The new frontier for insurtech

The insurance industry felt the first wave of insurtech with the emergence of the internet in the 1990s when bricks-and-mortar commerce slowly made its way on to the web. At the time it seemed like a life-changing disrupter for agencies across the globe, but it was only a glimpse at what was to come.

Now, insurance agencies have access to comparative raters, management systems, online marketing tools and more, as an arsenal of technologies is available in the 21st century. So, with all that is out there, what possibly could come next?

Claims management, apparently, according to Willis Towers Watson’s recent Quarterly InsurTech Briefing Q2 2017 report – and Laird Rixford, president of Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC), agrees.

“Where insurtech is starting to make its real roads in and where we will see it truly make the biggest impact is in the back offices for carriers. What’s coming next is the back-end for carriers and carrier claims management,” he says.

There are a host of opportunities in the claims management area, explains Rixford. Auto carriers, for example, are now testing or offering technology that gives insureds the ability to take a photo of auto damage and submit it to a bot that can instantly report what’s damaged, how much it will cost to repair and more just from a simple photo.

“There’s a lot of players out there that are looking to automate their claims process and remove individuals to make it quicker, faster and more efficient for the consumer to actually file that claim,” says Rixford. “You hear about parties out there that have fully automated AI bots that can file a claim without the insured ever talking to a single person.”

For agents and brokers who may be thinking this type of technology is encroaching into their space, Rixford disagrees.

“[This technology] can actually enable agents and brokers to become claims adjusters in their own right,” he says. “Brokers can use this technology from a carrier and to take photos of an insured’s damage, instantly assess the damage, and handle the entire claims process from start to finish, strengthening the relationship with the insured. The consumer gets this wonderful experience from the channel; a seamless, low touch and great experience that can be afforded towards the consumers and it really starts with the carriers enabling the technology for their agents and brokers.”

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