What Was Hot at InsureTech Connect 2021

This year’s ITC brought a welcome return to in-person networking and updates on the most promising new developments. We saw fewer startups but robust M&A activity along with new and novel datasets for actuaries and underwriting.

October 20, 2021

DRC met with industry leaders, carriers and innovators at InsureTech Connect 2021 for three great days of in-person workshops, meetings, speakers and networking. It was fantastic to see old friends and meet new ones

This year’s conference boasted more than 250 expert speakers and panelists including plenary sessions by Andrew Rose, president of OnStar Insurance, in conversation with the ITC chairman Caribou Honig and Chris Krebs, former director of the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), where they discussed risk management in an increasingly uncertain world when underwriting. Convicted arsonist Kenneth Allen detailed a fascinating and frightening arson-for-profit scheme setting 70 fires over 14 years that defrauded numerous carriers of $4 million.

Here are five trends we’re watching after catching up with what’s new and next at this year’s conference:

The Power and Promise of AI

It’s no surprise that a number of sessions focused on the progression of AI. We now have a better understanding of where the hype matches actual progress in increased efficiency, accelerating the underwriting process, saving money, etc., and where promise is still ahead of real-world results. We look forward to discussing other ways AI and advanced technological innovations will continue to impact insurance in the months to come.

Touchless Claims and Digital Customer Service

While the digital arms race for providers had been well underway prior to COVID-19, even more carriers accelerated the adoption of digital customer service “hyper-automation” options including Voice AI due to the pandemic. This year’s ITC featured sessions on providing real-time assistance to customers online/through text messaging and touchless claims.

Digital Direct Distribution and Disintermediation

Disintermediation of agents is nothing new, but the economics of commission savings for carriers going direct and the potential for a more streamlined, superior experience for customers has become even more compelling. At the same time, InsureTech providers have leveraged open APIs to enable not only integration but interoperability between best-in-class solutions for independent agents.  We’ll be looking to delve deeper into the true (and increasing) costs of digital marketing and understanding how direct writers are attempting to have their cake and eat it too through agency appointments.

Cloud Architecture / Low-code / No-code

A number of speakers and panelists assessed the advantages of cohesive service platforms and cloud data architecture. We learned a great deal from in-depth discussions beyond the initial “lift and shift” migration to the cloud that is really a pure hardware play to the true advantages of cloud PaaS (Platform as a Service). Low-code/no-code systems have grown in popularity because of their ease of implementation and use, providing a tangible stepping stone for providers looking to begin their digital transition.

Climate Change / Cybersecurity

No gathering of insurance and technology thought leaders would be complete without an assessment of the growing risks from climate change and the increasingly brazen hacking and ransomware attacks. We heard the latest from cybersecurity industry professionals on the migration of risk from holding data for ransom vs. the emerging threat of releasing personal, private and proprietary data — and best practices in the preparation, mitigation and aftermath of unexpected events.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at the upcoming InsureTech San Diego conferences: CAS 11/7 thru 11/10, WSIA 11/16 thru 19 and DIGIN 12/8 thru 12/10.  To learn more about DRC, email Robert Whitton, our VP of Business Development, at sales@decisionresearch.com to set up a meeting. To register or learn more about InsureTech Connect click here.