By Nicole Gunderson, managing director of GIA
With nearly a year under my insurance/InsurTech experience belt, it is my background in financial services and fintech which gives me great confidence and excitement that the industry is still in the early days of major cultural, process and technology shifts as it continues to adopt innovation. The good news is, these innovative products and solutions don’t have to be sexy to have a meaningful impact on the industry.
The insurance industry faces enormous opportunities today to improve not only products, but also accessibility to information, transparency in processes, and efficiency in distribution. There has been a significant influx of entrepreneurs into the industry in the last five years, bringing technology innovations that increase choice, improve customer experience, and even ease the burden of regulatory compliance. But, many of these innovations still lack product-market fit, a clear go-to-market strategy, and scale.
In 2020, there is another window in which the specificity and maturity of new ideas can be advanced and enhanced for the benefit of agents, brokers, brokerage general agencies (BGAs), insurers and policyholders alike. There are also challenges that must be overcome, of course, but the potential far outweighs the risks.
There are natural friction points in the insurance process, such as the policy application or new business application process, where startups can have an immediate impact by reimagining engagement and retention more in line with the consumer experience achieved by the likes of Amazon.
On January 14, 2020, a new cohort of companies joins the Global Insurance Accelerator (GIA) in the insurance hub of Des Moines, Iowa, for the accelerator’s 100-day program focused on tackling the many challenges faced by InsurTech startups through mentorship by insurance professionals.
The industry has been held back for years as siloes between insurers and distribution channel partners, between underwriters and agents, and even between policyholders and other insurance process stakeholders were reinforced. Today, InsurTech startups are breaking down those siloes and insurers of all shapes and sizes are engaging with startups for ideation as well as pilots or proof of concept (PoC) projects which can help spur tangible results for all parties.
By supporting and investing in such innovation across the entire value chain, the GIA makes the industry at-large better, for all stakeholders. There is plenty of opportunity to go around as the insurance industry changes and grows across all lines of business. The thing to keep in mind is that while progress and growth may occasionally be slow and somewhat painful, it does happen.
Respect the process, keep pushing, and be confident that a rising tide most certainly will lift all boats.
Nicole Gunderson is the managing director of the Global Insurance Accelerator. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.