保险科技没有用,为什么呢?

What follows is a Chinese translation of today’s InsurTech post on Daily Fintech by Stephen Goldstein, with translation by Zarc from InsurView. This article will also appear in Chinese on the InsurView site. To read more Fintech content in Chinese, you can scan the following QR code by Wechat and subscribe to InsurView’s Wechat account.

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以下是今日DailyFintech发布的由Stephen Goldstein撰写的InsurTech文章的中文翻译,由InsurView的Zarc进行翻译。 本文也将在InsurView网站上以中文显示。 要阅读更多Fintech的中文内容,您可以扫描以下二维码,并订阅InsurView的微信公众号。

 

好吧,好吧,其实我并不相信这一论断。毕竟,这是我所在的行业,我每周还要为它写一篇文章呢。

我之所以取这个题目,原因有二:

1、我希望让题目更吸引眼球;

2、我希望从我上周提到的话题“保险的基础和原则”开始展开本文。

上周的文章有一点长,我总结了我们在保险业中要做的事,即:

“保险是一门为客户提供安全感的生意,我们要让他们知道,当他们遭受到不幸时,他们可以获得一定的经济补偿。这类不幸可以是身体健康、生命方面的,也可以是财产方面的。这是保险的核心所在。”

同时,这些事又与我前几周提到的保险业三大基石有关:

1、定价

定价是否合理,关系到保险公司的收入是否能够覆盖其日常运营的开支以及是否有着足够的资金储备以保证其偿付能力。

2、资金储备

关系到保险公司的偿付能力。

3、理赔

和大家一样,我也在实时跟踪保险业和保险科技领域的热点新闻。每天,我的Linkedin主页和邮箱都会收到新的保险科技新闻推送,其中包括创业公司获得投资、新的保险科技合作、创业公司拓展业务以及贯穿保险价值链的新型解决方案等。

这些内容我都很喜欢,因为它们展现出了技术解决方案可以如何提升客户体验,以及如何帮助保险公司提升运营效率。我是保险科技未来光景的粉丝。

但是,我对于当今保险世界中可能存在的风险,也保持着谨慎的态度。

我不想太过激进。作为专栏作者,我认为同时谈论保险科技的好与坏是非常重要的。

目前,保险科技解决方案的变化程度和业界对其的接受速度都达到了历史最高水平。而且没有任何慢下来的迹象。但是,任何优秀的计划,都必须要有一个风险缓冲和备用计划。

这也带来了我取这一题目的第三个原因。其实并非保险科技没有用……而是,如果风险未能得到合理地控制,或者应急计划没有到位,那么许多保险科技项目的进程就会受到阻碍,在某些情况下,就会没有用了。

那保险业和保险科技面临的风险有哪些呢?我主要关注三点,这三点在过去几个月内也经常出现在新闻报道里。事实上,不管有没有保险科技,这些风险都存在于保险行业。即:

1、宏观经济环境;

2、天气风险/自然灾害;

3、监管。

宏观经济环境

2008年后,全球股市一路走高。这也难怪现在有大量热钱涌入保险科技领域进行投资。

如果再次出现市场回调,甚至再次世界经济危机的话,会出现怎样的情形?保险科技领域内的投资还会有那么多吗?

我说的还只是股票市场的影响。如果固定收益市场也产生冲击呢?

在这篇8月份的金融时报文章中,丘博的CEO,Evan Greenberg就对人们发出了关于低息环境的警告,以及其可能对保险公司造成的影响。他说道:“很多保险公司没能赚回足够的钱,有些甚至还在亏钱,或者即将在未来亏钱。”这是一个很严重的问题,因为这会在未来影响保险公司的偿付能力。当然,他们首先得满足监管层制定的偿付能力要求,但是如果这一情况持续下去,保险公司势必会大幅提升保费,以及撤销部分险种业务。

除了宏观经济环境,自然灾害对于保险的影响也不容忽视。

天气/自然灾害

过去几个月,厄玛飓风、玛利亚飓风和哈维飓风先后袭击了美国东南部及沿岸小岛。美国加州也在过去几周身陷火海。世界各地的其他国家也经历了大量灾难,相关的文章非常多。文章题目从“遭受灾难后,如何向你的保险公司索赔?”到“天气灾害会对保险公司造成多少经济损失?”都有。随着气候变化的程度加深,未知的天气灾害也越来越多。我必须承认,我不是灾害风险定价方面的专家,但我猜想,气候变化将会使得天气灾害相关保险产品的定价越来越困难。

所以,股票可能会跌,利息可能也涨不上去,天气灾害也可能越来越严重。这些风险很大,但是最后一个风险可能会分到最大的蛋糕,那就是:监管。

监管

上周,美国总统特朗普颁布了两条有关医保的行政命令。一条是允许消费者跨境购买保险,另一条则是限制了奥巴马医保的资金来源。这些安排会对美国的医保市场和保险市场造成怎样的影响,目前我们还无法判断。这个话题足以写一篇独立的文章,我打算未来再写。

监管如果不能客观地看待问题,真的能把事情搞砸。我在前几周写过关于如何与政府合作的文章。有一些政府就更加开放,也更懂得金融科技和保险科技。但是,就我接触过的监管层来说,监管层的态度和观念可能会在朝夕之间改变,迫使从业者被动地改变计划。

不同的险种有着不同的机会和风险

对于有些险种来说,比如财险,保险科技可以发挥重大的作用,可以带来大量颠覆和改变现有保险价值链的机会。如果自动驾驶汽车成为主流,整个车险领域将会彻底改头换面。对于非车财险,用智能家居和智能设备来监控房屋财产,将会更好的为客户改善产品定价和体验。

对于旅游险,保险可以用来保护游客财产(比如手机、电子设备等),以及提供基于时间的保险(比如共享经济下的保险)。颠覆行业,增强客户价值的机会非常多。

对于寿险、健康险以及灾害险,那就是另一番光景了。我们看到了很多在线销售的定期寿险。但是终身寿险、全能险和年金险呢?当我们需要处理更复杂的个人/商业险时,该怎么办?

我最大的担心来源于这些类型的产品。我的保险业经历主要就是寿险和健康险领域的。这些类型产品的定价结构更注重长期,因为是终身产品,而非产险这类按年收费的。健康险可以按年收费,但是随着保健支出的增长,人们看医频率的上升,健康险的定价也将越来越困难。

那我们可以做什么呢?

首先,最重要的是,每一家创业公司和传统保险公司都需要根据自己的保险科技计划准备好一个降低风险计划和一个应急方案。沉浸在行业狂欢之中是简单愉悦的,但是谈论风险的时候大家就没那么开心了。上文提到的一些风险仅仅是最主要最宏观的几个。每一家公司和每一个项目都有着自己特定的风险集合,都需要依据实际情况进行风险评估。

精算师也需要跟上。他们需要用自己的专业技能进行精算建模以及和数据工程师们协同合作,深入理解能获得到的所有数据,并将其用于改善定价模型。

精算定价体系和数据科学的结合,将是推动保险发展的最重要力量。传统保险公司已经花了几百年的时间来管控风险。但风险控制的本质,随着数据大爆炸的出现已经彻底改变了。它已经不再仅仅是研究过去的历史和预测未来的可能了。

我们需要理解整个行业中,哪些环节在发挥作用,哪些环节没有,然后据此进行规划。我们所有人都紧密相连,我们也需要共同建设保险行业。毕竟归根结底,我们对所有客户都有着共同的责任。

Why #Insurtech Doesn’t Matter

manage risk

Last week, I included my summary of what we do in Insurance: 

Insurance is a business where we provide people with peace of mind, allowing them to know that there will be a monetary solution provided when they suffer a major loss/accident (or minor, depending on coverage purchased).  This loss/accident can either in the form of health, death or to some sort of property, and the solution is at a time when a person typically needs it most.  That is the core of our business.  

