InsureTech Connect 2019: Are Insurers Building the Next Amazon Experience?

Metromile recently attended InsureTech Connect 2019, the largest conference dedicated to insurance-technology, and met some of the more than 7,000 insurance leaders in attendance. As “the world’s largest gathering of insurance leaders and innovators,” many insurance companies and insurance-technology startups announced their latest partnership and product improvements. We asked Xavier Keil and Jason Thom from the Metromile Enterprise team to share some highlights.

What was everyone the most excited about at InsureTech Connect this year?

Traditional insurance companies are quite interested in using artificial intelligence and automation to stave off new, tech-first competitors. Major insurance providers are worried an upstart will be able to overcome the regulatory challenges and meet the capital requirements necessary to disrupt the industry drastically.

People were also fascinated by the growth of InsureTech Connect since 2015. They saw the ever-growing number of attendees as a signal that insurance-technology is getting bigger and bigger. There are a lot of new opportunities for insurers and startups to collaborate and thrive together.

What is your top takeaway from InsureTech Connect?

Sincerely, this is probably the most exciting time to work in insurance since the invention of the automobile. Conferences like InsureTech Connect have informed insurers about trending technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet-of-things, especially in the last three to five years. And insurers now have sharper eyes to distinguish between hype and reality and are laser-focused on which technologies offer the best solutions to their problems. New technology is beginning to open new lines of business, which comes with significant risk, but also an enormous opportunity for the whole industry.

Did anything surprise you at InsureTech Connect?

We were surprised to find a significant focus on technologies that are rather far from implementation, such as drone-based accident-site surveying or self-driving vehicle products. We worry the industry may be missing out on benefits that can be realized right now from proven, existing technology like artificial intelligence and automation, which can drive real customer experience improvements.

From your meetings at InsureTech Connect, what excited people the most about Metromile?

Most InsureTech Connect attendees, especially those from the U.S., recognize Metromile as the pioneer in insurance-technology and were excited to learn that we’re licensing our technology. Traditional insurers are worried about disruption, so naturally, they were very excited to hear that we work with other insurers. Different types of insurance carriers also came to the conference looking to improve their operational efficiency and customer experience and wanted to learn from our success. 

Auto insurers or not, they’re looking for our help future-proofing their businesses.

Based on what you saw at InsureTech Connect, what are the biggest opportunities for insurance companies?

People accept a customer experience from insurance companies that they do not accept anywhere else in life. If Google asked you to fax them a form to open a Gmail account, they would probably have next to zero customers, but insurers routinely require people to send them faxes.

Traditional insurance companies have a great opportunity to improve their customer experience from the initial quote through to the claims process. Companies with the best experience bring new customers faster and keep them for longer. The insurer who improves their user experience will have the best customer-retention and enjoy a compounding advantage over time.

What is the future of insurance and the insurance industry?

The future of insurance will be highly personalized products, delivered with more modern customer experiences, powered by artificial intelligence.

If someone wants three days of motorcycle insurance and increased health coverage while visiting a friend, they should be able to buy it immediately and through a mobile app. If someone is about to fly a drone, they should be able to purchase coverage for just that flight.

Artificial intelligence will also be used by insurance companies to accurately price these products and reduce the workload for their employees. It will do this by collecting and processing massive amounts of data. 

The best insurance carriers will also use automation to empower their customers. People are proactive and want to take action, so insurance companies should create processes to give their customers a sense of ownership. Each business interaction should benefit the customer.

The Bottom Line

Look out for insurance companies to provide highly personalized products and better customer experience, ideally on par with the service of companies like Amazon and Apple. Insurers will need to offer an online experience that is seamless and user-friendly, just as we have come to expect from our consumer-technology.

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Xavier Keil is Director of Product Consulting, Enterprise and Jason Thom is Senior Manager, Strategy and Operations.