.

According to InsurTech NZ chair Jason Roberts, the group’s most important agenda is to drive collaboration and innovation within the insurance sector.

“Insurtech encompasses traditional incumbents and large insurers through to insurtech disruptors, innovators and new entrants, who are really good at complimenting the value of traditional insurance,” Roberts tells Insurance Business. “We’re aiming to bring those two ends of the sector together to create opportunities, and to drive collaboration.”

“Despite what people might think, most start-ups are in the business of working with incumbents and complimenting their business rather than disrupting it,” he explains. “There are very few that can really be described as ‘disruptive.’ Most are simply trying to create more innovative methods of marketing and distribution, or to address data-related problems that don’t yet have efficient solutions. You’re seeing a huge range of products coming from a variety of different places, and most insurers recognise that they don’t necessarily have all the answers, so they’re open to reaching out and engaging with the insurtech sector.”

According to Roberts, customer-facing parts of the industry should pay particular attention to the insurtech sector as it develops, as face-to-face interaction will inevitably be challenged by things like robo-advice.

“It raises the opportunity for brokers in particular to familiarise themselves with the benefits of robo-advice,” says Roberts. “There’s a whole new area of autonomous engagement aimed at bringing personalised insurance to customers, and these concepts are beginning to make quite a powerful impact. I think within the next five years, we’re going to see at least half of our services carried out without the need of any call centres.”

“Insurance is doubtless going to be here for a very long time, but the way that people engage with insurance is going to change,” he concludes.

InsurTech NZ is a relatively new group running under FinTech NZ, and runs regular events for the insurance industry on a variety of topics.