On November 6, 2017, the SPLICE team attended InsurTechTO, a one-day conference with a focus on technology. InsurTechTO was a great venue for insurance professionals – including brokers, carriers and tech disruptors – to meet and discuss how technology is being created, and what it takes to bring these innovations to the forefront of the insurance landscape.
As we learned throughout the day, both technology and the companies implementing it, are going to strategically improve the insurance landscape in terms of customer experience. The question asked however, was why do insurance companies, both carriers and brokers, need to include innovation as one of their key objectives?
The easy answer, put forth by keynote speaker Jim Love from ITWC, is due to the exponential rate that technology is advancing, customers and policy holders will come to expect insurance companies to keep pace. This means companies will need to develop or appropriate, or get left behind by customers who opt for companies that will innovate in their place. As Jim said, “if you don’t change, a competitor will do it for you.”
There was a plethora of innovation strategies presented; block-chain, agile, and even home-baked strategies that could present viable pathways to innovation. A powerful takeaway, mentioned by one attendee at the reception, was the idea of failing forward. As mentioned during the sessions, many presenters had experiences with using failure as a motivator for success. Instead of seeing failure as an outright end to an idea, they viewed failure as an iteration or, more specifically, a stage of development.
No Need to Re-Invent the Wheel
In terms of how tech disruptors are impacting insurance companies, there was a lot of discussion around using external, innovative companies to meet their needs rather than developing solutions internally. Sometimes innovation can be realized by implementing a solution that already exists, which reduces the development resources required, and speeds up implementation time to solve the issues already being faced. One does not need to develop a brand-new solution for a problem to be considered an innovator. Simply being able to properly analyze the readily available solutions in the market, and then introduce them to your company, can be one of the most powerful forms of innovation.
Although InsurTechTO lasted only one day, a lot of valuable information was presented in terms of innovation – from ideation to implementation. Being able to listen and learn from insurance companies and tech disruptors was ideal for insurance professionals who are just starting to look at technology as the gateway to future customer experience successes. During my discussions with attendees, both during and after the conference, I became excited for the challenges to come. I for one, am ready to see what these insurance innovators, both veteran and novice, are going to accomplish.