Fintechs operating in the insurance sector are not disrupters, with the majority focusing their activities on enabling incumbents. These insurtechs hold the key to helping incumbents accelerate their transformation to become digital insurers, according to a new survey.
Ernst & Young’s 2019 Australian Insurtech Ecosystem Report reveals that there was a 75 per cent increase in partnerships between insurtechs and incumbents, collaborating in areas such as new product development, new distribution channels, underwriting analytics, and the use of connected devices for loss prevention.
In the area of new product development, the focus is on personalised offerings.
Underwriting analytics are being enhanced by consumers’ increased willingness to share personal data, although incumbents have concerns about privacy and security. Again, the push is to individual risk-driven decision making.
In the past 12 months, the number of insurtechs operating in Australia increased by 53 per cent (EY did not estimate the actual number). Thirty per cent of companies operating in the sector were launched outside Australia.
The market is starting to mature. Last year 50 per cent of the insurtechs surveyed were in their pre-revenue phase. That figure has dropped to 29 per cent in the latest survey.
However, only 5 per cent have raised more than $10 million in capital, and 27 per cent have raised less than $100,000 (mostly from the founders).
Forty-eight per cent of the insurtechs operate in the general insurance sector, 23 per cent in life, 20 per cent in health and 9 per cent in other.
Some of the names, which may or may not become better known in years to come, include Merlynn, DigiSure, flamingoAI, audeamusrisk, friendinsurance, Snug, trov and Cinch.
where these companies are hoping to develop new applications include artificial
intelligence and machine learning, big data and analytics, connected devices