The Cooley team had a busy ITC, attending seminars and breakouts, meeting clients and contacts and immersing themselves in the world of Insurtech. More details of Cooley's extensive work in the Insurtech space can be found here.
What were the takeaways from the conference?
A recurring theme from speakers and delegates was that Insurtech is a booming area (and over 7,000 attendees at ITC this year would tend to support that). But there was also a sense that there is still a long way to go in the mission to bring technology and innovation to bear on the traditionally conservative insurance industry, whether that be by the use of AI to streamline claims processes, finding new ways to properly manage and use the vast amounts of data now available to insurance companies (both traditional carriers and insurtechs) or seeking methods to distribute insurance in innovative ways, for example by making use of API technology to enable "instant click" insurance to be purchased by consumers in a non-insurance context.
Another key message that came through from a number of the speakers at the conference was that the application of tech to the insurance industry did not necessarily entail aggressive disruption of the incumbents and that insurtechs and the traditional insurance market did not have to work against each other. While in the past, the theme of ITC was centred on disrupting established players in the market, this ITC the focus was on cooperating with established stakeholders to transform the insurance industry together.
A final theme at ITC was the maturing of the insurtech market and the way in which those involved were seeking to arrange their operations. More and more start-ups who began life as MGAs or brokers are now seeking to make the next step and become fully operating carriers in their own right. Similarly, profitable exit strategies for start-ups in the insurtech arena were becoming more common and the general feel was of an upward trajectory for the market.