Our specialist technology team attended the Market Minds InsurTech conference in Shoreditch Town Hall, organised by Sebastian Zulueta and Gilbert Harrap. With sponsorship from KPMG, 70 guest speakers took part with over 500 attendees from some of the biggest names in insurance. From startups to CEO’s, investors and representatives, it truly was one of the largest meetings the InsurTech industry has seen so far.
Amongst the variety of panels and speeches, we learned the successes and challenges facing insurance and Insurtech companies within London along with an insight on the incredibly bright futures these companies may have.
Collaboration seemed to be a recurring theme throughout. Several established insurers displayed a general consensus that they need to open their options and consider the start-ups as they are solving the problems that these companies have been continuously experiencing over the years.
For example, the speed of payment is something that the likes of Slice Labs, SoSure and Nimbla are working on to enable insurance pay-outs to become a speedy and reliable process for customers. The challenge with this is the speed at which the conversations begin between insurers and start-ups which was one of the main aims of the conference.
Blockchain is ever-present amid discussions surrounding technology, spanning multiple industries including insurance. By controlling and monitoring the access to data, Blockchain could be the answer to reducing the high level costs of doing business in London. During the conference, InsurTech representatives discussed alternative technologies that could replace Blockchain, including the building of API’s that could result in hiring of Blockchain specialists unnecessary.
New technologies, adoption & recruitment
It is not a case of major insurers improving their legacy tech but a series of ‘buzzwords’ that will make the difference. Many of the speakers are going to be adopting cloud computing, where a single line of code could have multiple functions and machine learning to improve the speed of the entire process.
The two ways in which insurers can adopt newer technologies is to pair up with existing InsurTech companies, which are what several of the larger insurers are doing, or to use recruitment to build on their existing technology team.
In order to remain competitive, the insurance industry needs to attract the same level of technical talent that software companies such as Google or Facebook are attracting.
Eames is partnered with nearly all of the major insurers within London and works alongside the best and most exciting InsurTechs in the market, placing the most exciting, professional, technical talent in to the sector.
Insurance is not a product consumers want or enjoy paying for and it’s clear that those in charge know this. It’s also not a product or an area that the consumer necessarily trusts.
The inclusion of data harvesting within insurance is going to be rebutted, especially with the current pressures of GDPR and insurance needs to regain a lot of trust in order to do so.
Making the process faster, cheaper, more reliable and solidified in technology is a real change for the insurance market but could be a change that will bring the consumer closer to the insurers themselves.
The future of that relationship is uncertain but the relationship between technology and insurance is thriving.