This also relates to the 3 pillars of Insurance, which I mentioned a few weeks ago too:

1) Pricing – Was the policy I purchased priced properly to take care of the costs of the Insurance company running their business and will they have enough

2) Reserves – to pay my

3) Claims – in a timely manner.

As with many of us, I read and follow a lot of news on Insurance and Insurtech.  Every day, my LinkedIn feed and email inbox is flooded with Insurtech news, including new investments in start-ups, new Insurtech partnerships formed, expansion of start-ups into new markets/states, etc.  

I love reading all of this – as it shows the growing level of awareness of how new technology solutions can enhance the customer experience and also help companies with operational efficiency.   I am a huge fan of what the future entails.  

However, I am also cautious of the risks currently present in the world of Insurance (and the world in general!).  

Currently, the pace of change and adoption of Insurtech solutions is faster than ever before.  It seems there are no signs of slowing down.  However, as with any good plan, it is important to have risk mitigation and contingency plans.  

As mentioned in last weeks’ post, the new technology solutions that we are building for the Insurance industry (i.e.Insurtech), are just an enabler.  It’s not that these solutions don’t matter…But, if the risks are not managed properly and plans are not in place for these solutions, then the progress of the many Insurtech initiatives may slow down, or in some cases, not be around to matter.  

What are some risks as it relates to Insurtech?  I will focus on three, which have been themes in the news for the past couple of months.  In fact, these are risks that exist in our industry regardless of Insurtech.

By no means are these the only risks that need to be mitigated for, yet I do see these as some of the ‘big’ ones:

  1. Macroeconomics
  2. Weather/Natural Disasters
  3. Regulation

Macroeconomics

Since 2008, global stock markets have been on a tear.  It’s no wonder that there is so much money pouring into Insurtech investments.  

What happens if there is a market correction and we go into another global recession? Will we see the same sort of investment in Insurtech solutions as we have been seeing?

And that’s just the equities market.  What about fixed income?

In this FT article from August, Chubb’s CEO Evan Greenberg warns about the low interest rate environment, and its effect on Insurers.  He says, ‘Many companies are not earning their cost of capital — and many are losing money, or will lose money in the future’.  This is a big deal.  This may have an impact on an Insurers ability to pay claims in the future. Obviously they will have to keep their solvency requirements due to regulation, but if this continues, we could see massive premium hikes for customers and/or withdrawal from certain product lines.  

Stock markets and fixed income aside, the next big risk that could impact the progress in Insurance and Insurtech has to do with climate change.

Weather/Natural Disasters

Over the past few months, we have seen Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey ravage much of the Southeastern US and islands nearby.  California has been blazing in fire over the past few weeks. In other parts of the world, there have been many natural disasters too.  I’ve seen a number of articles on this subject.  They range from ‘how to claim from your Insurance company in wake of natural disaster’ to ‘how much insurers will be out of pocket for weather related claims’.  With climate change increasing, the unknowns also grow.  I’ll admit, I’m not an expert in catastrophe pricing, but I would suspect that this increasing factor will make it much more difficult to price products in the future.  

So, equities may fall.  Interest rates may not come up.  And natural disasters could be on the rise.  These risks are big, but the last one could take the cake: regulation.

Regulation

Last week, as it relates to US health care, President Trump signed two executive orders – one which will allow customers to purchase cross state border and one that limits funding for Obamacare (though that seemed to change course yesterday).  

The impact that these have on the US health care and Insurance market is unknown for now.  This is a topic that deserves it’s own write up and I plan to cover this sometime in the near future.  

Regulation can really screw things up; if not looked at properly. I wrote about government collaboration a few weeks ago.  Some governments are more open to collaborating with with incumbents to better understand Fintech and Insurtech. However, for those of us that have worked with regulators, we know that their minds can change quickly and knee jerk reactions can be made, forcing our plans to change.  

Different product lines have different opportunities, and different risks

For some lines of Insurance – mainly P&C, Insurtech has a huge play, and there are many opportunities to disrupt and change the current Insurance value chain.  If autonomous cars come into existence, the whole auto Insurance industry will change.  For property Insurance, smart homes and devices to monitor buildings will help to better optimize pricing and policies for consumers.  

For travel Insurance, Insurance to protect material objects (Mobile phones, electronics, etc), UBI and Insurance for the sharing economy, there will be opportunities to disrupt and enhance the customer proposition too.    

For Life, Health and Catastrophe, it becomes a different story.   We see a lot of term life online, but what about whole life, universal life, annuities etc?  What about other, more complex products for individuals/businesses (Disability, Long Term Care, Commercial)?  

My biggest worry comes from within these types of products.  My years in Insurance have primarily been on the Life, Health and annuities.  The pricing structures of these types of products have a longer tail than P&C.  Health is annual renewable, but the cost of healthcare and frequency of visits to doctors have been increasing, which will make pricing more difficult.

So what can we do about this?

First and foremost, every start-up and incumbent needs to have a risk mitigation strategy and contingency plan as it relates to their Insurtech initiatives.  It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of what we are doing, and talking about risk is not always the most ‘fun’.  The risks above are just a few macro ones.  Each company and each initiative will carry its own set of risks, which need to be assessed accordingly.

Secondly, collaboration continues to be key.  Especially cross-border collaboration.  We need to share best practices globally. Regulators will also need to continue to work with incumbents and start-ups to understand the solutions being put in place and risks to customers.  

Thirdly, actuaries need to get with it – quick.  They need to use their skills of actuarial modeling and work with the data scientists out there to better understand all the data points available to them and how this can be incorporated into pricing models.  

The marrying of actuarial pricing principles and data science will be one of the most powerful forces of change in our industry.  Incumbents have been managing risk for hundreds of years.  The nature of managing risk has changed with the explosion of data. It’s no longer about just looking at what has happened in the past and predicting what will happen in the future.  Let’s also get underwriters in this conversation.  

We need to find opportunities to know what is working where, and what is also not working, so we can plan accordingly.  We are all in this together, and we need to help enhance our industry together.  We all have a collective responsibility, ultimately, for our customers.

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Stephen Goldstein is an experienced Insurance executive and Insurtech dealmaker with a core focus on growing revenue, launching go to market initiatives and advising industry leaders.

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DailyFintech的ITC2017回顾

 

What follows is a Chinese translation of today’s InsurTech post on Daily Fintech by Stephen Goldstein, with translation by Zarc from InsurView. This article will also appear in Chinese on the InsurView site. To read more Fintech content in Chinese, you can scan the following QR code by Wechat and subscribe to InsurView’s Wechat account.

