Canadian Underwriter

How insurtech is making ‘significant inroads’

September 20, 2021   by Greg Meckbach

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Canada has hundreds of new insurtech startups and some of them can help you give consumers the experience they have come to expect from other industries, speakers suggested during the 2021 A.M. Best Canada Insurance Market Briefing.

“I think our industry is looking to insurtech to help us deliver our products to the customer in a way they want. Late at night on a Saturday night, that’s when they might decide to look at their car insurance and they want to be able to open their phone, click through and look at options,” said Matt Wolfe, president of Aon Reinsurance Solutions Canada, during the Canada 2021 Hot Topics Panel Discussion.

Also on the panel was Raymond Thomson, a director with A.M. Best Company Inc.

“Innovation is not just about technology. It is about different ideas and thoughts, methods, philosophies,” said Thomson.

“So a company without the deep resources to be investing in fintechs – they can still implement ideas to improve the efficiencies,” Thomson said Sept. 16 during the A.M. Best Canada Insurance Market Briefing.

Some managing general agents and insurers are early adopters of insurtech, said Jason Marley, senior vice president at Ernst & Young.

“Fintechs and insurtechs have made significant inroads designing powerful, focused applications that can solve quite specific problems for MGAs and for carriers – whether it’s business applications, sales and distribution – getting insurance in the hands direct to consumers – making this a more simplified process,” Marley said during the A.M. Best event.

“Even on the traditional lines of business, as we look at insurtech or MGAs, it’s really about the insurance industry needing to improve its customer experience,” added Wolfe.

Companies like Amazon are shaping consumers’ expectations of service, Wolfe suggested.

“COVID showed us – think about the Amazon experience – when we were hunkered down, the ability to get pretty much any product under the sun and it’s on your porch within 24 hours. I definitely think the customer is going to expect the insurance industry to start to evolve and start to deliver more like some of these other consumer-based businesses.”

Marley recently saw a study showing there was $2.5 billion invested into insurtechs during the first three months of 2021 alone.

“The reality is the global insurtech market is only stronger now than it’s ever been,” said Marley.

“We are seeing north of 150 insurtech startups coming to the marketplace in Canada alone. So the ability for insurers to operate on a more efficient basis, reduce cost, drive process efficiency and access new markets – we are only going to see more investment in insurtech in the coming years.”

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