Elim­i­nat­ing in­surance’s pain points

Digital Insurance - - EDITOR’S NOTE - Nathan Go­lia Edi­tor-In-Chief

In­surance is go­ing through a pe­riod of un­prece­dented in­no­va­tion. Most ma­jor auto car­ri­ers are of­fer­ing us­age-based in­surance op­tion. Prop­erty in­sur­ers are de­ploy­ing drones for claims. And all in­surance com­pa­nies are pro­vid­ing smart­phone apps that al­low cus­tomers to sign up for poli­cies and en­gage with the com­pa­nies at any time.

All of th­ese in­no­va­tions started as ideas. Of course, in­surance ideas haven’t al­ways re­sulted in great prod­ucts. Of­ten the fund­ing, or the back­ing or the vi­sion wasn’t there to de­velop use­ful tech­nolo­gies. And some early cus­tomer-fac­ing tech­nolo­gies that seemed like good ideas didn’t take hold be­cause the end user — pol­i­cy­hold­ers — re­jected them. (The first us­age based in­surance pro­grams ac­tu­ally asked cus­tomers to af­fix hard­ware in their car, then plug it into a com­puter to up­load driv­ing data. Not ex­actly fric­tion­less.)

To­day, many of those stum­bling blocks have van­ished into the past.

Con­sumers asked their in­sur­ers to pro­vide them with dig­i­tal tools that ex­pand the re­la­tion­ship be­sides just pre­mium-for-claim. Ex­ec­u­tives heard them and tasked IT and other busi­ness ar­eas with meet­ing the de­mand. And now tech­no­log­i­cal bar­ri­ers are al­most non-ex­is­tent — con­sumers even have their own telem­at­ics de­vices in their pock­ets, if not built di­rectly into their car.

That’s opened the door for in­no­va­tors to make a mark on in­surance. In this is­sue, we’re pro­fil­ing

20 of them. They are of two breeds. The in­surance CIOs and other IT lead­ers within the car­ri­ers and the in­no­va­tors and en­trepreneurs lead­ing the in­surance tech­nol­ogy star­tups, the “insurtechs.”

But if I had to pick a defin­ing char­ac­ter­is­tic for an in­surance in­no­va­tor, it would be this: They are true be­liev­ers in what Alex Timm, founder of Root In­surance, calls the “no­ble cause” of in­surance. That is, in­no­va­tors tend to come at the in­dus­try from the per­spec­tive of the cus­tomer. And for too long, cus­tomers have viewed in­surance as a fright­en­ing, ad­ver­sar­ial ex­pe­ri­ence.

This new breed is prov­ing that in­surance can do more than col­lect pre­mi­ums and pay claims. Michael Ru­doy and Luke Cohler built Jetty around the pain points that they en­coun­tered as renters. Rooney Glea­son and Greg Barats iden­ti­fied the In­ter­net of Things as a key tool to re­duce risk. And Scott Walchek’s Trov tran­si­tioned from a sim­ple cat­a­log of pos­ses­sions to pro­vid­ing sin­gle-item in­surance on de­mand. That’s how new think­ing and ad­vanced tech com­bine to shake up the world of in­surance.

We’re also mov­ing ahead. We’ve re­cently changed our name to Dig­i­tal In­surance. We’re proud to be the only me­dia brand fo­cused squarely on in­surance tech­nol­ogy and trans­for­ma­tion. The ed­i­tors are com­mit­ted to keep­ing the in­dus­try’s lead­ers and in­no­va­tors up to the mo­ment on the crit­i­cal is­sues, ideas and trends that most mat­ter to their busi­ness. As the year un­folds, we in­vite you to let us know how you think we’re ful­fill­ing that mis­sion.

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