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Insurtech a win-win for insurers and customers, expert says

19 Jun 2018

The insurance market is benefiting from an increase in technology – something that will also benefit most consumers over the coming years.

That’s according to InsurTechNZ chair Jason Roberts, who says that new tech companies are entering the scene and traditional firms are now embracing advanced technologies.

“The insurance sector is also testing new technologies to better assess or manage their risks. Even some of the simplest processes, once digitalised, provide huge upside for both customers and insurers,” he says.

The New Zealand insurtech is also being driven by customer expectation of instant digital transactions across multiple channels – something many tech companies are experimenting with in a number of ways.

“For example, New Zealand insurtech startup, Fireform, has created a platform for managing fire alarm shutdown periods helping large corporations better manage their fire safety and helping insurance firms to better calculate and reduce risk,” he says.

Roberts also notes that insurance companies are conducting early drone testing for damage assessments – this could lead to quicker claim processing after mass damage events like earthquakes and floods.

“Most people won’t be aware that they may already be engaging with an artificial intelligence (AI) via a chatbot or automated intelligent customer service system when purchasing insurance or making a claim as insurtech firms quickly deploy AI.”

“One of the fastest growing global insurance firms, Lemonade, has replaced brokers and bureaucracy with bots and machine learning, enabling a zero paperwork and instant everything experience,” Roberts continues.

“This rapid change is bringing both opportunity and challenge as the industry and government grapple with the implications of robo-advice and an almost unlimited array of insurance possibilities.

“As a leading member of the global insurtech alliance and our ability as a country to adapt regulations relatively quickly, we expect New Zealand consumers to gain the benefits if we can adapt our systems fast enough.”

InsurTechNZ has formed with the support of the New Zealand FinTech group to bring focus to opportunities.

According to FinTechNZ general manager James Brown, New Zealand’s fintech sector is growing faster compared to anywhere else in the world – we’re tracking at 48%, compared to a global average of 31-33%.

“We can certainly learn from the number one fintech hub in the world and further the reach NZ has within the fintech sector,” Brown said earlier in May.

The New Zealand fintech and insurtech markets get together on November 29 in Auckland at the New Zealand fintech summit to investigate the most advanced innovations across the financial and insurance sectors.

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