Editor in Chief
Robert Regis Hyle
Jason T. Williams
ITA Advisory Board
Security First Insurance Company
Millers Mutual Insurance
Craig S. Lowenthal
Gary H. Ouellette
Union Mutual of Vermont Companies
Glatfelter Insurance Group
Kenneth B. Zieden-Weber
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ITA Pro magazine is published five
times per year in print and tablet forms
and three more in tablet-only form.
Copyright © 2016 by the Insurance
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This is the time of year when we discuss an important topic, at least for those of us who
write for a living—the Word of the Year. Several dictionaries make selections in what
has become a crowded competition among lexicographers. In the insurance world—if
we were to hold such a competition—there’s no doubt what the choice would be.
The winner, by a landslide, is insurtech. What exactly does it mean? In the September issue of this magazine, Jennifer Overhulse wrote the following definition: Insurtech
includes any insurance-focused business driving a majority of revenue from the sale of
technology products and services or which actively engages in research and development (R&D) efforts to find technology that can have a transformative effect on the
industry, or which has used or is using technology to drive a change in business model,
distribution channel, and the industry at-large.
Admittedly, that’s a rather broad—and long—definition and conceivably includes
just about any company involved in insurance technology.
A year ago, insurtech was not on the minds of many insurers and today, as we close
out 2016, it is top-of-mind for carriers, solution providers, and—most important of all
for the industry—venture capital companies and private equity firms that have money
to spend on technology to change the way the insurance business is conducted.
The ITA has looked closely at how this development affects the industry. The new-est feature in this magazine, Launchpad, which is written by Overhulse, is designed to
keep you abreast of what is going on in these changing times. Our annual conference,
ITA LIVE, which will be held in March, will have a considerable focus on insurtech for
several sessions. (Go to www.ITApro.org/ITALIVE to register.)
Are there other areas of insurance technology that deserve discussion? Of course.
The list of carriers with modern platforms is nowhere close to being complete. Tools,
such as predictive analytics, are far from widespread.
We should all be excited, though, that so many companies—carriers and others—
are studying the needs of the industry in terms of technology. Such attention brings
insurance into the spotlight at a time when there are more than a few questions about
where the industry is headed in terms of distribution, compliance, and even entire
lines of business.
The word of the year in insurance? It’s a pretty easy choice. ITA
Robert Regis Hyle
Insurtech: Word of the Year