Published on Sep 06, 2018

We love our labels and to be part of a crowd. Yet we also like to be seen as outsiders, individuals, pioneers and disruptors to add more labels. For my part I wonder what all the labels are really about. In terms of InsureTech, is it not just business? A business that is moving, investing, rather than standing still.

TonkaBI is meant to be part of InsureTech – why? Because we are a tech company focused on the insurance industry, leading AI innovation and building machine learning tools, constantly researching the next best thing. But does that make us part of InsureTech? It’s like eCommerce – isn’t that just Commerce, when do you drop the 'e'? Today what is the ‘e’ for? Do these labels just segment those that 'are doing' from those that 'aren’t doing'?

Surely there is more to ‘InsureTech’ than just doing tech work for insurance clients or building a fruity app to exploite a millennial segmented group. I believe there is a lot more to innovation in the insurance industry than a bit of tech that looks ‘cool’ and speeds up the journey to buy a policy.

Buying a policy is just the spike of an iceberg that is the most prominent part of the insurance journey, there is so much behind the scenes and below the water line.

What really makes a difference? And to who? And Why? To be truly innovative the whole process needs to be taken apart and rebuilt. Tech is part of it for sure, but so is the actual wording of the policy and how claims are determined and paid and then there is treating a policy holder like a person and not a number or a fraud. An not to mention the business models of brokers, agents and insurance companies.

Wordings/Policies, these are the contracts that you buy and use in event of a claim. When these are presented there is often some ‘cool’ message from the ‘Founder’ and then the old-style wording that the customer (policy holder) is meant to understand. These wordings and policies are written from cobbled together clauses and paragraphs and are designed to protect the insurance company more than just pay out to the customer. Where is the innovation here? Check this out - - Its full of endorsements and statements about what’s not covered and can be confusing to many, even using many different fonts and styles. The best I have seen is here - - but where is the tech in this – we need to use tech to build specific policies and wordings for each customer, make them relevant and meaningful without treating a customer as a dumb idiot.

Claims, this after all is the whole point of buying ‘insurance’ and yet many an insurance company or broker or agent pass on the responsibility of dealing with the claim to a ‘third party administrator’ (TPA). Remember the insurance company and brokers only earn money when the policy is purchased, the claim and the work of the claim is a cost. Why don’t they own the whole process?

Claims process is where innovation should be cantered within the industry – making the claims process clear, easy, quick and transparent. Focusing here is where innovations should spread to and from other parts of the process, always coming back to the actual point of a policy – the ability to make a claim when certain events conspire against the policy holder. The aim for the customer is to know what they can do to mitigate risks and then who deals with the claim in the event of calling on the policy to perform. Again, this is why you buy insurance, to make possible risky things.

At TonkaBI, we have built parametric insurance policies and processes. The buying of the policy and the claim very tightly coupled and easy to understand – causes and effect. These process improvements should be the celebrated tech innovations rather than slapping a couple of pages on top of an old policy and building it around a UI in a funky font. TonkaBI is involved with processing Auto claims, determining the claim from a set of pictures within in minutes rather than hours or days. Surly this is a better celebration of tech innovation, lets celebrate the payment of claims, not how cool the buying of a policy is, I know its important to look good etc but it’s not innovative – it’s just good design.

TonkaBI has been involved with developing many ‘new’ insurance policies and schemes and this is where more emphasis needs to be put in the insurance industry. Getting the giant companies to do some underwriting in new areas. Lloyds is means to be a leader here, yet they take months and years to move into new areas, often only focusing on already successful companies who pay for their inefficiencies, leaving the new small companies uninsured or facing huge bills.

And why is this? Because of the insurers inability to deliver new products at reasonable costs. Minimum premiums can be thousands of $ for new areas of risk. Companies like AirBnB and Uber have had to lead the way in insurance, initially being ‘self-insured’ for example. These companies force parts of the industry along, yet this innovation does not easily spread across the insurance industry. Again, is Tech the way to bring innovation into these areas?

Finally, InsureTech is way behind other IndustryTech areas and hardly at the leading edge of Tech as Google or Elon Musk would define it. And yet this area is a fantastic opportunity for companies like TonkaBI – we know insurance and we can leverage existing technology to benefit our clients and to open opportunity for ourselves at very low risk. Is this InsureTech? No, I think its just business and using tech sensibly.

At TonkaBI we are well acquainted with many industries and can offer end to end solutions that take advantage of analytics, machine learing and AI. TonkaBI is uniquely positioned to deliver and support clients globally.

clients and tags #parametrics microinsurance and shared economy insurance

Tags #captive #machinelearning #artificialintelligence #claims #AI

Posted in Insurance AI Blog on Sep 06, 2018