The insurtech space is rapidly expanding, according to a briefing from Willis Towers Watson. In the first quarter of 2018, there were 66 insurtech investment deals – a new high – while investment volume exceeded the same quarter last year, rising from US$624 million to US$724 million.
Peggy Hansen from ReSource Pro, a service provider for the insurance industry that offers productivity solutions for a policy’s entire lifecycle, from new business all the way up to claims, predicts that technology in the industry will “explode” in the next few years because of all the insurtechs that are coming up.
“In the last two or three years, there’s been tremendous change in technology. We still lag as an industry, but there has been great improvement,” said Hansen, regional executive for business development. “We as a company do look for opportunities to help bridge the gap that we’re facing in the industry by providing different solutions that can’t be automated.”
Insurance companies that delay in adapting to the changing times risk becoming irrelevant.
“For an organization not to be thinking about that long-term and getting on the bandwagon to adopt the technology that they need to remain viable and competitive, it could be very dramatic to the future of the organization,” explained Hansen, adding that organizations have a responsibility to help their staff understand that change is needed to move forward while supplying training and the right communication materials to make sure the message is received and applied.
Moving ahead without being left behind also means hiring new talent. But, as older generations prepare to leave the industry, getting young people to think of the insurance sector as a viable one is another challenge facing companies in the space.
“I think there’s a stereotype in the industry that it’s insurance sales and that’s all it is, and people don’t find that interesting when there’s a very vast industry that has many opportunities,” said Hansen.
The Wholesale & Specialty Insurance Association (WSIA) and other groups are facing the challenge head-on.
“Organizations like WSIA have done a very good job in trying to attract younger talent [and] provide the educational opportunities necessary to bring that forward,” said Hansen.