Is this a new age of insurance industry partnerships?

Man checking digital trends on computer at work

MELBOURNE – 13 APRIL 2022– Kanopi is proud to be an associated sponsor at Insurance Business Australia‘s Insurtech Summit 2022, where insurance leaders from some of Australia’s most notable brands will showcase the tools, tech, and strategies shaping the future of the insurance industry. 

At the upcoming InsurTech Summit Australia on May 05, attendees can expect to enjoy a tasty but thoughtful lunch. Kanopi Cover, the VIP Lunch Sponsor, will use the opportunity to highlight one of the growing trends across Australia’s insurance industry: partnerships.

“The theme is going to be Creating Value: Driving Growth Through Partnerships,” said Kanopi CEO Nigel Fellowes-Freeman.

The Melbourne based insurtech expert said the insurance industry is entering a new collaborative phase. Fellowes-Freeman compared this to the fintech industry that in years past tried to out-compete the banks. Today, banks and fintechs are in partnerships.

“We’re really big on collaboration and big on enablement and so the discussion is going to be about how do we foster great relationships between incumbents and new technology companies and how can we rely on both skillsets to power the new age of the insurance world,” he said.

This year’s InsurTech Summit, a leading insurtech event, will explore 2022’s most exciting emerging technology. The Summit will cover hot topics, including customer experience, regtech and intelligent automation (IA).

Fellowes-Freeman said insurers have already moved from a mindset that once saw insurtechs as competition, to more of a collaborative attitude.

“I think it’s very much moving to that place and that’s really what we’ve seen. That shift has happened and is happening at a board level in all these insurance companies,” he said.

The Kanopi boss said insurers understand that they can’t build everything themselves.

“So, their mindset is to buy, build or partner – and that partnership is a really big part of their strategic play,” he said.

But don’t the big insurance companies have their own IT and innovation divisions devoted to the uptake of new technologies? How amicable can this insurer/insurtech relationship really be?

“They do, yes, they have their IT, innovation and venture divisions, absolutely,” said Fellowes-Freeman. “But what we’re seeing is those divisions really being the intermediary or the way into the insurers because they have a pulse on what’s happening, they know what needs to be done and they have an appreciation for how hard it is to get that done in an enlarged ship like an insurer.”

The CEO was confident that the insurer’s internal, digitally focused divisions represent an opportunity for collaboration rather than “things that we should be nervous of.”

One key issue insurers can struggle with during a digital transformation, according to many brokers, is the time it takes for them to actually implement any digital changes. Kanopi sees this as an insurtech opportunity.

Fellowes-Freeman said product creation, internal build and the launch process for a big insurer can be an 18-month to two-year process.

“Plug here, but Kanopi is built to enable an insurer to build, launch and manage an insurance proposition in six weeks,” he said, adding that insurtechs can also do this much more cost-effectively than an insurer alone.

“I think that there are infrastructure and platform players like ourselves that are in the market enabling insurers who find it really challenging to solve [these digital issues] themselves so are looking to partner to solve that problem,” he said.

Parametric products are an insurance area where insurer/insurtech partnerships could flourish.

“They’ll definitely have an impact and they’ll definitely be a specialty line that will grow,” said Fellowes-Freeman.

He mentioned current areas of growth for parametric options including their use for floods, fires and earthquakes.

“I think that some of the late legacy technology within the insurers will struggle to write that business because they don’t have the technology to be able to write it and so they’ll look to probably partner to deliver those new types of product,” he said.

Kanopi joins a range of other industry stakeholders leading the debate on insurtech issues at the Summit.

Other speakers include Matt Paterson, nib’s group chief operations officer. Paterson is a speaker on the panel, Engaging customers in a digital environment.

Probir Dutt, automation evangelist who leads automation efforts across IAG (Insurance Australia Group) will talk about: Balancing the value of intelligent automation (IA) with unintended consequences. The philosophical note in the talk title could be a result of Dutt’s background as not just a tech expert but also a composer and screenwriter for films.

Louise Portelli, founder and principal at Melita Consulting, is the chairperson at the upcoming event and will be giving the opening speech. Portelli is a former Big Four partner and lectures at the University of Sydney in Change & Transformation, Leadership and Strategy.

A range of other industry leaders from insurance industry companies including Berkley Insurance, Swiss ReZurich Financial Services and QBE Ventures will also be speaking.

The 2022 InsurTech Summit Australia took place at the Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney on May 05 2022. The one-day event brought together Australia’s top insurance companies for a day of networking opportunities, panel discussions, case studies and presentations on strategies to remain innovative and equipped for the future of insurance.