You can’t tell the players in insurtech without a scorecard.
Here’s one for reference: Crunchbase’s website lists 642 insurtech firms.
- Their combined total equity funding is $6.1 billion.
- Their average founding date is April 2011.
- They have cool names like Pie Insurance, TheGuarantors, Premonition, and Descartes Underwriting.
- Investor types include accelerator, incubator, angel group, venture capital, and entrepreneurship program.
The database goes on. And by the time you read this, the number of insurtech firms probably is beyond 650, and growing.
I like to use Crunchbase to glimpse the sustained, significant investment into the world of insurtech. This influx of funding and rethinking is valuable to all stakeholders in the insurance industry.
What a database doesn’t tell me, though, is how much on-the-ground insurance experience is part of any insurtech firm. That’s vital to know. Perhaps more than any other industry, the insurance business has a significant amount of “legacy” knowledge. And any new technology solution must recognize the reality and significant history of any one risk, any one account, any one customer, any one market, or any one line of business.
My colleagues at AVYST and I believe that insurance experience is a prerequisite for insurtech effectiveness. As much as this industry needs to make insurance workflows more efficient using technology, it needs knowledgeable professionals in at least as much measure.
For me, the most-lasting vision for any insurance firm is to combine the tried-and-true process of insurance risk management with the latest science of technology and the art of sales and customer experience.
The workflow and product innovation that come out of the insurance industry must be part of the long-term insurtech solutions for the independent agent channel. Silicon Valley’s startup mentality, money, and focus on big-picture change are a key strategic resource for the IA channel. Those firms and leaders that recognize both elements can provide the most value to independent agent channel carriers, agents and brokers, wholesalers and other firms.
I think of insurance and insurtech as peanut butter and chocolate together. You might like one better than the other, but the combination makes a unique and wonderful recipe for success.
How vital do you think insurance knowledge is to insurtech success? Leave us your ideas.