InsurView QR code

以下是今日DailyFintech发布的由Stephen Goldstein撰写的InsurTech文章的中文翻译,由InsurView的Zarc进行翻译。 本文也将在InsurView网站上以中文显示。 要阅读更多Fintech的中文内容,您可以扫描以下二维码,并订阅InsurView的微信公众号。

InsureTech Connect 2017(ITC2017)会议在10月初于美国拉斯维加斯举办,出席会议的嘉宾超过3500人,其中有保险公司和再保险公司从业人员,也有创业者、投资者、科技公司员工以及咨询顾问,这些人从全球48个国家赶来,共聚维加斯,来讨论保险科技,以及任何与保险科技相关的话题。

参会前,我给自己定了三个目标:

1、推进业务;

2、了解趋势;

3、寻找一个有趣的角度来报导这次会议。

在会议开始的三周前,Daily Fintech的CEO,Bernard Lunn发来邮件给我提了一些建议:

如何报导一次行业会议?以下是我参加多次会议总结的经验。

会议中信息量很大,如何取舍,如何确定重点是很难的。对此我有两个技巧。

1、关注大型主题和重点事件。比如说当下关注度较高的话题有,再保险即服务(Reinsurance As A Service)和大灾风险定价等。和这些话题有关的专题讨论都要参加,并和这方面的专家进行沟通。

2、记录一切有意义的信息,并进行深度消化。这是第一个技巧的反面。在会议期间保持一个开放的心态,准备迎接任何惊喜。

此外,记住一点,在互联网时代,“不管维加斯发生了什么,你都可以在Youtube上找到”。

在两天的时间内,总共会有22场专题会议,我计划参加其中的12场,并且还想去展览厅拜访一下所有的创业公司。这次行程势必万分紧凑。

关于本次会议的回顾,作为会议主办者之一的Oliver Wyman已经发表过两篇文章

Insurance Journal也有一篇。

CB Insights提供了很多数据。

此外还有很多回顾文章,具体链接大家可以在本文的英文原版中找到。

仅从回顾会议文章的数量来看,我们就能感受到这次会议的热度有多高。因为本次会议的很多内容都被报道过了,我在本文提出的观点或许会和其他报告有所重复。我会对一些较为重要的观点进行再次剖析,也会对一些没有被关注过的内容进行报导。

以下是我对本次InsureTech Connect 2017会议的观点:

会议热度很高,保险热度高,但这种情况会持续多久呢?

在热度VS实际情况的讨论中,现在保险科技的实际应用已经超过了我的预想。但是我认为过热的现象依然存在,特别大家的心态。

如果你在10年前(正好是上次经济危机时期)参加一起保险行业会议,几乎所有参会者都会穿着西装领带出席,会议的议题以及形式都会偏严肃向。如今的会议则不是这样。在这里,几乎没有人打领带,大家穿得都是标准的硅谷着装——印有公司LOGO的彩色T恤。会议的气氛也更加轻快活跃,参会者们都很激动,我从来没有见过这么多人对于保险业的发展感到激动。

我在汉诺威再保险和Sureify共同搭建的会前展台上看到了一个他们提出的问题——“这股热情什么时候会耗完?”这是我在本次会议上听到的最为激进的一个问题。

现阶段,我们有机会能在保险供应链的各个环节上布局各类有意思的新型解决方案。这类解决方案大部分都是有技术驱动的。这也真是“保险科技”一词的由来。我认为,就像“金融科技”一样,因为“保险”和“科技”进行了组合,保险这一行业也越来越酷了。

不过,总有一天,当这些技术将成为保险供应链中的正常组成部分,那个时候,我觉得这股热情就会消失了。那个时候,为了追赶风口来到保险业的人将会去追逐下一个风口了。一切顺利的话,那个时候,行业将会经历一次洗牌,劣质圈钱的项目和公司将会消失,让优质的项目和公司得以有更大的空间施展拳脚。

我们的目标是找到解决方案,并非构建技术

Ring的CEO,James Siminoff在这次会议里扮演了白脸角色。他在对美国家庭保险公司的Telisa Yancy进行采访时,提醒了在座的所有人,我们来到这里的目的是什么。他说道:“人们并不喜欢技术,人们喜欢的是那些改善生活质量的解决方案,有些时候,技术正好提供了这些解决方案。”对此我深有同感。

保险是一门为客户提供安全感的生意,我们要让他们知道,当他们遭受到不幸时,他们可以获得一定的经济补偿。这类不幸可以是身体健康、生命方面的,也可以是财产方面的。这是保险的核心所在。

正因如此,保险对于投保人来说是至关重要的。这也是为什么客户体验成为了本次会议中最热门的话题之一。沉浸保险业多年的从业者,以及真正理解保险业内核的人,都已经深刻理解了这一点。他们知道技术仅仅是一项使能工具(Enabler),保险的基本原则并没有随着技术的提升而改变。

行业主力改头换面

如果仔细研究一下会议的演讲嘉宾名单,你将会发现大部分都是创业公司成员。虽然像AIG、AXA、慕再等传统保险公司依然在列,但是很明显,主角已经改头换面了。

人们来参加会议的目的也变了。曾经,大家是来听传统保险公司分享行业进展的,如今,人们更希望参与到创业公司CEO们的分享讲座中去,去聆听他们眼中保险未来的样子。

我有幸获得了和Hippo的CEO,Assaf以及Clearcover的CEO,Kyle进行面对面交流的机会。在他们的linkedin简历上,他俩的保险经验其实很短,只有几年。但是他们认识到了保险的核心,并将保险核心与技术进行高效结合,为客户带来了独特的体验。

在谈话过程中,他们给我的感觉就像是一生都在从事保险业的老保险人。他们对保险的深刻理解,并非体现在如何将技术和保险相结合,而是体现在东西保险的核心,看清客户需要的是什么,知道哪些是他们不需要的,然后用客户喜欢的方式为他们精确地输送产品和服务。

当然,这并不意味着传统保险公司的高层的分享过时了,他们同样为保险科技的发展在添砖加瓦。安盛集团的首席转型官(Chief Transformation Officer)Benoit Claveranne在其主持的研讨会上分享了大量重要的信息。其中最关键的两点是:

1、当一家创业公司在接触传统保险公司时,他们要明确自己的目的——是寻求投资、收购还是合作?有太多实际案例显示,双方在早期的接触过程中,浪费了大量的精力在没有意义的交流上。

2、对于创业公司来说,在和传统保险公司进行过1-2次面谈后,可以电话再和他们接触一次,确认对方的意向是否足够强烈。如果不够强烈,就应该及时寻找下一个合作对象。

合作是关键

上周的文章中我提到了Snapsheet和Keybank合作启动Snapsheet Transactions的消息。本周,又有两家公司宣布合作了,他们是Everplans和RGAx。RGAx将成为Everplans平台的主要分销伙伴,向全美国的寿险公司提供Everplans的文件存档服务。

我和Everplans的CEO兼联合创始人Abby Schneiderman进行了交流。他认为Everplans的平台对于保险价值链来说是一个很有价值的补充,该平台能够让投保人将所有投保信息归结到一处,这些信息将会有平台保密保存,在投保人或受益人需要进行理赔时,他们可以轻松的将需要的信息提取出来。

保险科技和传统保险通过合作,往往能为消费者提供更优秀更全面的解决方案,以上这些例子就是很好的佐证。除此之外,还有一些较为传统的合作项目,比如Qover宣布和慕再合作。

美中不足

虽然本次会议的亮点很多,但我认为,有一些应该被重点讨论的事情并没有获得大家足够的重视。比如:

1、如今的数据太多了,这很可怕。随着可携带式设备、车联网和物联网的兴起,保险公司将和谷歌等科技公司一样,知道关于你的一切数据。保险公司如果只利用这些数据去开发特定市场,那倒也还好,但如果他们未来将全面用数据来定价、评估风险,以及对用户进行核保,这一步必须要走得谨小慎微。保险是一门风险管理的生意,如果保险公司仅依据数据就拒绝向潜在的高风险客户提供保险服务,这样并不公平。

2、大家对风控管理和客户数据保护的讨论太少。每一项新的解决方案在实施前,都应该从客户、保险公司以及市场的角度分别进行风险评测。客户通过可携带式设备产生的数据该如何被保密?如何确保数据用于正当用途?

