In light of current challenges arising from geopolitical volatility, macroeconomic factors, climate threats, and technology disruption, the insurance sector's ability to harness innovation has never been more important. Insurers need to actively search and embrace the benefits of emerging technology aiming to reshape both their technological infrastructure and their approach to evolving client needs.
However, many organisations find themselves uncertain about where to initiate the process and what kind of technology to implement. Below we outline the process we used to support PwC to be at the forefront of innovation in the Insurance sector and how their large corporate clients can collaborate with scale-ups to remain competitive in a rapidly changing technological world.
From Challenges to Solutions: PwC and GrowthBuilders Journey in Insurtech Innovation
To guide insurers through this uncertain landscape, GrowthBuilders and PwC once again teamed up for the Scale InsurTech Programme. Delving deep into the core industry challenges faced by PwC's large Insurance clients, we uncovered many use cases for innovative solutions and an increased appetite to adopt them. Brokers and MGA's are impacted by constant regulatory changes that influence their distribution strategies. Additionally, the rise of emerging technologies, offering faster and more affordable services, adds pressure as customers increasingly seek more personalised and digital experiences.
This PwC Scale InsurTech programme is a strategic initiative that aims to accelerate innovation and growth in the continually evolving realm of insurance technology. This 12-week initiative is strategically designed to foster collaborations and partnerships between Insurance industry leaders and InsurTech scale-ups to bring fresh strategies for driving profitability, innovation and mutual growth. Over the course of the programme, scale-ups receive a business growth curriculum to rapidly scale, highlight industry trends and drive operational efficiency.
To identify the best solutions, we conducted a thorough analysis of over 1,000 scale-ups within the InsurTech sector focussing on those with proven traction specifically capable of digitising and improving operations for Brokers, MGA's, and Agents.
How are we revolutionising InsurTech with our selected solutions?
What solutions do major insurance companies prioritise?
We ran two innovation showcase events hosting 86 industry leaders from 58 companies from the Insurance sector, such as Bupa, Allianz, Zurich, Miller, Munich Re, Chaucer, The Hartford, Axis Capital and more. The attendee list also featured investors and wider leaders such as as IBM, Legal & General and Citigroup.
These organisations gained first-hand exposure to the most innovative solutions demonstrating the tangible benefits of adapting and embracing new technology.
At the event, the attendees had the opportunity to request targeted connections to the scale-ups, with 116 bespoke introductions being made in total to explore further collaboration.
Artificial Intelligence is the most popular category.
Embracing AI and addressing specific technological aspects is crucial for insurance companies to stay competitive and responsive to the changing landscape.
Glynn Austen-Brown, PwC Insurance Partner, said
“AI is approaching faster than anticipated, and it is no longer a distant prospect but something imminent. To improve operational efficiency and increase customer engagement, insurance companies are advised to focus on specific areas: incorporating embedded insurance, integrating into distribution platforms, transitioning to a cloud-native infrastructure, and optimising data management.”
The second most popular category is Fraud detection.
This comes as no surprise, as the evolution of criminal tactics makes fraud detection in insurance claims increasingly challenging, resulting in substantial losses for the industry. In the year 2022 alone, the estimated worth of fraudulent insurance claims amounted to £1.1 billion. The adoption of innovative technologies which leverage artificial intelligence and deep learning, ensures the legitimacy of processed documents, resulting in significant cost savings for insurance organisations.
The third highlighted category is cyber insurance technology.
Becoming more popular as large companies with high-value assets and extensive digital infrastructure are increasingly vulnerable to evolving cyber threats. Despite the growing demand for cyber insurance, it is suggested that insurance organisations may encounter difficulties in developing strong services internally. Therefore, the adoption of innovative solutions in this category can be crucial in providing support for more precise underwriting, efficient product distribution, and reducing loss ratios by offering comprehensive risk reports and monitoring services.
Supporting large corporates with successful transformation
The necessity of innovation is no longer a question, as organisations understand that they lack solutions to address challenges arising from both internal and external environments. Corporates should be prepared to adopt innovation, so here are three considerations to get started:
1. Explore solutions in the market to set up priorities
Whether you're struggling with a current challenge or seeking to enhance your existing strategy, explore the emerging technology market through horizon scanning. This exercise will broaden your understanding of digital capabilities and introduce fresh perspectives to fuel innovative thinking. Next, begin developing key scale-up criteria that are tailored to your requirements, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
Focus on your priorities and available resources—whether acquiring tools for a more customer-centric approach, expanding service distribution, or maximising data usage capabilities. Achieving success can be as simple as starting by making a single change. If you're unsure where to start, we're always here to assist 🚀
2. Be 'collaboration ready'
Scale-ups and corporates share a common vision: to improve the insurance industry and meet client needs more rapidly, cost-effective and deliver better results. Achieving this requires a collaborative, synergistic approach. Corporates can engage with scale-ups in various ways: by investing in technology, talent, and new verticals that align with their business goals, or by collaborating to transform tech infrastructure, increase operational efficiency, create innovative products, and stay ahead in the competitive landscape. Corporates typically have lengthy procurement processes designed for working with other large providers but aren't scale-up friendly for smaller, more agile experimental projects. With the right internal senior sponsorship, SME stakeholders and processes, innovation can be massively streamlined!
3. Break barriers in your innovation process
Some companies underestimate the significance of innovation and often treat it as a side project. However, this is a misunderstanding of how transformative it can be. On the one hand, over the years of working with large corporates, we've noticed a more positive shift—interest in researching and implementing innovation has increased, innovation teams are expanding, and there's a growing number of Corporate Venture Capital initiatives. But even though companies are putting innovation on their to-do list for the upcoming year, there's still a lot of room for more. Many organisations recognise their problems and acknowledge that emerging technology can solve them, but they're not sure how to turn that awareness into action and benefit from the external ecosystem to achieve their objectives.
GrowthBuilders facilitate collaboration between corporates and scale-ups, simplifying the process of identifying the right solutions—making it easier, faster, and cheaper. That's why trusted organisations like PwC rely on us to deliver valuable results. Whether you're starting your innovation journey, feeling stuck in the process, or simply want to chat and share insights, reach out. We're here to accelerate growth together! Get in Touch!