Technology-enabled Insurance. What Chinese InsurTech Startup CEOs have shared in the InsurStar event

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This post, which describes recent news coming from Insurtech and Digital Insurance in China, was written by Zarc Gin from Insurview from within China.

InsurStar, an awarding ceremony for InsurTech startups co-hosted by Warp Speed Fintech and its sub-brands InsurView, InsurChain and Footprint Interactive, was held in Beijing on the last day of January, 2018.

The theme of this year’s InsurStar is ‘Technology-enabled Insurance’. Guests from InsurTech startups shared insights and feelings they have learnt from years of exploration into the combination of insurance and technology.

Here are a few highlights of this conference:

“What technology means for insurance?” – Li Xin from Xiaozhi Tech

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Li Xin, CEO of Xiaozhi Tech, a sub-brand of Yixin Insurance, shared his ideas on what roles technology can play in the development of insurance. Xiaozhi Tech develops digitalized solutions for insurers and insurance intermediaries.

He believes, no matter how evolved technology is, it will always be a tool for insurance agents to strengthen their professional proficiency, not to replace them.

For agents, technology means smart tools to help them expand channels and improve efficiency and technology can help them provide more contents and services for consumers.

Li has predicted 3 key words for InsurTech in 2018. They are independency, consolidation and value. He thinks technology will bring insurance a truly independent platform, will consolidate talents from different areas and will deliver valuable innovations in 2018.

“Health insurer should become policyholder’s health partner” – Jan Velich from The CareVoice

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Jan Velich, CBO of health startup The CareVoice, shared his experience and thoughts on Chinese health market in a keynote speech.

He recognized that private health insurance has been booming in China in recent years and the market is estimated to reach 400 billion RMB (USD 61.92 billion) by 2020. However, the high speed growth of private health insurance also faces challenges in China.

A survey from The CareVoice showed that despite of 65% of Chinese consumers having expressed interest in buying private health insurance, only 10% actually purchased. The reason for the low penetration is simple – health insurers haven’t provided enough for consumers. Millennial consumers want more from insurers, so health insurers should not only understand when, but also how to best help their customers. They need to become a health partner for policyholders.

How to do that? In Jan’s perspective, insurers should first partner with health digital & insurtech startups to become a health partner for customers. Because those startups have the ability to break down the barriers among pharmaceuticals, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies and patients. Without burdens from legacy systems, startups can leverage digital technologies to place patient and policyholders at the center of the entire insurance value chain, therefore, to timely address their needs and provide better services.

The CareVoice is an independent recommendation platform designed specifically for healthcare. It was founded in 2014 by entrepreneurs from Europe. It is currently located in Shanghai and provides services for customers in China and soon in Southeast Asia.

“How technology has changed insurance?” – Roundtable discussion

4. Roundtable discussion

In the roundtable discussion on stage, we have seen CEOs and senior officers from Chinese InsurTech startups share their opinions on how technology has changed insurance. The guests in the roundtable discussion are

Xu Jie – senior analyst from Warp Speed Fintech;

Chao Xiaojuan – CEO of Baozhunniu;

Meng Fanjin – VP of Yixin Insurance;

Di Xin – VP of iYunbao;

Tang Peng – CEO of Liangzibao;

Zhang Tan – Director of New Tank Holdings.

Xu jie: Good afternoon, everyone, I’m Xu Jie from Warp Speed Fintech and will be the host of the roundtable discussion. The topic of this discussion is “how technology has changed insurance”. Everyone here has made outstanding achievements in the development of InsurTech in China. Could you tell us about your thoughts on technology and insurance?

Meng Fanjin: Thanks. I think the most fundamental thing for technology to truly improve and disrupt insurance is the underlying structure. This is also what we have been trying to do in the past a few years. First, we has built a rating system for insurance products to analyze insurance policies in an objective, neutral and systematic point of view. Second, we have built offline networks across China because we believe insurance is a service which requires human interaction to improve customer experience. By deploying underlying structures with technology, we wish to improve every process of insurance.

Chao Xiaojuan: With new industries booming and old industries being reinvented, lots of new risks came along, thus causing the emerging needs for new insurance and customized insurance. We are trying to satisfy the rising insurance demands from different industries such as bike sharing, food delivery and sports by leveraging technology.

Tang Peng: I was benefited from InsurTech. Before Liangzibao, I was co-founder and CTO of Yidao Car which is a car service provider. We have a lot of internet traffics in our app and web, and we made the most of it by partnering with Ping An to sell scenario-based insurance. By this way, we have contributed about 500 million RMB (USD79.95 million) premium income for Ping An. After that, I believe there are tons of opportunities for technology to change insurance and have been pursing it in Liangzibao.

Xujie: Thanks. We have seen the application of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain in insurance. Some of them are attempts, some of them have produced concrete values. Which technology do you think will be the first to truly disrupt insurance?

Di Xin: Artificial Intelligence. Our platform is called iYunbao and it is designed to enable insurance agents with technology abilities. We have implemented an AI-based system in our platform and we have been training it to collect and analyze data. The traditional way of buying insurance is complicated and time-consuming. Now, with the help of AI, our customers can have it done within three minutes and agents can get paid immediately. I believe AI will constantly be improved and make our business increasingly efficient.

Zhang Tan: I think Cloud Computing, IoT, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain will all help insurance improve. And I think Cloud Computing will be the first. Because if we take a look at the whole procedure of future insurance, the first step would be deploying all processes on cloud, then we would have tons of data, which will require Big Data to collect and analyze.

Disclaimer: Warp Speed Fintech, which Zarc Gin belongs to, has invested in angel round of New Tank Holdings. Other than that, Zarc Gin and Warp Speed Fintech have no interests related to other startups mentioned in this article.

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Zarc Gin edits Insurview, the first vertical portal for Chinese Digital Insurance.

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