3、全球共享才刚刚开始。本次会议有来自48个国家的嘉宾参与,这意味着将会有很多跨国讨论,以及潜在的跨国合作正在发生。这对于全球市场的共同发展大有裨益。

4、剩下的50亿人口怎么办?MicroEnsure Labs的主任,Peter Gross在其专题讲座“重新定义保险价值主张”中提到,“目前全世界还有50亿人生存在贫困线以下,每天都暴露在巨大的风险之中。”保险科技在为发达国家的消费者提供服务的同时,也应该努力去实现普惠保险。

5、很多人只是想乘机捞一把。因为保险科技的概念变得火热,很多投机者带着大量资金进入了这个行业,希望能乘势获取高额收益。这是资本市场的常态,但是我希望投机者们能够坦诚面对。我和有些人聊天后发现,他们甚至无法向我解释清楚他们的产品到底是to B的还是to C的,这就很可怕了。

总结

我一位来自英国的朋友在去年参加了InsureTech Connect会议,当时他觉得他是参会者中唯一的外国人。今年他没来,我想告诉他,今年有48个国家的人参与了会议,相信大家并不会再觉得这是个只有美国人的会议。这也是保险科技全球化的趋势,在全球范围内大家分享和实践,是促进这一行业快速发展的良方。而消费者们也将最终从这些发展中受益。

#ITC2017 – The Daily Fintech Review

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The networkers networked.  The start-ups hustled.  The investors swarmed.  The consultants consulted.  The incumbents searched.  And the rest, listened and learned. #ITC2017 was a great event, that brought over 3,500 Insurers, Reinsurers, Start-Ups, Investors, tech firms, consultants and more, from 48 countries together, to discuss Insurtech – anything and everything that has to do with it.  

I had three goals from ITC:

  1. Prospect for my business
  2. Learn about new trends
  3. Find good sound bites/themes to write a good story about the event

About 3 weeks prior to ITC, Bernard Lunn, CEO of Daily Fintech sent me an e-mail with some advice on preparing for an event:

Reporting from a conference/event

Here is what I have learned from doing a lot of them.

Sipping from a firehose is the hardest issue. It is hard to know what to focus on. I have found two techniques to help with this.

  • Mega themes and big issues. Have a few that you are looking out for eg Reinsurance As A Service, pricing Catastrophe Risk. Talk to anybody or attend any sessions that connect to those themes and issues.
  • Let it emerge. Soak it in. This is the opposite of the first. Be open to surprises and feeling the mood of an event.

Enjoy and remember one big lesson of the digital age – what happens in “Vegas lives on YouTube forever”.

With 22 meetings scheduled over two days, my desire to attend 12 of the talks/panel sessions and wanting to view all the start-ups in the expo hall, it looked like I was planning for this, let alone a firehouse.  

There have been a lot of good and interesting reviews of the event and I encourage you to read them to get differing perspectives from the event.  I have included links to some of the ones I have found at the end of this article.  Just by the sheer number of reviews, one can see the amount of buzz there is surrounding this event.

I am going to be critical in some areas and also offer some potential ideas for next year’s event. This in no way takes away from my overall feeling over the event – that it was absolutely amazing one.  A big shout out goes out to Jay, Caribou and their teams. The event was grand and had the feeling and buzz of something big.  There was a lot of substance (I thought there would be more hype to be honest).  It was just great to see so many people excited to talk about Insurance.

Here are my key takeaways from #ITC2017:

The excitement of the event was second to none.  In fact, Insurance almost seems cool now…but how long will this feeling last?

In the hype vs. substance debate, I would agree that there was a lot more substance on display than I thought there would be.  However, the hype was still there, just more so in people’s minds (i.e. the attitude towards Insurance/Insurtech).  If you went to an Insurance conference a 10 years ago (this would have been in the midst of the last financial crisis), almost everyone would be wearing ties and/or a full suit and the theme would be rather somber.  Not here.  I hardly saw a tie during my few days there. Not only that, but we also got to see the standard Silicon Valley start-up solid color shirts with company logo on display.  And the mood was vibrant.  People were excited.  I’ve never in my life seen so many people excited about Insurance and for them to actually feel genuinely cool being in the industry too (I feel that way too, so it’s OK).  

An interesting question (that I have not seen in any other written reviews) was posed in the pre-conference workshop hosted by Hannover Re and Sureify – ‘when will the burnout happen?’.  I found this to be one of the more provocative questions that I heard asked throughout the conference.  

There is an opportunity right now to implement tons of really interesting new solutions to the Insurance value chain.  Many of these solutions happen to be technology, which has helped to dub the term ‘Insurtech’.  I feel that, a bit, just like Fintech, because Insurance has now added a ‘tech’ to it, it feels cool to be in the Insurance business.

However, one day, these solutions will be considered ‘normal’ as it relates to the value chain, and that’s when I think the burn out will happen.  That’s when people who were here for the hype will move on to the next big hype/opportunity, and hopefully there will be some washout of the solutions (and people) that are not so good – allowing for the really good ones to really shine.  

Why such a focus on this?  Because the conference helped to remind everyone what we are here for…

We are here to find solutions, not build technology

I’m just going to come out and say that James Siminoff, CEO of Ring, was the WWE equivalent of a babyface at ITC2017.  His emotionally charged interview with Telisa Yancy from American Family, reminded me of why we are here.  His quote “Humans don’t love technology. They love solutions that make life better. Sometimes technology becomes that” has been mentioned many times so far.  And I couldn’t agree more.

Insurance is a business where we provide people with peace of mind, allowing them to know that there will be a monetary solution provided when they suffer a major loss/accident (or minor, depending on coverage purchased).  This loss/accident can either in the form of health, death or to some sort of property, and the solution is at a time when a person typically needs it most.  That is the core of our business.  

And because that is the core of our business, Insurance is REALLY important to the people who purchase/use it.  That’s why, there was such a focus on customer experience during the event (well, at least it was mentioned a bunch of times throughout the conference…)  

People that have been around the business for a while, or really understand this business, know this.  They know that technology is simply an enabler to improve the Insurance value chain, and that the fundamentals and principles of Insurance still need to be considered, in addition to, the new sources of information (i.e. data), available to them.  

What’s great, is that with some of these technology solutions, not only can we help our customers when they need it most, but we can also engage with them to help them prepare for the events when they need it most.

When we marry the two – fundamentals/principles of Insurance and technology together, then we can find solutions to improve what keeps being mentioned – customer experience.  

As mentioned in some of the other review articles, more incumbents were present than last year.  In my mind, this is important, as they can help teach some of the start-ups the fundamental and principles of Insurance, as well as the operational aspects of their business.  Start-ups, especially tech start-ups, are good at being nimble and offering solutions for incumbents, but they need to understand them first.  In this regard, I personally found that…

The industry ‘vets’ are not the traditional ‘vets’ you would expect

If you take a look at the speakers list for the conference, the majority are from start-ups. Yes, some of the more active Insurers/Reinsurers in the Insurtech space like AIG, AXA, Munich Re, XL Catlin, Chubb, Hanover Re and Allstate featured in some talks, but the list was dominated by start-ups.

‘The Insurance Company of the Future’, session, which featured Nick Martin, Fund Manager at Polar Capital, Steven Mendel, CEO of Bought by Many, Assaf Wand, CEO and Co-Founder of Hippo and Kyle Nakatsuji, founder and CEO of Clearcover was standing room only.

This is quite telling.  People attending the event wanted to hear from some of the new Insurance CEO’s on their take of how Insurance companies will look in the future…looking to them as the vets of the industry.

