The Global Trends Shaping Insurance Industry in 2020

By Natalia Markovskaia, Dhiren Chatlani

The Insurance Industry has been at the forefront of innovation. Companies are investing heavily in new technologies and applications to catalyze this growth. Maintaining a fair understanding of the top trends in Insurtech is essential to securing the long-term viability of any insurance endeavour. Not only to keep up with industry standards and expectations, but to ensure customer satisfaction. This article aims to highlight some of the key trends we expect to see in 2020, many of which will follow into the coming decade.

2020 Trends and Our Sources 

This data comes from our own internal analysis. It is pulled from our tacit knowledge in the industry and comprehensive interviews conducted with our anchor and corporate partners from our Insurtech program. Last year our Venture team spoke with over a thousand startups from all over the world, and these conversations served us a great data source for this article. 


Life and Health Insurance Trends for 2020 

Life and health

The life and health space in Insurtech is perhaps one of the most promising sectors in the insurance industry. With the advent of modern technology that caters to specific individuals, we now have access to processing power to analyze the market and optimize products and services. This ranges from customized chatbots to real-time data streams through the IoT. Although these fields may be relatively new to the industry, they are gaining ever increasing popularity and recognition. These trends are expected to last through the coming year, and possibly beyond. 

1. Emphasizing Customer Experience

Heeding the direction of startups and innovators in the field, insurers should start to put more emphasis on updating their approach to customer experience. Creating user-friendly platforms will appeal to the latest generations of consumers. This is made easier by automating the entire process of the insurance interaction, from selecting and purchasing an insurance to claims processing and more. 

For example, AI startups have been able to accomplish advancements in computer vision, which has the potential in the medical field of the visual diagnosis of certain external illnesses like skin diseases. Machine learning has made it possible to make advancements in natural language processing, which can be used to create programs like chatbots. This will make it possible for customers to ask insurance and medical questions without the need for human interaction, making the process more accurate, cost effective, and faster. 

2. Accessing the Internet of Things (IoT) 

Interest in the IoT has remained popular and constant. The IoT accesses data about customer behavior and individual variables, which helps to further optimize and refine products and services. AI may also be used to analyze this data and recognize new and never before seen trends, which in turn helps us come up with other outcomes and develop new ideas. Wearable devices track an individual’s movements, habits, and other health facts and create a comprehensive dataset to pull from (such as heart rate at work or sleep patterns). Further, we can cross this data with medical information to reach conclusions we were not able to reach before.

3. Data Sources and Holistic Datasets 

Data management startups have become an ever-increasing entity in the professional market and provide us with access to datasets we may never have encountered in the past. Data management has itself become a booming industry and has maintained a constant interest to Insurtech. This is of course related to the previously mentioned IoT, which gathers the raw data, but also pertains to new methods of data analysis and processing.

4. Connecting Data Management to AI 

The new and exciting relationship between data management and AI provides a variety of new possibilities. This interesting combination has made it possible to form new insight into older fields like medicine. For example, to make strides in early detection or prevention of certain diseases. Startups seem to have a constant or rising interest in this in particular, offering solutions for early disease detection remotely or through wearables. 

5. Medical Apps gain value through remote approaches

Remote tech can be used in a variety of versatile ways. For example, it can help to analyze and diagnose problems in a person’s microbiome and health related issues that may arise from them. Most of this data comes from wearable devices. This all serves to improve customer service, efficiency, and accuracy, thereby improving the customer experience. Another example are telemedicine apps that allow us to connect with the qualified doctors whenever needed, get a diagnosis and treatment plan online. In the hard times of COVID-19, these solutions are valuable if not critical.

Property and Casualty Insurance Trends for 2020

Property and Casualty

Property and casualty may be more tech driven than you’d expect. Advancements in technology have made it possible for us to collect much more data from customers and optimize our services accordingly, everything from automobile to property-aimed tech has made it possible to expand the scope of data collection and analysis. These trends are some of the leaders in the field in terms of consistent innovation and expected prevalence in the coming year. 

1. Growing IoT Data and AI Analysis 

The IoT and AI are not only applicable to the life and health sector, in a similar way it has many applications to property and casualty as well. For example, the IoT has become an important part of a home environment for many consumers through products like Google Nest or other smart home devices. Mountain View’s startup Hippo in addition to the insurance policy offers a 2-sensor smart home monitoring system to protect homes against fire, water damage and break-ins. 

All of these devices and technology have been able to gather valuable data on consumer habits and their property management. AI can also help companies to analyze this data in new and innovative ways. 

2. More Data Means the Rise of Data Management 

IoT is consolidating as a data source in the industry. Startups of the future now focus on new data sources, and we have seen a steady increase in the quantity of available data. These new data sources range from satellite imagery to foot traffic, and much more. Now we have more data to work with and, therefore, more data to manage. 

3. Fintech and the Integration of API 

The financial sector has seen a marked increase in their awareness and willingness to incorporate cutting-edge technology. With this rush towards innovation there has been a rise in the integration of APIs in new and exciting ways. Case in point: in January 2018, the UK implemented its Open Banking Statement requiring the biggest banks to provide data to third parties via APIs. This initiative directly influenced the emergence of new innovative startups and use cases around the industry. This decade will see increased competition from outsiders and industry professionals alike. 

4. Telematics 

Telematics, the partnering of telecommunications and information technology, has become a standard part of modern day-to-day life. As such, it already has access to millions of customers. It is notable here that sectors like the automobile industry, have exerted steady and consistent attention on their telematic technology. 

A great example is Voom Insurance. The company’s first product, SkyWatch.AI, leverages the power of machine learning to assess and mitigate risks and provide on-demand insurance for thousands of drone pilots operating across the US.

Autobon is another telematics player that turns America's existing semi-trucks into safer and more efficient vehicles. They created their custom Transportation Management System that integrates with vehicle telematics and automates the highway portion of long-haul trips. They also offer a set of custom APIs like GPS Tracking, Real-Time Video Feedback, and Delivery Information. 

Conclusion

As technology advances and becomes more integrated in modern life, we can expect an ever changing stream of innovation. By paying attention to the top trends and leading innovations, we are able to predict and adapt to new developments in this growing and expanding industry. Through fair assessments, these trends are expected to continue or rise in 2020.

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