The Insurtech Forecast

Today’s world is fast-paced and busy, with trends popping up and disappearing in the figurative blink of an eye. Yet insurance, an industry over 300 years old, is still going strong. People from all walks of life still need to protect themselves, their property and their livelihoods. As an insurance agent, you provide peace of mind.

However, this industry is not without its own shifts and changes. While people still need insurance, the ways they need it and the ways they prefer to interact with providers are changing. Insurance technologies (or insurtech) respond to consumers’ desires for a new insurance experience. Read on to learn about some of this year’s biggest insurtech trends.

Cyber insurance

From our bank accounts to our TVs, we are living in an increasingly connected society. These days, a person can file taxes from the comfort of the couch or use the phone to monitor home security system. And you can even get an alert if the fridge needs a new water filter.

While smart technology makes life more convenient, it comes with the risk of compromising personal information. At best, this can mean your friends receive spam from your e-mail address. At worst, it means identity theft and financial ruin. It’s no wonder that more and more individuals and businesses seek to ensure their own cyber safety.

As a result, cyber insurance is a quickly expanding market. Coverages range from individual identity theft policies to cyber liability policies to protect businesses in the event of data breaches. As a result, as people continue to expand their lives into digital channels, we expect to see an increasing number of companies offering this type of coverage.

AI systems

For many industries, artificial intelligence (AI) is the next frontier. No, we’re not talking about sentient robots (yet!). Today’s AI involves advanced algorithms that can predict consumer behavior. In turn, this helps companies automate and streamline various aspects of their business. No wonder auto insurance companies are already using AI to assist in assessing risks. We expect to see more companies adopting it as a means to automate underwriting and claims processes. As machine learning becomes more advanced, agencies will be able to use these systems to resolve claims more quickly and offer a smoother customer experience.

Mobile

Consumer demand is on the rise for mobile apps that create an easier customer experience. After all, if there is one thing consumers crave, it’s an easy experience. Filing an insurance claim is, after all, a stressful ordeal usually following an already-stressful mishap. Customers, particularly millennials, demand a simpler way to get it all done.

It follows that if banks can deliver convenience with mobile deposit features, and grocery store chains can do it with delivery for mobile orders, then our industry can step up to the plate as well. Insurance companies can win big this year. How? Rolling out technology with mobile functionality for making payments, filing claims and submitting paperwork. Perhaps your company is already working on it!

Analytics relying on data from IoT

Remember that network of always-on technology we mentioned? It creates what many professionals in the tech world refer to as an “Internet of Things” (IoT). And there’s an increasing trend in the insurance industry toward IoT initiatives that can help monitor and analyze customer behavior. For instance, wearable health devices can tell a company about a customer’s health habits. Next the company can offer incentives or discounts for healthy activities. This is particularly a trend in the auto industry, where devices monitor the insured’s driving habits and can adjust the customer’s premium accordingly. Can you think of any other beneficial ways your company can utilize the Internet of Things?

Enhancing the insurer-insurtech relationship

Seems like insurance companies and insurtech startups are already a match made in heaven. This year, however, we may see those relationships getting a little closer.

More and more insurers are taking steps to increase in-house innovation and technology initiatives. This effectively brings insurtech professionals under their own roofs. The result? Increased agility for established insurance companies, and increased stability for innovators in the risky tech startup market. In this way, both parties see noticeable benefits — and so will consumers.

We’re excited about all the new technology that today’s insurers are investing in. A focus on streamlining operations and enhancing the customer experience is a big theme for 2017. What will 2018 bring?

–By Mallory DuPuy

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