I was able to spend some time with Kyle and Assaf both individually.  If you take a look at their LinkedIn profiles, they only have a few years of pure ‘Insurance’ experience.  They have been able to, however, learn the principles of Insurance (Assaf through being around it with his father being a senior executive in the Insurance industry and Kyle helping start the Venture fund at American Family), and apply these principles along with technology, to build a proposition that is unique for customers for a variety of reasons.   

Talking to them, I felt as if I was talking to people that had been working in this business their whole life.  They really get Insurance.  It’s not about applying technology to the Insurance value chain, it’s about looking at the fundamentals of Insurance, seeing what customers need and what they don’t need, and then offering it to them, in a way that they would prefer to get it.  Technology is a primary helper in this, but it is not the main driver.

It’s actually quite simple if you start to look at it this way.

This is not to say that the incumbent C-suite that were there didn’t have something valuable to say.  They did.  The session by Benoît Claveranne, Group Chief Transformation Officer of AXA was one of the more informative ones that I attended.  I also heard and have read really good things about the session with Rob Schimek Executive Vice President and CEO, Commercial @ AIG, but unfortunately, I could not attend.  Benoît made a few very key points during his talk:

  1. When a start-up approaches an incumbent, they should make clear what they are looking for – to be invested in, bought out, or partnered with.  A lot of time is wasted on this during early engagement, and will help move the conversation along if it’s clear early on
  2. For start-ups – make a call after 1-2 meetings to see if the incumbent is serious about doing business.  Do they have a budget and a team to develop it?  If not, it may be time to move on to the next client.  

The point I am making here, is that there is a wealth of information from both start-ups and incumbents, and people on both sides of the fence that are looking at the fundamentals/principles first, and tech as an enabler.  The more that incumbents can understand what part of the value chain they are trying to solve for, and what sort of tech solutions are available to them, and start-ups can understand the fundamentals and principles of Insurance, as well as the value chain, then there will ultimately be better opportunities to improve the customer experience.  In my opinion, it’s not really about us vs. them, and…

Partnering is key

Last week, I wrote about the announcement between Snapsheet and Keybank to launch Snapsheet Transactions.  There was another partnership announcement this week between Everplans and RGAx.  RGAx will become the primary distributor of the Everplans platform to all U.S. life insurance carriers.  In my conversation with Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Everplans, Abby Schneiderman, we discussed how the Everplans platform is a complementary service to traditional insurance offerings and how it can benefit a customer to have all of their important documents and wishes in one place.  In the event of something happening to them, their beneficiary can use this tool as a roadmap to their loved one’s life and wishes ,minimizing the burden of searching everywhere for documents.  Referring to my second review point above, a good and practical solution for the customer.

These are just two examples of non Insurtech companies, partnering with ‘Insurtech or Incumbents’ to provide better, holistic solutions for customers.  In addition to this, we saw drones at the event, Google Maps, Card Tapp and someone told me that they could now do underwriting based on a swab of the cheek.  For a more traditional type of announcements that you would expect from this type of conference, Qover, made an announcement with Munich Re, one of the more active Reinsurers in the space.  (See an exclusive interview I had with them here)

Bottom line is, in addition to the point I make on industry veterans above, is that collaboration is key.  It doesn’t matter whether you are a Fintech, Insurtech, Insurance/Reinsurance incumbent or some other technology based solution – we need to continue to look at things from a customer Insurance value chain perspective – and ask ourselves, is this really beneficial for them or not?  Because ultimately…

It’s not all rosy, and there a few things we need to look out for…

While there were a lot of good things from the event, as highlighted above, there were a few things that I took note of that need to be addressed.  It’s easy, when surrounded by such a buzz of an event, to have blinders on to potentially negative/risky things out there.  Here is the list:

  • There is a lot of data available now, and it can be scary.   With telematics, wearables and IoT, Insurance companies, just like Google, Facebook and your smartphone, will now basically be able to know every thing about you.  If Insurance companies were just going to use this for targeted marketing, that is one thing.  However, and rightfully so, there is a lot of talk about how data can be used in the underwriting process and pricing products.  This really needs to be handled with care.  Insurance and Reinsurance is a business of risk management.  If carriers have more data and get an idea of the customers that are really hurting their overall book, there is more of a chance that they won’t want to underwrite that risk at all.  Regulation can help with this, however, will regulators be able to pick this up and understand it quick enough?  Right now, it is still early days, so there are still opportunities to understand this before it gets out of hand.  
  • Risk Management and Customer Data Protection are not being discussed enough. Sure, they got touched on, but I didn’t see this as the focal point of many discussions.  All solutions that are being implemented, need to have a proper assessment of risk attached to it (this relates to my point on fundamentals and principles of Insurance).  What are the different risks associated with implementing these solutions – from a customer, company and market risk standpoint?  How is customer data being protected with the increased use of wearables?  How are we ensuring data is not being used improperly?  The amount of regulators present at the event shows the openness to working together with incumbents and start-ups to understand solutions and how they ultimately impact customers.  They will need to continue to be proactive in collaborating and start-ups and incumbents will need to be proactive in engaging too.  I touched on this a few weeks ago.
  • Global sharing is just starting.  48 countries were in attendance, which meant that many cross-border conversations and potential opportunities for collaboration were happening.  This has so much value, and needs to continue happening.
  • What about the other 5 billion? During the session Redefining the Insurance Value Proposition, Peter Gross, Director of MicroEnsure Labs mentioned that ‘there are 5 billion low-income people in the world, who wake up every day exposed to massive risk’. Some of the solutions featured during the event may be costly to a customer – especially one that falls into this low-income category. This infographic shows the percentage of people with Microinsurance from parts of the world that have higher concentration of low-income earners.  For these people, Microinsurance may be all they can afford.  While some of these numbers are a bit outdated and they would have increased over the past few years, they would still not be as high as some of the Insurance penetration levels we see in some of the more developed markets like the US and UK.  How do we as an industry help these people to get access to Insurance/protection?  
  • It is apparent that some are just trying to cash in on the Insurtech gold rush.  I get it.  There is a lot of hype around Insurtech right now and a lot of money flowing into it.  So, you want to take an opportunity to get into it.  That’s fine, but at least be honest about it. The amount of people I spoke to that couldn’t explain to me in 30 seconds or less whether their solution was for a customer or carrier was not encouraging.  And from the other side, the amount of people who told me they were now an Insurtech innovation lab or incubator, just because had years of experience in Insurance was also not good.  Unfortunately, I only found this article after the event, but I think it is a really good future guide for events when speaking with start-ups.  And for those trying to advise or consult start-ups/incumbents – please articulate what you do, have done and what makes you different.   If you don’t know exactly what you can offer, just admit this, and say ‘we’ve been in the industry for a while and can better help start-ups to understand it’ or ‘we have a pretty cool technology that we think can be applied to Insurance, but are not sure yet how’. Being sincere and honest will take you a long way.

My two recommendations for next year’s event

It’s easy for me to write about how great the event was and also give some critical feedback of the event, but I also want to offer two ideas to the organizers for next year’s event:

     1) Let’s crowdsource the best ideas/learnings from the event

It is impossible to attend all the sessions, visit all the booths and still have time for networking.  There were so many good things to learn from the event, and everyone should have the chance to hear it all.  As review based scoring is how a lot of us shop nowadays, a crowdsourced review platform from all the attendees would help people to see content and/or share ideas that they may not have been able to get exposed to at the event.  This may also help to find the solutions that may be ‘real’ vs some of the ones that are ‘hype’.

