On October 18th, Sabine VanDerLinden, CEO of Startupbootcamp InsurTech, participated to the third edition of the Luxembourg InsurTech Summit, which took place at the LHoFT, and which gathered more than 150 insurance and tech experts. She took the stage to share her vision and give the audience a recap of the past years of InsurTech, from the lessons learnt to the best practices and latest trends.

Sabine VanDerLinden started her presentation by giving a quick overview of the history and activities of Startupbootcamp InsurTech. It has already launched 24 programs in 17 cities all over the world, working with more than 600 startups. "We are known for accelerating early-stage founders through 17 industry-focused programs in key locations across the world. But also for SBS Scale, a program targeting growth-stage companies to help expand internationally and raise funding. Moreover, SBC Colab is a new innovation model which creates commercial engagements between corporates and later-stage businesses," she added. Sabine VanDerLinden then highlighted the fact that the first years of InsurTech were all about observing and learning: "We now want them to execute. To do so, we need the corporations to bring in more business unit people to implement new solutions and actually make an impact".


InsurTech. Everywhere

As a matter of fact, the first startups focused on enhancing interacting and building trusted relationships, meeting changing customers' needs with new offerings and leveraging existing data and analytics to generate deep risk insights. According to the Startupbootcamp InsurTech CEO, "the second year saw many startups try and trial: we noticed increasing investments and curiosity, coming along an increased complexity of problems solved with a focus on the value chain. Finally, emerging technologies have clearly become part of the propositions delivered". And last year, the industry saw a lot of startups coming from adjacent industries in order to solve big data problems and most applicants to the program, according to Mrs VanDerLinden, actually felt they were better at solving insurer's business problems. When it comes to business models, some of the must funded were internet-first insurers (serving consumers with digital/mobile first health insurance and personal lines business models), distribution platforms (providing distribution platforms for all sort of insurance products), benefit-led models (providing HR & Payroll solutions for employers to integrate with employee benefits), underwriting & risk (providing data analytics, software, solutions to insurers for underwriting, risk management) and Insurance-as-a-Service (back office focused platforms that aim at replacing old legacy environment with new digital capabilities). "Currently, InsurTech is everywhere and it is now about reaching new parts of the value chain. As an example, many of the discussions we have had this year with our insurance partners have been around how to help them move from protection-lead offerings to prevention-led offerings," she underlined. She also highlighted that insurance companies, along with startups, are working on securing new external data sources, but also on reinventing the customer proposition.


The importance of InsurTech

Nowadays, in traditional markets population is aging, with marginal changes concerning buying habits. Due to the several crises that have happened over the last years, there is a clear distrust in life, annuity and retirement products. Moreover, too many individuals are not investing enough in pensions products. As explained by the CEO, "mature markets therefore need to rethink wealth preservation and customer engagement". On the other hand, emerging and younger markets are clearly benefiting from fast urbanization and are more akin to interact with tailored offerings: "despite low insurance penetration, these markets benefit from a high growth potential. There is also a clear interest in life products and Investment are made in both independent agents and digital channels". In this respect, the industry went from increasing customer engagement to providing Insurance-as-a-Service solutions, from "disruptors" to "co-creators", from using traditional tech to leveraging emerging technologies. Also, more and more women are working in the InsurTech industry.


Deliver value and boost growth

Lately, we have been witnessing changes in the revenue models (new segments, distribution, on-demand, P2P, dynamic pricing, etc), in operations' processes, products and services (Technology-focused, Partnerships, Alliances, Outsourcing non-core), but also in the entire industry, with companies such as Amazon notably investing in insurance, and much more.

In order to drive innovation, several models can therefore be used. It can be done in-house and consist in an innovation lab. Here, teams are mandated to change an organization’s internal culture and innovation activity by creating new digital capabilities. Being part of an ecosystem is also a solution: teams engage with accelerators and incubators to drive outside-in innovation and identify relevant startup candidates. "Alliances and partnerships are also a possibility, with teams focusing on identifying startups for partnership purposes. Will provide capital and work on projects to integrate capabilities," explained Sabine VanDerLinden. These models can be defined as "incremental innovation. Yet, other ways to innovate are used by companies: disruptive innovation consists in "capital funds", "ventures", and "mergers & acquisitions".


"Current and future solutions need to solve real business problems, establish real innovation systems and deliver strategic outcome. Yet, the biggest challenge is to change the culture and the mindset of the companies" concluded Sabine VanderLinden.


Alexandre Keilmann

Photo: Dominique Gaul

Publié le 02 novembre 2018