InsurTech funding volume increased 36% year-over-year in 2017, according to Willis Towers Watson, demonstrating that technology driven innovation remains a core focus area for (re)insurance companies and investors heading into 2018.
Willis Towers Watson’s quarterly InsurTech briefing Q4 2017, which was published in January 2018, says the majority of InsurTech ventures are not focused on exiling incumbents by disrupting the pressured insurance value chain.
According to research from McKinsey & Company, 61% of InsurTech companies aim to enable the value chain, while 30% are attempting to disintermediate incumbents from customers and just 9% are targeting full scale value chain disruption.
(Re) insurance innovation survey
Willis Towers Watson recently partnered with CB Insights to develop a (re)insurance innovation benchmark survey.
This received responses from nearly 600 (re)insurance and investment professionals, the majority of which described themselves as senior level executives with intimate knowledge of their company’s innovation strategy.
“A total of 58% of respondents rate their company’s financial performance as “high” or “very high” vs. competitors, but 55% rate their company’s innovation as average or worse and 59% do not think their companies are risk-seeking when it comes to innovation”
- A total of 58% of respondents rate their company’s financial performance as “high” or “very high” vs. competitors, but 55% rate their company’s innovation as average or worse and 59% do not think their companies are risk-seeking when it comes to innovation
- A total of 76% believe their company is “moderately” to “extremely” at-risk of disruption, even as 72% of company resources are devoted to incremental innovation and 46% describe their company’s innovation philosophy as “ad-hoc”
- Munich Re, Lemonade, AXA and Swiss Re are viewed as most innovative by peers
- Accelerators/incubators are viewed as the most valuable external innovation partners; customers and employees are viewed as the most valuable internal sources of innovation
- More than 55% of participants believe each of the value chain functions of marketing & distribution, underwriting, customer service, claims and customer retention are “extremely” or “very” in need of innovation at their company.
InsurTech by numbers
- InsurTech funding volume of $697 million in Q4 2017
- 123% increase from $312 million in Q3 2017; 157% increase year-over-year from $271 million in Q4 2016
- 53 total transactions in Q4 2017 represents second most transactions completed in any quarter to date;
- 10% increase from 48 transactions in Q3 2017 and 23% increase year-over-year from 43 transactions in Q4 2016 – Increasing international activity
- The US accounted for 62% of transactions since 2012 but only 41% in Q4 2017; five of top 10 largest investment rounds closed in Q4 2017 were in companies outside of the U.S.
Source: Willis Towers Watson
Number of VC Investors in InsurTech
Source: Willis Towers Watson Securities
How InsurTech is impacting insurance
Product and Distribution
- Personal or commercial lines digital insurance distribution businesses including MGAs, brokers, online marketplaces, aggregators or other comparison sites
- Companies offering specialized products to emerging or niche markets (e.g. per use coverage, products tailored for “gig economy” workers, or for individual personal items, pet insurance, etc.)
- Other consumer or enterprise facing insurance product sales oriented companie
Business process enhancement
- Outsourced technology solutions enabling digital marketing, underwriting, policy administration, billing and claims management
- Technology-enabled employee benefits brokerage and administration
- Integrated human resources technology solutions for recruiting, health insurance benefits and payroll
Data and Analytics
- Data mining and analysis
- Modeling companies quantifying emerging risks
- Analytical platforms and tools
- Businesses developing or offering automated machine learning capabilities
- Claims processing software and/or mobile applications leveraging AI and machine learning to improve customer communication, data capture and analysis and/or automation throughout the claims cycle
- Technological solutions for managing drones or other technologies providing or enabling remote inspection capabilities