     2) Workshops for start-ups/incumbents

This one may be a longer shot.  Lot’s of people at the event were looking for something – partners, funding, a story, etc.  For some, they had problems they were hoping to get solutions from.  For incumbents – maybe it is how to go about their digital strategy.  Or, how to best identify a start-up to work with.  For start-ups, maybe they needed that final piece to work through to make their solution a great one.  

Right now, the options for these folks is to go to a consulting company or an accelerator/incubator/innovation lab (both of which are OK options).  Since there are so many people here with such a wealth of knowledge, it would be great to see some opportunities for them to work through these problems during the conference itself.

Summary

I spoke with one of my friends in the UK who attended the event last year.  He explained that he felt like the only non-American at the event.  He did not attend this year, but we spoke a few days after the event.  I explained to him that the intro slide from Caribou showed that there were participants from 48 countries in attendance, and it certainly did not feel like an American only event.  There are things happening all around the world, and at much different paces than others (primarily due to regulation).  Sharing these ideas and best practices globally, will be the next evolution of Insurtech, allowing the customer to ultimately benefit from the innovative solutions happening around the world.  

Stephen Goldstein is an experienced Insurance executive and Insurtech dealmaker with a core focus on growing revenue, launching go to market initiatives and advising industry leaders.

Get fresh daily insights from an amazing team of Fintech thought leaders around the world. Ride the Fintech wave by reading us daily in your email.

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Links to other reviews of ITC

Oliver Wyman, the presenting sponsors of the event, had a nice summary here and here one too

Insurance Journal had one of my more favorite ones

CB Insights has if you like more data than words

Some really good ones here and here and here and here and here and here and other nice ones here and here and here and here

A good contrast from last year

And some top quotes from the conference

 

#ITC2017 carries on and two start-ups driving meaningful change – Haven Life and Snapsheet

ITC

Waking up at 4:30 in the morning for my flight on Monday, I did not expect to see the news that I did, when checking if my 6:50am flight was on time to head to Las Vegas for Insuretech Connect.  Receiving an e-mail from Jay and Caribou at 6:11am affirmed that I would be heading there and the event would be on.  It was a horrific and sickening event and I send my heartfelt condolences and wishes to those that attended the event or had family and friends that were there.

I was physically shaking when I arrived on the strip around 12pm.  I wasn’t really sure what to expect.  

While the streets were quieter than normal and there were police everywhere, Jay and Caribou’s statement in their e-mail ‘the people of Las Vegas are united in strength and resilience’ seemed to be true.  I walked into Caeser’s Palace, and people were happily gambling, drinking and laughing, as you would expect to see in Las Vegas.  

As I strolled across the casino and up the escalators to the conference rooms, I started seeing more and more business-casual dressed people, wearing a similar name badge.  #ITC2017 was on.   

The event, as with any conference, had some really good things, some that were ok, and some that could use some improvement.  For next week’s post, I will do a write up and summary of the event in total.   A quick thank you goes out to the organizers and all staff working the event. It was amazing to see so many people energized to talk about Insurance! 

For this week, I am going to feature two start-ups who made announcements this week (one at the event, one not).  These two announcements were not the ‘sexiest’ of announcements/solutions.  These are not drone powered chatbots feeding the blockchain.  However, these are solutions, and enhancements to existing solutions that make fundamental step changes for the Insurance supply chain for their respective business verticals (one is life and one is auto).  I also had the opportunity to speak with senior management from both of these companies and get some further insight as to how they view Insurance and how their companies are impacting the industry and enhancing customer experience.  

Haven Life

Speaking of customer experience, these two words were mentioned in almost every conversation, panel talk and workshop that I attended this week.  As it should be.  What is it that we can do to help with the customer experience value when it comes to Insurance? For Life Insurance, Haven Life may have the answer.  

Haven Life is a US Online only Life Insurance startup that is backed and wholly owned by MassMutual.  

On Wednesday, Haven Life made some big announcements, namely the introduction of a ‘real rate’, in addition to dynamic underwriting, optimization on all devices and some new UX and logo.  The ‘real rate’ is a real game changer as it relates to the Life Insurance purchase process in the US.

Ever applied for Term Life Insurance online in the US?  The first step in the purchase process always starts with a quote (regardless of sites like TruStage, AAA ExpressTerm, Fabric, Ladder Life or Quilt). This has been the industry standard for years and has worked for some time.  Even though some companies I just mentioned ask a few more questions than others, to make the quote a bit more close to the actual, the quote still remains, a quote.  This is OK if you are a non smoker, in great health, with no previous medical history and who never travels overseas.  However, for those that don’t, who have to go for a medical exam in order to get an actual rate, may be surprised when the rate comes back much higher than the original quote and in even more extreme circumstances, not even be offered a rate at all.  It would be nice to know upfront, wouldn’t it?  After all, doesn’t that help to positively impact the customer experience?

Haven Life sure thinks it does (and I tend to agree with them).

With the introduction of the ‘real rate’, Haven Life’s platform asks an applicant the underwriting questions first (and not just in a long form questionnaire form). A list of options is then presented to the customer both in terms of coverage term and amount. These rates are based on answers in the application, and industry standard third party data (such as identity verification, prescription history and motor vehicle records) that is collected on the applicant. This information is then analyzed in real-time using proprietary expert systems that the Haven Life team built in partnership with MassMutual.  In some cases, qualified applicants will not need to go for a medical exam to get their policy – they may simply purchase and their policy will be issued.  For others, they may need to go for a medical exam.  However, due to the emphasis on providing a ‘real rate’, it’s likely their final rate won’t be too far off from what they saw (unless they failed to disclose something during the application process).  

Below is some Q&A between Haven Life’s CEO Yaron Ben-Zvi and I.

Real rate vs. quote – Would you please explain to me the difference between the two?

It’s an industry standard to lead with an initial Life Insurance quote from the beginning, which is based on an applicant’s perception of their health without reference to underwriting guidelines. Starting with a quote made sense when it took a manual underwriting process several weeks to find out your eligibility and final pricing. However, because every company views medical conditions differently from a pricing perspective, the quote only provides a vague estimate of cost and often results in people being disappointed with their final price. If you were to price compare quotes across sites, it would be a general estimate that doesn’t factor in much about you as an individual. Therefore, it’s probably going to be pretty far from what coverage would actually cost you – especially if you have a more complicated medical history.

We see an opportunity to provide more transparency into pricing (and ultimately to build more trust) than there has been before. We have created the technology to take an application and underwrite customers in real-time. Why provide people with a quote when they can just answer a few more questions about themselves and know their real rate?

So, an applicant will only get a real rate once they have filled out the questionnaire. What happens once the questionnaire is complete?

There are three core experiences an applicant is met with when getting their real rate:

  1. They qualify for our InstantTerm process, which means they get their real rate and can instantly start coverage with no medical exam required.
  2. They get their real rate, pending a medical exam. In these cases they can start temporary coverage immediately and have up to 90 days to complete their medical exam.
  3. We can’t provide an applicant with a real rate or with temporary coverage, because we need additional information, such as a medical exam, to determine if they’re eligible for coverage. In this scenario, they won’t be able to start coverage immediately. Once underwriting is completed, we follow up with a decision on coverage eligibility and their rate. While this isn’t our ideal user experience, it’s still far more streamlined than the traditional application and underwriting process because the application was done online, and we’re able to utilize our algorithmic underwriting platform to analyze the medical exam results combined with the application data.

It’s worth mentioning that we find that most people schedule and take their medical exam within two weeks. We make it very easy to schedule and complete the medical exam from wherever an applicant prefers. As a result, many applicants complete the entire process, including the medical exam, within a matter of days.

