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Hope springs eternal- did ITC 2019 foster a ‘customer first’ future for InsurTech?


Patrick Kelahan is a CX, engineering & insurance professional, working with Insurers, Attorneys & Owners. He also serves the insurance and Fintech world as the ‘Insurance Elephant’.

It’s a week since ITC 2019 wrapped up for the 7,000 attendees; debriefs and observations abound- kind of. McKinsey & Co. posted a follow-up on the themes that were observed, kudos were conveyed to Jay Weintraub and Caribou Honig. Matteo Carbone mentioned 70 meetings he enjoyed. What say the customers? If it’s akin to daily perspective of the InsurTech concept then customers yawned.

The greatest annual collocated meeting of insurance executives, vendors, advocates, innovators, movers and shakers occurred last week in Las Vegas.  From all reports it was a well-run conference (outside of registration lines 😊 ) with scores of sessions, panels, and hosted soirees.  It is certain that TBs of selfies were filed and transmitted from the event (Nigel Walsh and Robin Kiera!)  7,000 insurance persons focusing on a common theme- connecting and customers. Sort of.

Let’s look at some ITC feedback (and some other related stuff), and place an arbitrary Insurance Elephant #innovatefromthecustomerfirst   grade on how the industry (on average) focused on the topic:

McKinsey sees Five Themes from InsureTech Connect 2019 :





(Thanks to authors David Hamilton and Matt Leo of McKinsey & Company)

Concurrent with the aforementioned summary and ITC there were other folks speaking up this week about what the future may hold for insurance, its operators and its customers.

Not focusing solely on insurance but in the perspective of changes Lloyd’s is undertaking, Paul Lucas of Insurance Business Asia cited observations made by UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) CEO, Peter Cheese in light of challenges all firms face going forward.  Mr. Cheese responded to “what’s the future” by reminding all, “The best way to predict the future is to help change it.”  Continuing,

“There is a saying that there’s a changing nature of jobs- young people don’t have a job for life they have a life for jobs.” 

Insurance carriers are wise to not only see the challenges for engaging staff, but in how customers’ insurance needs will remain in flux as opposed to how their parents had the same insurance products for decades.  Among other cool observations in the interview the CEO suggested, it’s about “putting human back into the heart of the business” as that will drive creation and innovation.  I keep checking my ITC 2019 notes and can’t find that perspective in feedback.

Not wanting to rely solely on summaries of others I conducted a review of more than fifty social media posts that contained the hashtag ITC2019, to gauge attendees outlook on how the conference touched on CX.  Here are my anecdotal data:

24% mention percentage.  Underwhelming.

The review prompts a special shout out to Brent Haley and Sathyanarayanan Sethuraman of UiPath, who co-hosted a CX discussion video from the conference.  Sathy was a ubiquitous presence within social media.

Additional encouragement to Bobbie Shrivastav and team of Benekiva (#beneficiaryfirst) and Geoff Tetrault of InsureLife who have been on the customer-first train since the early days of InsurTech and were also present at ITC 2019.  Well, that’s about 6995 attendees to go in ensuring it’s ‘customer first’ focus for ITC2020, and for innovation efforts ongoing.


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