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At this year’s InsureTech Connect (ITC), insurance carriers, technology providers, and startups gathered to showcase new and existing technologies that are pushing the industry into the digital future. Although there are many opinions on the most immediately effective way to disrupt insurance, companies are unified in the central goal of improving the customer experience while mitigating risk.

Data, AI, and Automation

As was the case last year, digital transformation was the central theme of the conference. Many panels and sessions focused on how insurers can develop more data-driven and responsive processes to meet evolving needs in the disruptive insurance landscape, including AI, automation, cloud, low-code/no-code, and IoT data solutions to name a few.

For example, the panel “Enhance the Value to Customers by Merging the Power of Data, AI and IoT” discussed how the interplay of these emerging technologies will enhance the customer experience and allow incumbent insurers to transcend legacy business models and upgrade current operations. The emergence of IoT within the insurance industry presents insurers with a new vein of consumer data to mitigate risks. When coupled with AI, insurers can analyze driving behaviors, health, and so much more, at even faster speeds. As insurers continue to explore and use new forms of data to inform their decisions, the importance of improved capture and processing through API-led digital platforms grows even further. We are proud to have platforms that aren’t just built for the needs of insurers today, but are also able to support future data needs.

Automation was another key topic as carriers and startups seek to attract millennial customers who value simplicity and speed as much as price. For example, Nationwide announced Spire at the show—its new digital auto insurance platform that promises to generate quotes in under a minute, which will compete against many startups in the space, including Root. On the commercial lines side, Insurity announced Valen Analytics’ InsureRight Automate, a new function of the predictive analytics platform that insurers can use to achieve their business automation goals and begin realizing the benefits of straight-through processing. Truly automating the underwriting process allows insurers to reduce expense ratios and grow revenue while optimizing resource allocation and the expertise of their highly-trained underwriters. There was a clear uptick in startups offering siloed automation solutions for claims and policy administration, but they will face an uphill battle as insurers want to reduce the number of vendors in favor of complete insurance platforms that include this feature.

Data and Innovation Are Changing the Customer Experience

Insurity kicked-off ITC co-hosting its pre-conference executive forum, “The Future is Now”, along with A.M. Best and APCIA. The forum focused on all key components of digital transformation that still require refinement, from foundational technologies to the strategies that deliver success, and the talent acquisition required to execute upon the vision. During a roundtable discussion, participants discussed topics covering innovation, talent, digital strategy, and trust in technology, which featured Stefan Holzberger, chief rating officer at A.M. Best; Jessica Hanna, senior vice president, public affairs at APCIA; Marguerite Tortorello, managing director at Insurance Careers Movement; Kirstin Marr, president at Valen Analytics; Mitchell Wasserman, chief product officer at Insurity; and Rooney Gleason, president at Argo Insurance.

One of the panel discussions explored the positive role that technology has played in reshaping insurance business models in developed and emerging markets in relation to the customer experience. Moderated by Digital Scouting’s founder, Robin Kiera, panelists included industry leaders such as Valen Analytics’ president, Kirstin Marr; A.M. Best’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, James Gillard; Hamilton Re’s senior vice president, risk & analytics, Hanni Ali; and Argo Group’s head of innovation, Ian Macartney.

In a fireside chat discussion, Novarica’s executive vice president, Jeff Goldberg; Everest Re’s CIO-Insurance, Owen Williams; Zurich North America’s vice president, IT services, Girish Rao; and our CIO, Jonathan Victor, discussed how the future of digital transformation is shifting to the current day as data and digital are creating a material business impact. As competition intensifies and customer demands change, so can the perception of a company. If insurers are not constantly innovating their offerings to improve the customer experience, their brands may suffer.

One example of how insurers can positively impact their business is Insurity’s DigitalXPerience Studio, a low-code/no-code platform that allows business analysts to develop consumer-friendly insurance applications without significant programming experience. By using the platform, which is enabled by the largest API ecosystem in the industry, carriers can unleash their creativity to build unique user interfaces that differentiate the experience they offer from that of competitors.

Insurity’s chief product officer, Mitchell Wasserman, spoke with AM BestTV at the show to explain how low-code/ no-code platforms are a game-changer for insurance carriers.

InsureTech Connect continues to show that the insurance industry is making significant strides toward true digital transformation, but there is still plenty of room to grow and immense potential that has yet to be fulfilled.