Aite-Novarica Group’s Insurance practice visited the InsureTech Connect trade show in Las Vegas last week to host a summit for the Insurance Technology Research Council and to engage with clients, startups, and solution providers dealing with technology in the insurance vertical.
Head of Life Insurance, Annuities, and Benefits Rob McIsaac; Head of Property/Casualty Insurance Martina Conlon; Head of Knowledge Management Steve Kaye; Head of CIO Research Harry Huberty; Senior Principal Eric Weisburg; and Senior Principal Carey Geaglone all joined me in contributing key takeaways after a week at the show:
- Jeff Goldberg: The point solution vendor ecosystem has become a major focus for innovation. Instead of buying up all the smaller players and making them part of their core offering, core system vendors are creating preintegration hubs with partners across the spectrum. Insurers are looking to understand what point solution capabilities are available, their specific use cases and business value, and how to prioritize them into their IT roadmaps.
- Harry Huberty: Proptech and property data sources are proliferating. Wandering the show floor, more than a dozen vendors were offering third-party property risk data, drawing from satellite imagery, building sensors, cell phones, and other sources. More data is readily available to insurers than ever before, but additional data is only as good as it is useful. For insurers, the challenge remains incorporating that data into underwriting and claims processes to improve automation and decision-making.
- Steve Kaye: Customer experience (CX) has entered the building in a big way. A number of solution providers are trying to help insurers address CX issues: conversational AI, customer service, embedded insurance platforms (i.e., meeting customers where they want to be), and a bunch of telematics players. The pandemic forced insurers to create and optimize digital sales functionality, and it looks like they’re taking the logical next step of making these digital experiences polished and cohesive.
- Eric Weisburg: There were fewer distribution connectivity vendors present this year. Bold Penguin had an obvious presence, owning the space directly in front of the doors to the main exhibit hall. It was hard to notice other vendors of this type, however, although colleagues picked out Bolt, Novidea, SubmissionIQ, and Surefyre. Distribution was a major topic in 2019; it’s possible carriers ironed out some of the relevant issues out of necessity during the pandemic.
- Rob McIsaac: Old knowledge-management issues are new again. Insurance carriers are clearly grappling with an array of knowledge-management issues. Kicking some of these things down the road has worked for a while, but many insurers are running out of the resources needed to manage key elements of their environments or are recognizing that there are imminent challenges to be faced. One of our Innovation Group meetings earlier in 2022 raised the issue of using innovation to address internal issues. This is clearly on the minds of CIOs now. Some ideas which were valid for dealing with talent and knowledge issues years ago are suddenly back and relevant in a new form.
- Carey Geaglone: M&A is on the mind. Acquisition came up in every conversation, from discussions with carriers to solution providers to systems integrators. It doesn’t guarantee we’ll see a flurry of deals in the next few months, but it has been true for a long time that if you feel under pressure to add innovative technologies to your portfolio, one sure way to do that is to buy them.
- Martina Conlon: Enthusiasm is in the air. There was general excitement about and positivity toward insurance everywhere. Exhibitors had huge amounts of floor traffic, and there was great feedback on the sessions, vendors, and events from everyone we talked to.
We’ll continue to share more insights here on the blog as well as at our upcoming virtual insurer Special Interest Group meeting on innovation and emerging technology this Thursday, September 29, at 10:00 AM Eastern. Please join us to continue the discussion!