A rapid evolution over the past three years has shifted the narrative surrounding insurtech startups and positioned insurers to re-calibrate the way we classify the industry and its role in society, says global startup accelerator Startupbootcamp InsurTech (SBC), and multinational professional services network, PwC.
SBC says debate was initially focused on how startups would disrupt traditional insurance before emphasis moved to collaboration. Startups and insurers were soon contemplating how to combine the former’s technology with the latter’s customer knowledge, understanding of risk, and capital strength.
The report suggests the next stage of this evolution will see startups – already coming into insurance from adjacent industries such as agriculture, property, health and transport – position the insurance industry to offer new services to clients and one up entirely new revenue streams.
“In just three years we have seen three clear market shifts from Customer Engagement & Apps to core system innovation, from personal lines to other insurance lines from pure InsurTechs to beyond,” said Sabine VanderLinden, Chief Executive Officer of Startupbootcamp InsurTech.
“While we knew these collaborative connections were clearly on their way, we did not realise how fast they would become embedded within the very fabric of fast moving ventures.”
“As we continue to support our insurance clients with the next phase of their transformation journeys, we look forward to driving impact with the reconfiguration of their business models,” added VanderLinden.
However, SBC also believes that although startups are increasingly looking to partner rather than disrupt, threats will come from tech giants, telecoms and other industries. Beyond these threats, startups have the potential to scale and collaborate to own the entire value chain – first moving reinsurers are already in pool position to provide the capacity.
Jim Bichard, UK insurance leader at PwC, added, “This year’s process has really brought home how things have changed and matured in InsurTech and how startups have been a real shot in the arm for the insurance industry.”
“Three years ago the hype was about startups disrupting traditional insurers, stealing customers and market share. Now the talk – and increasingly the reality – is about startups and insurers working together to create meaningful partnerships.”