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Insurers and assurtechs must overcome challenges for better work


Susan Yellin

11 June 2019 13:30

The assurtechs of the country enter the markets of the insurance of persons and damage to property in Canada. But insurers and the assurtechs, tech-savvy, are facing a number of bottlenecks that must be solved to ensure a more harmonious relationship, said Rowan Saunders, president and chief executive officer ofEconomical Insurance at the conference InsurTech North, which was held in Toronto in may.

The industries of insurance, they do not have a great reputation in the field of leadeurship in innovation. However, things have changed with the recent developments and the growth of the sector of damage insurance, added Mr. Saunders.

Organisations such as Economical realize that they need to bring about change and attract customers eager to use the new technologies to buy their insurance products in all simplicity.

This is why the Company has launched Sonnet Insurance, a platform entirely online which uses data and analysis to deliver a personalized cover.

Mr. Saunders pointed out that Sonnet, which now has more than 100,000 customers, was more easy to introduce as a digital society that is totally new that to advance the idea with its parent company, Economical.

The insurers traditional life to become more involved

In some respects, the insurance industry of damage is in advance on the sector of insurance of persons in the field of financial technology, has supported Rino D’onofrio, director of insurance for Canada at RBC Insurance.

But the insurers traditional life to become more involved with assurtechs, because they can help these companies to focus on the needs and desires faster to their customers, said Mr. D’onofrio.

However, there are still a number of challenges. According to him, for example, there is not always a good balance between the artificial intelligence, the analysis of data and ” in-depth knowledge of insurance “.

“Sometimes, I think that there are gaps, he explained. Sometimes, we are talking about a company that is very involved in artificial intelligence, but who do not really understand our industry. “

Be aligned and focused on the same issues will contribute to the success of the partnership, said Mr Saunders.

“People were saying originally that the insurtechs and fintechs disrupting all traditional players, and this has not really turned out. I think that we realize that we need each other. “

Clarification of roles is important

“One of the benefits of this harmony is that the assurtechs and fintechs are showing a great agility and a great capacity for innovation, in contrast to an insurance company that is traditional, said Rowan Saunders. We have hundreds of years of experience in management and risk assessment. We have customers and we have the capital. So, I think that combining these two elements can help to define the roles that each plays. Otherwise, it can be frustrating. “

The same thing can be said on the side of the assurtechs. Dejan Mirkovic, co-founder and CEO of Goose Insurance Services, said that finding the right insurer, which has the same state of mind is essential for the business relations.

The problem is that some of the insurers who are older can not understand all the data that the assurtech operates for a project.

“They are worried about. They are afraid that [the idea] doesn’t materialize, or the project simply does not work. This is an important factor in the work of assurtechs to educate them so that they feel good and they are comfortable with it, ” said Mr. Mirkovic.

Strategic fit global

Looking for a assurtech partner, the insurer seeks not only to find new opportunities, but also looks at the way in which a assurtech in particular fits into his overall strategic vision, said Ryan Spinner, head of digital innovation at Aviva Canada.

At the beginning, Aviva was in search of new general ideas and new themes, but the insurance company damage now seeking suppliers who are able to overcome specific obstacles, ” explained Spinner.

For SSQ Insurance, to work with partners in smaller ones, as entrepreneurs assurtechs, has been an enriching experience, highlighted Louis Regimbal, vice-president of strategy and innovation of the insurer.

Mr. Regimbal has agreed that the obtaining of a contract with assurtechs is a long process, even if all parties agree on the terms.

The problem is that an insurer may not request a start-up with a capital reserve of six months of waiting for a due-diligence process, spread out over 12 months to finalise a contract, ” said Mr. Spinner.

Prove that you can deliver the goods

Jane Wang, president and chief executive officer of the assurtech Optimy, said that it had taken three to four months for his company to obtain a signed agreement with SSQ. She added that many steps are required to obtain the approval of an insurer to demonstrate the capabilities of a assurtech. “You have to get the evidence and demonstrate that you can deliver what you say you will deliver. “

It is because of this long process that a lot of assurtechs have left the country to find work, found Mr. Spinner. There was a time when several assurtechs have tried to get mandates at the Aviva, but only in the United Kingdom, Paris, or Singapore, not in Canada.

“We’re now starting to see the opposite approach, revealed Mr. Spinner. Now we are beginning to see the assurtechs of Paris contact us [here in Canada]. It really is an exciting time to be in Canada as we work through this shift, and we begin to accept the idea that there are players with whom we wish to collaborate. “

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