Former QBE exec reveals huge potential impact of insurtech

How can brokers actually leverage the influx to boost their business?

Former QBE exec reveals huge potential impact of insurtech


By Nicola Middlemiss

Insurtech has already brought about massive change for the industry but far more is on the horizon, according to one of the most experienced players in Australia’s insurance space.

“I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg for insurtech,” says former QBE exec Colin Fagen. “I don’t think it’s reached anywhere near the amount of impact it could have.”

Late last year, Fagen co-founded Blue Zebra Insurance – backed by Zurich, the insurtech start-up is a clear disrupter with bold aspirations to reinvent the traditional insurance space.

While the start-up has big plans – including building itself into a billion-dollar business by 2025 – Fagen says Australia’s insurtech space is still in its infancy and has significant room to grow.

“At the moment, most of insurtech has been targeted at specific components or specific areas of insurance operations – it hasn’t necessarily been built around a whole-organisation model,” he says. “Even those who have tried don’t seem to have the scalability built in their businesses yet so the future has the opportunity for an insurtech operation to be basically a new company model where it’s an entire insurance operation from back to front.

“I think that’s where the most potential is – literally from the underwriting at the front right through to the back end of the business, it can all be done much more efficiently and effectively.”

While Fagen is sure significant change is on the horizon, he also expressed concerns that brokers and big insurers aren’t yet adequately prepared.

“I don’t think brokers have got their heads totally around it yet and equally I’m not sure very many insurers have delivered it to actually drive that change,” he told Insurance Business.

When asked how brokers could better equip themselves for the impending changes, Fagan urged them to think ahead and consider partners they may not previously have worked with. 

“Brokers need to think about who is going to provide the support for them in the future and I think that’s going to be a totally different group of organisations that have worked with them in the past,” he said.

“Brokers of different sizes can’t afford the research, can’t afford some of the costs of innovation and equally the risks with innovation so it’s thinking about which organisations can genuinely work with them and have mutual growth aspirations. They’ve got to be thinking about those sorts of businesses and, again, they’re not necessarily organisations they’ve dealt with in the past.”

Colin Fagen will be delivering a session on how brokers can accelerate their business within the insurtech market at the 2019 InsurTech Summit in Sydney. More information about the event can be found online.

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