Sara Ager & Karen Stanford
Although we’re what’s politely called ‘veterans’ in Insurance and London Market, this was our first exposure to the InsurTech Insights Europe event, a gathering over two days for the ‘buyers and sellers’ in this ‘ecosystem’ that’s now getting on for 10 years’ old – more or less, depending on whose definitions you subscribe to. (Of course we defer to what The InsurTech Book designed and co-edited by our own Shân Millie says …)
As first-timers to this event, we were expecting to see more firms and fewer Tech providers, and a greater opportunity to discuss and debate how insurance can be accessed better by customers. Topline: we were expecting something that had more focus on the end-consumer, whether that was B2B or B2C. We felt that there were just too many companies who said they could help companies price and rate motor insurance: maybe those firms thought that was what would ‘land’ best with the audience, but for us, although important, it took too much prominence.
The key theme for us has to be embedded insurance and the opportunity this brings for the insured, insurer, and the MGA business that are quick enough to respond and build products that are fit for the end-customer needs. As Insurance stalwarts, it was interesting for us to see how the ‘traditional’ warranty policy (the previous model of point-of-sale insurance purchasing) has been reinvented into 2022’s embedded insurance, and it’s clearly a burgeoning area. The compliance challenges the industry faced in the past makes it critical for any firm creating and distributing embedded insurance products to ensure the end-product really is fit for purpose, delivers value and that the customer journey is fully transparent.
Embedded insurance is founded on the premise of the development of a distribution ecosystem that meets customer need, at point of sale, when they are potentially most motivated to buy. As the next generation of insurance purchasers look to do things differently by basing their choice on protecting what they value most, and not necessarily everything they own, those products have to offer true value rather than simply efficiently push customer needs into the established (insurance product) ‘cookie cutter’. Yes, the customer journey needs to be simpler, easier and more transparent, but that’s not enough if the fundamental offering is still pushed out through the old ‘cookie cutter’. As specialists in all aspects of Delegated Authority (DA), and working with clients across the embedded value chain, we came away feeling well-placed to advise on the compliance, product governance distribution and operational models to ensure that embedded insurance NOW doesn’t make the same mistakes as the warranties of the 1990s and 2000s.
The exhibitors offered some innovative technology options, examples of MGAs who have innovated products using Insurtech platforms, and capacity providers who are looking to take a risk and find partnerships outside of the traditional insurance model. Case in point: our client Anansi, and our friends at Arma Karma. We enjoyed talking with Zego, Wefox, Baloise Group, Instabase, Instanda, Charles Taylor, Sapiens, Stripe, Akur8, Penni.io and Ice Eye.
We didn’t see any other experts in DA consultancy exhibiting, and maybe we’ll consider a stand next year… That’ll certainly help with the diversity attendees exhibitors and sponsors, which still needs quite a bit of work!