For people who qualify for our InstantTerm, no medical exam process, it will be their real, final rate. For people who fall into scenario 2 that we outlined above, a medical exam will be needed to offer a final rate. With many applicants, the rate will be the same or very close to the final price so long as the applicant disclosed their full medical history and there are no surprises in the medical exam. The estimated rate we give them is much more personalized and accurate than a general quote.

Part of the reason we are doing this is because of pain points we saw in our own process. When we launched, we led with the upfront quote (but made it self directed and no-contact-information-required) as a way to give people an idea of how much coverage costs. What we found was that some customers were frustrated if their price was higher after the underwriting process. Understandable.

I agree with the points you make.  Customer education will be key here, right?  

While we’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about our experience, it disappointed us to disappoint some people with their final rates. Coming out of those experiences, we saw an opportunity to focus our efforts not so much on a quick-win quote but on providing real, honest, personalized rates. That said, we do still provide estimates if people want to do high-level research in a few seconds, but we try to set their expectations better by actually showing them prices for a range of rate classes.

That’s great and makes a lot of sense.  If I understand correctly, only if an applicant is approved, then all the options of coverage/terms will be made available to them (under whatever limits they can be approved for based on the data you have collected). Is that correct?

Great question, and this is a nuance that is a big deal and that we’re very excited about. Traditional Insurance processes require that you select a coverage amount without having a real sense of what your premium will be. At Haven life, when you get your real rate, we are providing you with all the coverage options you may qualify for. Some clients already know upfront how much coverage they need, so we do allow individuals to include it in their application in order to confirm eligibility for a specific amount. But for many clients, it makes sense to make a final decision on coverage and term length once you know how much you’ll be paying. Clients can dynamically increase or decrease coverage based on their financial need and budget.

Additionally, now this page allows you to see how much coverage you qualify for and what the price difference is. So, if you maybe wanted more coverage but thought you couldn’t afford it, you now know that there is a small difference that fits in your budget between the 20-year, $400,000 policy you applied for, and the 20-year, $500,000 policy you actually wanted.

Currently, Haven Life coverage starts immediately, even if still need medical, will this still be in practice?

Yes, our aim is to provide as many people as possible with an instant decision on coverage eligibility and allow them to start their coverage immediately. For many people, we can. That was one of the aspects of the process that frustrated me most when I went to buy a policy years ago, and ultimately, that experience is why I created Haven Life. You give up all this time and information about yourself and then have to wait several weeks to find out if you’re even eligible for a policy. Life Insurance buyers – who are usually husbands, wives, parents – want and deserve the instant peace of mind in knowing they have protected their family.

How can Haven Life limit the questions and still ensure good underwriting results as to not disrupt their long term profitability models?

It’s largely due to a combination of the underwriting platform and the mortality model we built in partnership with our parent company MassMutual. The application taking and underwriting process were traditionally two of the most time-consuming aspects of the Life Insurance buying process. The problem was that the data being reviewed was not dynamic and personalized to the individual and was also being reviewed manually. This led to many applicants answering questions that weren’t at all relevant to their situation. We were able to streamline the application and remove questions that weren’t needed in the underwriting process. Also, questions in our process are reflexive, so we only ask applicants questions that are relevant to their medical history. Lastly, we use industry standard third-party data sources, including Rx history, in order to identify cases which are eligible for our InstantTerm process or which may need additional information (like a medical exam). This allows us to improve and shorten a customer’s experience by tailoring the application process to each individual.

Snapsheet

Snapsheet is a claims management solution for US Automobile Insurance that has been around since 2011.  Snapsheet is a virtual claims provider that integrates with existing carriers to make the claims process frictionless for the carrier, customer and adjustors alike.  Their solution is white labelled and is currently being used by carriers like USAA, Liberty Mutual and The Hartford.  From the notice of loss to repair, the process takes about 2.5 days.  

But that wasn’t enough for Snapsheet.

On Tuesday, Snapsheet also made a big announcement, that they have partnered with Keybank, to launch Snapsheet Transactions, to complete the final step of the claims process – payment to the customer.  The industry standard for the US Automobile Insurance market is to pay claims by check.  A major reason to this is due to carriers having legacy systems and the checks enable for better recordkeeping.  However, with Snapsheet Transactions, Snapsheet is able to integrate directly with the legacy systems so they still have records, but now the actual payments are digital.  

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dan Colomb, CTO of Snapsheet and Alex Meisner, Director of Innovation for Snapsheet, during Insuretech Connect.  Below is a snippet from our conversation.

Summary

A cynic may look at these two announcements, and say, ‘big deal, Stephen, the first one does dynamic underwriting and moved a quote from the beginning to the end and called it a rate – and the other one is just doing e-payment, which was only a matter of time anyway’.  And that’s the problem (cue the foreshadowing for next week’s post..).  Many people are so concerned about the latest, greatest and sexiest chatbot, AI tool, drone, blockchain, etc, that they tend to overlook the fundamentals.  Let’s be transparent and give customers money in a timely manner.  Don’t get me wrong; the other stuff is cool, real cool.  And it is going to massively change and transform our industry.  However, as mentioned in my first post, the ‘existing stuff’, is still around, and is still going to be around for a long time.  Customers of the ‘existing stuff’ need enhancement to ensure that their experience is a great one.  

Stephen Goldstein is an experienced Insurance executive and Insurtech dealmaker with a core focus on growing revenue, launching go to market initiatives and advising industry leaders.

Get fresh daily insights from an amazing team of Fintech thought leaders around the world. Ride the Fintech wave by reading us daily in your email.

 

在保险科技监管层面,政府会伸出援助之手吗?

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What follows is a Chinese translation of today’s InsurTech post on Daily Fintech by Stephen Goldstein, with translation by Zarc from InsurView. This article will also appear in Chinese on the InsurView site. To read more Fintech content in Chinese, you can scan the following QR code by Wechat and subscribe to InsurView’s Wechat account.

以下是今日DailyFintech发布的由Stephen Goldstein撰写的InsurTech文章的中文翻译,由InsurView的Zarc进行翻译。 本文也将在InsurView网站上以中文显示。 要阅读更多Fintech的中文内容,您可以扫描以下二维码,并订阅InsurView的微信公众号。

今天我将引用一段特朗普的发言,当我在几周前开始撰写这一专栏时,我可没想到我第一次引用的发言竟是来自他的。

上周,特朗普总统在联合国发言时说道:

“任何一位有责任感的国家领导人都有义务为自己的人民服务、改善人民的生活条件,单一民族国家是实现该目标最好的载体。但是要想为人民带去更好的生活条件,我们(联合国成员)也要保持团结与和谐,为人民的美好生活创造一个安全和平的外部环境。”

DailyFintech并不是一家政治网站,所以在本文,我只关注保险科技以及其他金融服务的监管问题。

近年来,国际上的趋势是国家将自身发展的重要性放在了区域发展之上(比如英国退欧)。这一趋势对错与否我无法判断。看一看特朗普总统发言的最后一句话,“我们(联合国成员)也要保持团结与和谐,为人民的美好生活创造一个安全和平的外部环境”,我觉得这句话和保险行业的发展是息息相关的。

我曾经在美国、欧洲和亚洲工作并生活过。每一个我生活过的地方都各有特色,但也有其相似之处。就保险业来说,每个地区的差异主要体现在客户对保险的喜好和理解不同。不过,不同市场的客户在投资保险产品或其他金融产品时,考虑的最主要的事情是高度相似的:

  • 发行产品的金融机构,不论是保险公司还是银行,是否会破产?目前有哪些法律法规可以防止金融机构乱用我的钱?
  • 经纪人和代理人的佣金制度是怎样的?该制度是否会导致他们做出损害我的行为?
  • 金融机构会收集哪些关于我的数据?收集的方式是怎样的?这些数据的用途是什么?
  • 我的财产是否能稳健增值?

