How will we innovate in insurance in the post-pandemic world? How does this change the landscape for insurtech entrepreneurs?
I recently participated in a podcast hosted by the Society of Actuaries and moderated by Robert Eaton, a member of the SOA’s board of directors and an avid podcaster, predominantly in the Insurtech space. Tim Rozar, Chief of Staff to RGA’s CEO, joined us in the discussion to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on insurtechs and innovation in the insurance industry.
Listen to InsurTech: Innovation and Entrepreneurship During the Pandemic
Here are a few highlights from our discussion:
There was a great deal of discussion around how businesses across all industries have had to adapt to events that pretty much nobody saw coming. Sure, we have plans for contingencies like global pandemics, but as Mike Tyson said, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
2. The Way We Work
Part of the discussion on adaptation centered around the way we work. When the global pandemic became apparent, almost immediately, companies like ours put our Business Continuity plan to work and began moving employees to work-from-home arrangements. As I shared in the podcast, this was an interesting dynamic for me, as I was a remote worker before the pandemic. In a way, having everyone remote put us all on an equal footing. Instead of calling into a conference room full of people, video conferencing lets me see the people I’m talking to. And, all of a sudden, everyone is in the same boat and communicating in the same way.
3. Changing Industry Norms
We also talked about the impact of COVID-19 on the assumptions we make about our industry, such as “life insurance is sold not bought.” That’s been a truism for so long that few people questioned what “selling” a policy looked like – at least until our current landscape made it nearly impossible to meet with potential customers face-to-face. Insurtechs had already been redefining these norms, but COVID-19 accelerated the pace of change.
4. Appetite for Risk
Finally, we spoke about how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect the carrier’s appetite for risk and how they assess it. It’s too early to tell, for sure, but Tim, Robert, and I kicked around a few interesting ideas. When it comes to insurtech innovation, what seemed like a “crazy idea” in 2019, often doesn’t sound so crazy in 2020. So, if you were looking for a reason to test out that new innovative concept or begin mapping out what your ideal digital customer journey might look like, now is the time. Here’s your sign.
I invite you to take a listen. If you have comments, a great way to share them is through our RGAX LinkedIn page.