Innovation in the insurance industry has shown to be critical over the last number of months, and insurtechs are urging brokers and carriers not to lose the momentum they’ve established.
Insurtechs called for closer collaboration between the property and casualty (P&C) insurance industry and insurtechs in a recent webinar, Innovating with Insurtechs — A How To.
The P&C industry made a pretty innovative move during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering relief measures as people reduced their driving, noted Harsh Shah, director at San Francisco-based Socotra, an insurtech that offers cloud-based platforms for insurers.
But innovation is a ball that has to keep rolling, he stressed.
The relief measures “worked as a quick, blunt solution,” said Shah. “But what’s the July plan? What’s the November plan? What’s going to happen in 2021?”
Working from home may become a more permanent option for employees, resulting in reduced vehicle usage, he observed. And drivers will be looking for lower-priced options such as usage-based insurance (UBI).
“Pricing is going to become this big differentiator, and this UBI race is on,” Shah said. “So pausing innovation is not an option.”
That’s where an insurtech can help. “Choosing the right insurtech and working closely with them to get that agreement and alignment on results, and actually get those results and outcomes, can help drive innovation forward in a time when it’s really important,” he said.
Ian Jeffrey, co-founder and CEO of Montreal-based Breathe Life, an e-commerce platform for the insurance industry, urged insurers to reach out to insurtechs for help at any time because you never know what both sides may learn from having a conversation.
“Any opportunity for me or the company to interact with a carrier, whether that leads to a deal or not, is a learning experience,” he said. “It helps us understand: What are the things that are top of mind for you? What are the pain points? What are you trying to solve for? Being open to having a conversation with us should be a priority.”
For their part, carriers can view such discussions with insurtechs as a form of networking opportunity, Jeffrey observed.
“The reality is, if we’re not the right partner for you, then we have a network of partners and we may be able to tell you, ‘Well, you need to speak to [Company X],'” said Jeffrey. “So having that openness to come see us should be important. We recognize that it’s not because you knocked on our door that we think you’re automatically going to become a client. That’s fine.”
Not all insurtechs can cover every single need of an insurer, the panellists noted. So if another insurtech is needed for another project, don’t be shy about asking your current partner for recommendations.
“If you have an insurtech you believe in and you’ve enjoyed working with, ask them for their recommendations,” Shah said. “A lot of times, when someone begins working with us, they ask us who we recommend.”