Where are the opportunities in insurtech?

Where are the opportunities in insurtech? | Insurance Business Australia

Where are the opportunities in insurtech?

“Sometimes we have a solution for their problems and sometimes they have a solution for our problems!” said Yannick Giguère (pictured), general manager at Stelvio Australia. The software company provides insurtech offerings to the insurance industry in the claims management space.

Giguère was explaining the importance of the networking and learning opportunities at the upcoming InsurTech Summit Australia in Sydney on May 05. Stelvio is both sponsoring the all-important coffee and exhibiting.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to understand what’s happening in the insurtech space. For example, some of the struggles that our customers might be facing and how we can resolve them,” said Giguère.

The wide industry representation at the summit, he said, makes it a valuable measure of the current state of Australia’s insurtech arena.

This year’s InsurTech Summit, a leading insurtech event, will explore 2022’s most exciting emerging technology. The Summit will cover hot topics, including customer experience, regtech and intelligent automation (IA).

Read next: Revealed – one of the biggest barriers to innovation in 2022

Stelvio’s exhibition stand will feature its EstImage product. This continually evolving platform of software offerings includes digital tools insurers can use to improve their property and motor claims management.

“So our software helps insurance companies in the property insurance space allocate the repairs to suppliers and builders and then manage the repairs and authorize whatever needs to be authorized like invoices,” said Giguère.

He said once a customer submits a claim and the claim is approved, everything else can be done by this platform.

“The software is used by the insurance company, but also the suppliers - so the smash repairers, the home builders, the restorers even those who do content replacement and jewellery valuation – so anyone who’s involved in a claim and contracted by the insurance company,” he said.

Giguère said brokers can also use it to lodge information on behalf of their client.

“So it’s a big part of the process,” he added.

The origins of this platform go back 20 years to before the age of digitally managed motor or property claims.

The Stelvio GM explained the motor claim situation last century. This process, still very familiar to some, he said, involved insured customers taking their damaged car to different mechanics after an accident. The mechanics would send their repair quotes to the insurance company, by snail mail or, after the 1980s, by fax machine. The insurer would select their preferred quote.

This inefficient and potentially corrupt process, said Giguère, is now done digitally.

“I think we were the first in Australia to offer a motor claims digital solution in 2001,” he said.

Stelvio’s process has evolved considerably since then.

“So now it’s the full process, including the management of all the repairs, all the repairers, all the claims, all the assessments, all the adjustments and invoices – an end-to-end process that was originally done with paper,” he said.

Insurers don’t use paper as often anymore, but their understandably risk-averse cultures, said Giguère, can present challenges for potential partners like insurtech providers.

“I think insurance companies are slow to change because they’re there to deal with risk, right? They want to mitigate and avoid risk as much as they can. So that’s a challenge,” said Giguère.

However, he said that’s changing. Insurers are more willing these days to experiment with digital offerings.

“One of the trends is improved proof of concept testing. So what the insurers do is they test a solution on only one specific business unit, or team, within the company, before rolling it out to the full company,” he said.

Giguère said one of their customers has decided to trial EstImage Connect, a Stelvio product for property or motor claims management.

“So they’ll run it for a few months and confirm that they get the outcome and then they’re rolling out to the full company,” he said.

The Stelvio GM said, these days, some insurers trial multiple solutions in parallel to see which one is the best.

“Insurers are a lot more agile now. The trend that we’re seeing is this collaboration in proof-of-concept testing that’s happening more and more,” said Giguère.

Read more: What is an evangelist doing at the InsurTech Summit?

Stelvio joins a range of other industry stakeholders leading the debate on insurtech issues at the Summit.

Other speakers include Matt Paterson, nib’s group chief operations officer. Paterson is a speaker on the panel, Engaging customers in a digital environment.

Probir Dutt, automation evangelist who leads automation efforts across IAG (Insurance Australia Group) will talk about: Balancing the value of intelligent automation (IA) with unintended consequences. The philosophical note in the talk title could be a result of Dutt’s background as not just a tech expert, but also a composer and screenwriter for films.

Louise Portelli, founder and principal at Melita Consulting, is chairperson at the upcoming event and will be giving the opening speech. Portelli is a former Big Four partner and lectures at the University of Sydney in Change & Transformation, Leadership and Strategy.

A range of other industry leaders from insurance industry companies including Berkley Insurance, Swiss Re, Zurich Financial Services and QBE Ventures will also be speaking.

The 2022 InsurTech Summit Australia will take place at the Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney on May 05. This one-day event will unite Australia’s top insurance companies for a day of networking opportunities, panel discussions, case studies and presentations on strategies to remain innovative and equipped for the future of insurance. You can register here.