Insurtech is here to stay, as an enabler not a disrupter says Kathryn Considine, Network Development Manager at the Community Broker Network.
Considine was one of the many insurance brokers attending at the two-day ANZIIF Insurtech Conference last week and she believes more brokers should be embracing tech innovations.
Insurtech is definitely challenging legacy systems in Australia and the event was attended by insurers, brokers, regulators, industry professionals, service providers and startups. The event addressed a lot of issues affecting the industry along with some startling facts about the lack of trust people have shown towards financial services as a whole and insurance in particular.
Considine says, “I don’t think there is enough understanding of insurtech amongst brokers. It is important that we understand things like blockchain and how it is playing out in other industries and it is essential we explore machine learning and artificial intelligence to enhance the customer experience in insurance.”
A lot of established players in the market are looking to collaborate with startups and things are starting to look up for the sector. The various speakers at the event brought home the point that partnering is key to successful innvoation as seen in the case of Suncorp and Trov and MunichRe Digital Ventures backing many global insurtechs et cetera.
She thinks it is vital that brokers pay attention to digital and tech advancements, “Any technology that will enable us to provide a greater level of customer service should be a focus. At the moment, there is so much multiplication of information, bringing all stakeholders into a single source of information will be the best way to be more customer-centric and agile.”
The various panel discussions at the conference stressed that the insurance value chain, plus the wide range of products means there is a huge potential to apply technology to support insurance innovation. Customers generally tend to distrust financial services and insurance can play a massive role in reversing that impression.
Insurance brokers are well-placed to help the industry figure out what customers really want and Considine says it is also important to focus on ways to capture more data as well as have systems and processes in place to capture detailed information.
She says, “Customers now compare experiences across industries and no longer can we assume a generation gap – people of all ages want to deal with companies that give them UBER or Netflix experience.”
Brokers have a major role to play in the future of insurance, “We can always do more to better ourselves in this space given it’s the future. Having said that, maybe as an industry we can be better at sharing knowledge amongst ourselves.”
Brokers should be ready capitalise on new opportunities and ensure that they are ready to embrace the future Considine concludes, “From a management point of view, broking businesses should diversify their portfolio of investment and ensure there is funds allocated to ‘change the game’ aka innovation.”