ITA: Do you see any untapped markets that will
spur growth for your company?
RYU: The industry is heterogeneous. There is a huge difference
between classic private passenger automobile, large workers’ compensation, London market syndicates, E&S, assurity business.
They are all P&C but utterly different from each other. That’s a
great thing, but hard to cover with one set of technology solutions. There are emerging possibilities even categories that haven’t
been thought of for a while like homeowners insurance. There are
startups that think they can change the homeowner relationship.
There are quite a few players that think small business insurance
will become more consumerized, meaning the role of the agent
will diminish, and there is a segment that will be responsible to
a digitally native proposition. Other categories that people have
talked about include cyber insurance and business disruption,
where more sophisticated modeling techniques will allow new
products to emerge. We see dynamism and change in every segment of insurance. There is room for innovation and experimentation in all these areas. It’s a dynamic time in the industry.
AL-DOR: Yes, there are markets that have been “silent” for a
while due to different market factors and drivers and now they
are becoming more active. At the moment, we see a growing
interest in the Nordics and in South Africa, and we see other
new markets following this trend.
As there’s no one-size-fits-all solution or offering that can
meet the needs of all insurers, Sapiens is working on solutions
for different market segments, niches, etc. For instance, in the
North American property and casualty space, we acquired
Stingray to help us service smaller carriers, which have different needs than the big organizations, where we offer StoneRiver’s Stream Suite (U.S.) or Sapiens IDIT (Europe)
We also provide thought-leadership and serve as trusted
advisors to our customers, to help them evolve. So, while we
are attuned to today’s market conditions and trends, we are
constantly thinking about innovation for the future.
JACKOWSKI: By looking at the direct world with personal
lines auto and the markets overseas, you can see what the aggre-
gator model did in the UK around going direct to carriers, and,
in essence, how carriers were forced to reinvent their channel
strategies. There certainly are trends that will continue to occur
in the North American marketplace, and we will see more
competitive distribution models unfold, predominantly around
some of the simpler, straight-forward products. One example
is small commercial, which will continue to be sold in more
of a direct channel or going to a distribution model that can
extend the reach to many agencies and brokers. Carriers will tap
into that because they will see small commercial in a stream-
lined model with more automation. Duck Creek will be in the
forefront to capitalize on that and help carriers launch more
small commercial products quickly, allow more automation and
straight-through processing, and enable analytics to make more
decisions. The jury is still out on more complicated product
lines and if they will follow suit, but I think doing a good job
and making carriers easier to do business with is an important
piece and we will make investments to ensure we are there to
help them do that.
MEHTA: When we look at the disruption taking place across
the globe, we see more focus on digital and the distribution side
of things. For Majesco, the North American market continues
to be a major growth driver. We see significant transformation
activities in commercial and specialty business.
GARTH: For personal auto, there is a concern because some
aspect of coverage potentially is going to be embedded in the
purchase of a vehicle. That opens the door for other types of
coverage. It changes the product structure, for one thing. What
also is happening is we’ve had a traditional view of products.
The first introduction of a different type was the shared driver
with Uber or Lyft. Is it a commercial product or a personal
product? You have Slice going after that market with a different
approach, not only from the product standpoint but from the
experience standpoint, which will be slightly different. There are
untapped markets and untapped needs that have not been met
and have been underserved or unserved. With the technology
we see emerging, our customers—businesses and individuals—are adapting to those technologies and changing behavior
and we have to be able to change the types of coverage that will
go along with that. That also leads to the differences between
Millennials and the Baby Boomers. There is more of an expectation of an on-demand type of insurance—find a coverage for a
period of time rather than a bundle product.
OSSIE: Some of our largest customers are huge auto carriers
and what they see is not great results. I don’t know if the risk
pool sinks for insurers, but it changes dramatically in the next
10 years and in some cases, for the insurers dependent on the
old model, it hurts their ability to jump into other areas. In the
face of continuous declining auto results, it will be tough for
them to do that. It’s hard to handicap at this point.
GLAZER: At Insurity, we don’t believe one size fits all. The P&C
industry includes traditional insurance companies, start-ups
direct writers, independent agents, companies that focus on small
business or solely on larger businesses, and then you have the
personal, commercial, and specialty writers. In short, a broad
range of companies with diverse needs. I don’t believe that one
technology provider with one platform or system can meet all
the unique needs of every different type of insurer. The Insurity