Insurance industry playing catch-up on tech

New research has found that investment in insurtech has hit a historic high, but one expert thinks the industry is still playing catch-up

Insurance industry playing catch-up on tech

Insurance News

By Jordan Lynn

Global investment in insurtech companies surged to new highs in 2016, crossing the $1 billion mark for the first time in history.

The investment in insurtech more than doubled from last year’s $590 million as 91 deals were recorded in the insurtech space, representing a 23% increase.

Martin Blake, global head of fintech in insurance and national sector leader of insurance at KPMG, said that the insurance industry is “playing catch-up” in terms of investment in technology as other areas of financial services streak ahead of the industry.

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“Interest in insurance has grown significantly through 2016,” Blake told Insurance Business.

“We found many insurers have really been somewhat hampered by legacy IT systems and really haven’t had the bandwidth to focus on innovation and that has left the industry very much behind other segments of financial services such as banking.”

Overall global investment in fintech dropped 47.2% from record-levels in 2015 but insurance remains a bright spark.

In Asia, Ant Financial’s $4.5 billion listing lifted the region to an all-time high of $8.6 billion overall in fintech investment.

Blake noted that a change within the insurance market will see technology come to the fore.

The industry is moving away from a ‘push mentality’ of force-feeding clients products to a ‘pull mentality’ of understanding clients and solving the risks behind the insurance solution, he said.

For brokers, this change will require a deeper understanding of clients to remain relevant.

“Having a deeper understanding of the risk considerations for different customers is going to be important in terms of brokers being relevant and providing solutions that really meet the needs of their clients whether they be from commercial or personal lines insurance,” Blake continued.

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MetLife Singapore reveals finalists of insurtech matchmaking competition

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