Insurtech Fest 2020—an annual conference where the biggest minds in the business participate to share their insights—was undeterred by the global pandemic. Where many events of such scale have been either cancelled or postponed, Insurtech Fest 2020 took to the internet, with many thought leaders, including our CEO Naby Mariam, coming together.
The insurance industry has been slow to adopt customer centric thinking and technology. Wider debates on these issues are, however, taking place both in Australia and on a global scale. Leading this discussion at Insurtech Fest 2020, Naby delivered the keynote speech with a case study on what incumbent insurance companies can learn from Coverhero in terms of digital adoption. She spoke of how companies can develop strategies, processes and business environments geared towards the adoption of new technology to ensure continued relevance in the digital era. Some of the topics she covered included aligning digital strategy with organisational goals; effective leadership to drive digital transformation; latest technologies available and selecting what is relevant for your business; and creating business models that embrace and support these transformations.
“We were excited to share what we have learnt from building products for the next generation with the wider community of insurance companies and insurtechs,” she said, adding that, “We hope these discussions elevate the role of technology and product design across the entire insurance value chain, and not just in underwriting or claims.”
In recent times, open banking and open insurance have become important topics of discussion in the industry, with a focus on driving more value using existing data, as well as sharing data between organisations to deliver the best outcome for our customers. Discussing the potential of this data, Naby moderated a panel discussion on Day 1 centered on ‘Unlocking the value of big data and analytics’, featuring panellists Colin Fagen (Managing Director, Blue Zebra Insurance), Tim Johnson (Head of Insurance Operations Delivery, Suncorp Group), Peter Tilocca (Chief Underwriter, OnePath Life), and Jason Wilby (Joint Chief Executive, Huddle/Open Insurance). The role of big technology in insurance was hotly debated, with special focus paid to the tradeoffs between privacy and value for the customer. The panelists highlighted that customers are willing to provide more data voluntarily to insurance companies granted that they see significant value generated by this data. They also noted how social platforms such as Facebook may struggle to move into financial services given their poor track record of privacy and data management, which is a potential advantage for insurance companies.
Given how our lives are becoming increasingly digital, there is mounting concern about digital security in the insurance industry. Taking on this topic, Naby moderated a panel discussion on cyber and digital risk strategies for insurers, featuring Christopher Hogarty (Chief Sustainability Officer, National Transport Insurance), Emma Cronin (Senior Underwriter, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance), and Troy Filipcevic (Managing Director, Emergence Insurance). The panel spoke of how resilient, compliant, and agile cyber defense strategies can be built; on the best practices to improve IT security and prevent data leaks; on risk management in disruptive insurance business models; on the impact of technologies like blockchain and AI; and on building organisations with a resilient risk culture.