goal is to offer solutions or sets of solutions that meet the needs of
each segment and to continually look to see how we can help our
customers use new, innovative technology to sell insurance. That’s
why we have different policy administration solutions—like Insurity’s Policy Decisions and Oceanwide’s Bridge—that may be a fit
for different segments for different reasons and for different lines
of business. It’s the same for claims; we have multiple options to
fit the disparate needs of different insurers and different segments. We then have solutions for specific segments such as the
workers’ compensation market or Oceanwide’s Genoa Software,
which is for ocean marine insurers We are constantly looking to
identify different niches, the problems they are facing in an ever
changing market, and make sure we use the technology to support them and functionality they need to support their end users.
We’ve implemented one customer who went direct to consumer
for BOP. The same technology can work for an agent, but it has
to work differently and we can handle that for our customers. We
continue to see companies come up with new ideas to capture
market share so we keep adding features and technology in order
to support those forward-thinking insurers. We also have taken
advantage of the cloud as a delivery model for our systems and
have over 100 customers doing so right now. You can go deployed
if you wish but the key for us is to offer flexibility to our customers so they choose what works best for them.
ITA: Many insurance carriers have worried
about the possibility of major technology com-
panies getting into the business of insurance.
Do you view any of those types of companies as
potential competitors in the insurance solution
AL-DOR: Yes, definitely. A few years ago, Google made a
move and then took a step back, but I believe this was only to
“regroup” and try again. There are many large companies that
hold a lot of insight about the customers—Facebook, Apple,
Google—they know a lot about our personal lifestyles, assets,
family relations and events and now they also have access to
Io T (either about our homes, cars or health). It is just a matter
of time before they will be able to tailor attractive insurance
products to be offered to communities. They have the required
capital, the market reach, the data, and the technical know-how.
Insurance companies must be ready for the competition from
GARTH: Distribution channels are where a lot of the money is
going initially in insurtech. Some of the startups in the market-
place can put out the various product lines an insurer offers and it
matches brokers with them. When you think about Google, they
came in, didn’t necessarily do as they anticipated, and left. They
sometimes experiment and if it doesn’t go well they go back and
then come out even stronger. Facebook, with the number of apps
created by Insur Tech startups, appears to be making their tech-
nology open-sourced. People can develop apps and that is how
they could enter insurance. It will be interesting to see how the
Apple wearables play in the health market. Amazon and Google
have some technology that could impact insurance, but whether
or not they are a true channel or if they are a data provider, a
solution provider or a platform that can be integrated into core,
there are different options, not necessarily as a channel.
MEHTA: Given the fact insurance is merging with other lifetime
products, the line between insurance and other products and
services is going to blur. This gives an opportunity for someone
like Amazon or Google to play in insurance in a more active way.
They need to figure out a way to integrate with the carriers.
RYU: Nothing is impossible, but I have zero concern about that.
Companies like Amazon or Google are going after vast horizontal
markets. They have shown zero interest in business applications.
That’s not what they do. I’m relieved by that fact, but generally
not concerned. As for insurers, there was a surge of concern
that Google would become a big competitor. Google withdrew
from the market realizing it was harder, not as lucrative, and
more complex than they realized, which is not surprising using
hindsight. Insurance looks simple and straightforward from the
sidelines, but when you look at the details—regulatory compliance, risk and underwriting, and pricing—it’s not a simple matter.
GLAZER: I don’t think it will happen. The problem for those
players is the market is not big enough and it’s different enough that
it requires domain expertise, making it difficult for them to gain
much traction. Some, like Google, might create products to complement existing technology offerings in the market—better ways
to do analytics or search for items—but they are not going to create
core products. The market is just not large enough and requires too
much market knowledge and experience to really be successful.
JACKOWSKI: Will the Googles and Amazons go into the insurance business? Google has entered and exited. Will they be back?
Maybe. Competition won’t just come from private equity, but other
big companies that can get a predictable return against risk. There
is more technology out there in the form of analytics, which can
help outside capital better manage their ability to execute insurance.
Some of those holders of outside capital will parlay with technology
providers to, in essence, take on insurers writing risk with some
innovative mechanism of technology. Companies like Trov or
Lemonade are examples of outside capital getting into the insurance
business but doing it with a different flavor of technology. In the
short term, you are going to see those combinations stay focused on
more streamlined products that are simpler to implement—personal
lines, small commercial. Do I see some of these parties going after