Sun Life Financial to host insurtech expo for staff in Toronto

Sun Life Financial to host insurtech expo for staff in Toronto | Insurance Business Canada

Sun Life Financial to host insurtech expo for staff in Toronto

Sun Life Financial is about to embark on its next step towards understanding and utilising insurtech innovations at the cutting edge of the industry.

Insurtech – or insurance technology – is sometimes referred to as a “disruptor” to the industry. But it also creates efficiencies and can give early-adopters a competitive edge.

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Sun Life will next week host its first-ever InsurTech Expo, in partnership with Silicon Valley-based insurtech accelerator Plug and Play.
On Monday, a select group of international insurtech start-ups will showcase their innovations, presenting “the very latest in digital technology, including client distribution and engagement, early disease detection, artificial intelligence, predictive modelling and analytics.”

Fred Tavan, global head of Innovation Lab, reinsurance and insurance risk at Sun Life, said the start-ups invited to the event will pitch their innovations directly at the insurer’s business units that would benefit most from the technology.

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“[They will pitch to] those people who are actually involved in making the day-to-day decisions for innovation, and who are looking for new ideas to bring to the market,” he said.

When the company first partnered with Plug and Play a year ago, Tavan said he would travel to Silicon Valley with a “laser focus” looking for specific concepts. The new approach is a wider, broader look at what is being innovated, to see where it could fit into Sun Life, he said.

“The primary mandate of the Innovation Lab at Sun Life is to accelerate innovation across all our business units. The wider we can make the net of senior decision-makers who can understand what’s going on in Silicon Valley and how quickly things are changing [will be beneficial to the company],” Tavan said.

“We are identifying, ultimately, the start-ups that we see at Plug and Play that will help improve our client experience and client engagement. This whole client-centric approach is something we are folding into the Innovation Lab.”

Plug and Play insurtech launched in May 2016 in Silicon Valley, California, and in less than a year became the largest vertical at Plug and Play, and the biggest insurtech platform in the world. The company plans on investing in 20 start-ups a year to “catalyze innovation and revolutionize the insurance industry.”

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