Exploring insurtechSeptember 13, 2019 •
Insurtech: An insurance company, intermediary or insurance value-chain segment specialist that utilises technology to compete or provide value-added benefits to the insurance industry
Insurtechs have been hailed as large-scale disrupters to the insurance markets through their introduction of innovative technology. Over the last few years, they have attracted millions of US dollars in venture capital. Insurtech promises technology that enables insurers to make better use of customer data, save costs and increase seamless interaction with consumers and technical service providers along the entire insurance value chain. It is also being hailed as a way to change the nature of traditional insurance products through technologies that they support, e.g. peer-to-peer or on-demand policies. There is a hope that insurtechs could serve non-traditional insurance-market segments in emerging markets in a more affordable way, including serving customers with varying incomes and risk mitigation needs.
The map below shows the number of insurtech initiatives in emerging markets.
The report focuses on the developments in insurtech over the past two years since our first trends report was released in 2017, providing an overview of the different types of technology applied in insurance, the challenges that the insurtechs address, which product lifecycle element the insurtechs cover, and where we see gaps remaining.
In light of the insurtech trends, Cenfri wanted to understand to what extent insurtechs in emerging markets are able to better serve the customer and provide more value to both the insurer and the end-user. In particular, we explored the role of insurtech in microinsurance. We considered what types of insurtechs are prevalent in emerging markets and what challenges they were solving. This research resulted in the development of our insurtech tracker, which we launched in February 2017 [and updated in June 2019].
Initial findings from the insurtech tracker suggested that while technology in insurance promises large-scale change, we have yet to see truly innovative solutions on a large scale in such markets. Thus far, the technology focuses on making existing business models more efficient rather than disrupting the insurance market.
We have updated our insurtech tracker to track the change in the insurtech landscape from 2017. We have expanded the database to include insurance products and the stage of the insurance value chain insurtechs are operating in. Version 2.0 of the insurtech tracker provides more insight on the data and analytics being undertaken and differentiates between customer and provider facing platforms. You can interact with the insurtech tracker on its webpage, view our infographic that shows high-level results and the different insurtechs in the database.
Where we’ve been sharing
In partnership with the Catalyst Fund, BFA’s inclusive fintech accelerator programme, Cenfri hosted a ‘Lunch ‘n Learn’ in Cape Town on 6 September 2019. A Tap Away: The New Way Insurance Works in Africa brought together insurtechs, investors, (re-)insurers and market builders for an engaging discussion around the emerging business models in Africa and an exploration why Africa is the space to watch for tomorrow’s insurance products and business models.