InsureTech Connect 2019 by Amrita Jha

Chairman’s Perspective

Caribou Honig, chairman and co-founder of InsureTech Connect, commenced the session by sharing the thought that “Insurance is so important to basic human needs”. He explained this thought by telling a true story about himself when he was shot in his foot this summer. One of the first thoughts that came to his mind was “Thank god I have life insurance”.

He then progressed the session by sharing some interesting facts and making a few predictions regarding the Insurance industry. First, he mentioned that Insurance and InsurTech industry have a global presence and companies like Lemonade are expanding to Germany. Secondly, he talked about “Unicorn M&A” which implies new

InsureTech companies are getting a billion-dollar funding from investors. He gave an example of the Prudential buying Assurance early this year. Hence, the traditional thoughts of incumbents buying new startups are changing. Thirdly, he spoke about a new variety of entrants who are neither traditional insurance nor InsureTech like Porsche launched Porsche Auto insurance by collaborating with InsureTech Miles Auto. Lastly, he stressed the importance of APIs. He thinks that APIs changing the traditional broker model and introducing a channel model between Insurer and customer. He gave the example of SoFi, a fintech company collaboratingwith Ladder through API to give life insurance. He speculates that insurance through API channel partners may become so embedded in the system that it becomes invisible.

What business are we really in?

Chris Colborn, CEO at Lippincott, starts the keynote with a positive provocative comment that there is “no winning” in the insurance business because of its complex structure. He explains that brand and innovation are closely coupled. A Brand requires innovation with purpose, and innovation is done by brands and not just said!

He talked about factors influencing the loyalty of a customer to a brand. He measures it based on two dimensions “connection” and “progress”. A Connection is whether the brand values the customer’s interest before their own, while progress is whether the brand makes the complexities simpler for a customer. Once a brand hits a balance between the two dimensions it becomes a go-to brand for the customer. He remarked that most of the US insurance companies are in the area where they have not attended that balance.

He then gave an excellent perspective about doing business by giving the example of the Michelin Guide. Michelin was a rubber manufacturing business but they began reviewing great restaurants so that more customers can get on the road to visit these restaurants. Chris gave this example to explain that customers are not interested in the business, instead they are interested in the value that the business is creating for them.

Launc[H] Investment Luncheon

We also got the opportunity to attend the Launc[H]artford InsureTech investment luncheon where the CEOs and representatives of different Insurance and InsureTech companies pitched about insurance success being achieved by the companies through innovation in Hartford.

The pitch was backed by Mayor Luke Bronin, emphasizing the immense amount of opportunities and talent existing in Hartford, making it valuable to investors. Investors suggested having a roadshow in Boston or New York to increase more awareness regarding Hartford and innovation on the East Coast.

StateFarm launched its new product ‘Cumulus Insurance’

StateFarm powered by SalesForce debuted their latest Insurance capabilities for Financial Services Cloud which will give 360-degree view to agents about policyholders, assists policyholders through chatbots and making the claim process easier and faster.

Fun At ITC 2019:

Chereace, Jonathan and Amrita were able to find some time to watch The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil!