Some of last years’ candidates in the report include Neos, Zego and Cytora
Oxbow Partners has revealed the 25 technology led businesses it believes to be “well positioned” to have a major impact in the UK.
The Insurtech Impact 25 2019 report found that a new category has emerged – distribution support, which it defines as “a company trying to acquire its own end customers through distribution and proposition innovation.”
This refers to insurtechs connecting capacity to distribution, but not pursuing sales themselves.
Chris Sandilands, partner at Oxbow Partners told Insurance Times: “What we are seeing is a new category emerging where insurtechs are helping insurance companies sell products better by using technology.
“That means the best for both worlds, by providing technology to an insurance company you have access to their existing customer base and therefore benefit from a lower cost to customer acquisition.”
This trend he said did exist previously but over the last 12 months it has been reinforced.
Now in its second year, the 2019 report addresses the question – “Which insurtechs can add value to my company?”
It follows last year’s report which predicted that insurance executives would shift from being “excited by ideas and opportunities” to “demanding results,” a change from hype to impact.
Some of last years’ candidates include Neos which partnered with Aviva to improve escape of water claims, Zego that has recently announced its plans for expansion and Cytora which has doubled in size.
Sandilands explained: “When insurtech launched 2-3 years ago, a lot of executives saw this opportunity to disrupt the market.
“I think the reality is insurance moves reasonably slowly because people generally only buy a product once a year and therefore you have to catch a consumer at exactly the right time and hope that they choose the right product.”
But he said launching in any area of insurance is difficult. For consumer or policy holder facing insurtechs you have the challenge of customer acquisition.
However, if you are supplier insurtech – one trying to sell to other companies - you have the problem of low sales cycles.
It also found that there has been a shift towards commercial lines.
Impact 25 Members
Impact 25 Members were selected by Oxbow Partners based on an assessment of the impact and sustainability of their strategy, execution capabilities and existing traction.
The Impact 25 members are:
Distribution: Finabro, FloodFlash, Inshur, Yulife, Zeguro
Distribution Support: Broker Insights, Element, Hokodo, Laka, Ottonova, Tremor
Data & Analytics: Concirrus, DQPro, Inforcehub, Metabiota, Pharm3r, Shepherd
Operations: Artificial Labs, Digital Insurance Group, Insly, McKenzie Intelligence, OnSiteIQ, Whitespace
Claims: Bdeo, Snapsheet
Oxbow Partners chairman, Stuart Davies added: “This year we have selected 25 insurtechs that we think are worthy of senior executives’ attention.
“We included a broad range, including a programmatic auction platform for reinsurance placement, a gamified B2B2C life insurance platform and a German ‘full stack’ health insurer.”
The data showed that later stage investments are increasing, up by 80% in 2018, from 70% in 2017.
In terms of funding, he said that: “What we see is that a lot of the funding that people are putting into insurtechs is being weighted to later stage rounds, we are arguing is that if funding is becoming later stage than you need investors with deeper pockets and those are general in the US not in Europe.”
What that means is that insurtechs with links to the US will be able to raise bigger investment funds.
The report showed that US companies had raised more funding than European ones.
According to Willis Towers Watson, $4.2bn was raised in 2018 compared to $2.2bn the previous year.
Sandilands said that if US investment increases, Europe will no longer be the test bed for insurtech.
It also found that artificial intelligence, automation, machine learning, digital platforms and geospatial analysis for underwriting and claims have matured.
Going forward Sandilands said that European expansion will be seen for many firms.
“Insurtech is a tool for implementing a strategy or enhancing their operations, so its no longer being seen as a thing on the side but rather a core building block of corporate development.
“I think there will be much more focus on how you can use insurtech to achieve a claims transformation, and we will see a bigger trend with more companies going international.”
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