每个市场对于这些问题做出的回复都会不同。但这些问题的确反应了客户在购买金融产品前会思考的事情。

而监管制度的作用就在这里体现出来了。监管制度的作用应该是让客户服下定心丸,让他们知道“我投资的这些大型金融机构是受监管制度约束的,即使我并不懂年金保险、保单条款或指数基金的细节,但我知道,法律法规是会保护我的资产的。”

我在伦敦时,《零售分销评估》(PDR)正式启用。我在马来西亚时,官方发布了《寿险及家庭险框架》,该框架和新加坡的《金融咨询行业评估》非常相似。不久之后,《DOL受托人规则提议》也发布了。以上所有这些条例都是以保护消费者为目的,并且致力于将提升各个市场的行业价值。我当时还觉得,“如果不同国家的监管高层能够聚在一起,发现自己与他国的异同,他们或许能互相帮助对方完善法律法规,共同进步。”

本周,我看到了一些新闻,这些新闻也带来了希望:

英国金融行为监管局(FCA)和香港达成第三项金融科技协议

日本金融监管层和阿布扎比全球市场达成金融科技合作意向

美国与欧盟签订保险监管协议

美国与欧盟签订的保险监管协议中,有一条关于再保险的条款,“欧美两地的再保险公司在对方区域经营业务时,将不再被要求提供保证金或必须在当地有办公地点。”虽然我包括这一条款在内的整个协议有所保留,但是这些合作无疑突显了欧美监管层对于快速成长的市场力量的关注,并希望保护消费者的意愿。

许多金融科技和保险科技的创新都是令人惊奇的,并能为消费者提供完全不同于当前服务的体验。然而,大部分新科技发展的速度都太快了,快到监管都已经跟不上他们的发展步伐了。在有些地区,金融新产品的上市,甚至不需要经过监管层的同意,这意味着客户在购买这类金融产品时,将不会受到法律法规的保护。这类产品其实一直存在,但是随着数字化经济的大规模普及,这些产品的发行速度将远超以前。因此,监管层不应该仅将眼光局限于本国市场,更要放眼国外。国际保险监管组织(The International Association of Insurance Supervisors)可以帮助监管层做到这一点。以我的经验来看,保险监管层正在学习创新的进程,并且一直保持着开放和兼容的态度。那现在真正的问题就是,能够加强和推广创新的可行第一步是什么?解决这一问题,能够让创业公司即使在监管没有到位的情况下,自发地去找到并修补漏洞。随着Open Source Initiative这类平台的出现,全世界的人们都可以进行合作和交流了。借着这些平台,监管层完全可以全面了解其他国家的监管动向。所以,从保险业和金融服务业的角度来看,我们可以就如特朗普总统所说的那样,“为人民的美好生活创造一个安全和平的外部环境”。

很期待下周在Insuretech Connect上与各位相见!

Can governments collaborate when it comes to Insurtech regulation?

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When I first started writing this blog a few weeks ago, I never, ever thought the first quote that I used would be from Donald Trump, but here we go…

Last week, during his speech to the UN, President Trump said the following:

‘All responsible leaders have an obligation to serve their own citizens, and the nation state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition. But making a better life for our people also requires us to work together in close harmony and unity, to create a more safe and peaceful future for all people.’

Daily Fintech is not a political site and I will focus on Insurtech and financial services regulation within this post.  Although I have used a quote from Trump, this does not make me a supporter of him or his policies.

There has been a trend recently in the world with countries looking inward towards expanding their own economic priorities (i.e. Brexit).  I’m not going to debate whether this is right or wrong.  Looking at the end of Mr. Trump’s quote ‘making a better life for our people also requires us to work together in close harmony’, I find this to be the most interesting as it relates to our industry.  

As mentioned in my first post, I have lived and worked in the US, Europe and Asia.  Each place I lived in had many differences, but a lot of similarities too.  Within the insurance and financial services industry, the differences between product offerings and services in different countries primarily comes down to customer preferences and savviness.  However, the high level concerns that customers have when investing in an insurance or financial product are quite similar in almost all markets exist:

  • Will the financial institution, either insurance company or bank, become insolvent? And what sort of laws are in place to ensure the financial institution does not do something irresponsible with my money?
  • How are brokers/agents remunerated and does this drive bad behavior?
  • What sort of data is being collected on me, how is it being collected and how will it be used?
  • Am I getting good value for money?

The answers to these questions may be different, depending on the market.  They do form some of the fundamental questions that customers will have before making a decision to purchase.

This is where regulation comes in.  Regulation is there to help give customers peace of mind in saying ‘I know this big financial institution I am investing in has some rules governing it, and even though I may not understand this annuity/Insurance policy/ETF/fund, etc, I feel safe in knowing that there are laws that protect me.’  

When I was living in London, the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), was coming into effect.  While in Malaysia, the LIFE Framework was announced, which had a lot of similarities to FAIR in Singapore.  Not too long after this, the DOL Proposed Fiduciary Rule was released.  All of these were aimed, in some way shape or form at protecting consumer’s interest and enhancing the industry proposition in these respective markets.  I remember thinking at that time, ‘if these regulators just got together to discuss this, find out where the commonalities and differences are, then maybe they can help each other within their own regulations and probably gain from some lessons learnt in countries who have walked this path before them.’

Then, this week, I saw some news which gave me some hope:

FCA strikes third fintech pact with Hong Kong

Financial Regulators Of Japan And Abu Dhabi Global Market Cooperate On Fintech

U.S. and EU Sign Covered Agreement on Insurance Regulation

While I do have my reservations on the US and EU agreement and the statement regarding reinsurance to ‘eliminate collateral and local presence requirements for EU and U.S. reinsurers operating in each other’s markets,’ all of these collaborations represent a growing interest by regulators to understand quickly growing disrupting market forces, in an effort to protect the customer.  

Many of the innovations we are seeing in both Fintech and Insurtech are amazing, and will provide for a differentiating proposition and experience to customers than we see today.  However, many of these technologies are advancing at a speed much quicker than regulation can keep up with.  Depending on the market, and existing regulation in that market, new offerings can come to the market without even the need of being looked at by the regulator; meaning new financial solutions could be available to customers that have no protection to them whatsoever.  There have always been these kind of alternate solutions available, however in the age of accelerations and digital economy we are living in, these can be launched, marketed and distributed faster than ever before.  As such, it is important for regulators to not look inward only to what they are experiencing in their home market, but also what is happening abroad.  The International Association of Insurance Supervisors, could help with this.  From my experience, regulators are learning about innovation and are generally quite open and receptive to it.  Now the real question is what are some of the tangible first steps that can be taken to enhance and promote innovation?  This can help to avoid an Uber type situation in insurance where startups are forced to look for loopholes and other ways to do it, in spite of regulation.

With platforms like Open Source Initiative, people can collaborate and share ideas worldwide.  As such, it would make sense that regulators stay on top of developments in other countries, so from an Insurance and Financial services standpoint, we can, as Mr. Trump so eloquently puts it, ‘create a more safe and peaceful future for all people.’

Look forward to seeing many of you next week at Insuretech Connect!

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Stephen Goldstein is an experienced Insurance executive and Insurtech dealmaker with a core focus on growing revenue, launching go to market initiatives and advising industry leaders.

Get fresh daily insights from an amazing team of Fintech thought leaders around the world. Ride the Fintech wave by reading us daily in your email.