Ivan Kruk/123RF

What Trends Are Shaping Insurance In 2019? 13 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 26 June 2019
  • Sam Mire

Certain trends define the insurance industry, and they have for decades. For example, smokers tend to live shorter lives than active, otherwise healthy non-smokers. A home in a flood zone will come with higher insurance premiums. And living in Florida, known in insurance circles for its abundance of fraudsters, will result in higher vehicle insurance rates.

But insurance trends also range beyond the unchanging facts of the industry. These insiders have witnessed the shifting sands of the insurance industry, and they lend us their view on the trends most impacting insurance:

1. Patricia Renzi, Principal at Milliman

Pat Renzi“I would say the trend I find most exciting is microinsurance. The ability to use technology to reach unserved (not underserved) markets is exciting for insurers and for society. It connects on a human level.”


2. David Peterson, Senior Director of Marketing and Strategy at HealthMarkets

David Peterson“Artificial intelligence, cloud computing and predictive analytics are already playing roles in the insurance industry and that will absolutely continue.”


3. Jayant Lakshmikanthan, CEO and Founder of CLARA analytics

Jayant Lakshmikanthan“We are witnessing relatively quick developments and sparks of innovation, considering the overall life cycle of the insurance industry. AI and machine learning applications should be leveraged to streamline and better inform the decisions humans must make. When this happens, workers are freed up to focus on the facets of their jobs that matter the most. In addition to benefits to workers, organizations experience multiples of improvement in cost savings by increased efficiency, accuracy and better predictions generally. Simultaneously, customer service and patient care improve by providing answers and resources tailored to their specific case in a fraction of the time.”

4. Karn Saroya, CEO of Cover

Karn Saroya“Across the board, we’re seeing folks decide to build insurance products of their own or move towards being full stack insurance entities since they are the beneficiaries of the most capital. It’s a matter of companies either partnering with incumbents or building full-stack operations themselves, and there are pros and cons to each approach. Incumbents tend to move slower, so insurtechs have an edge just by nature of being quicker to implement change.”

5. Keller Tiemann, Founder and CEO of Leadsurance

Keller Tiemann“Using AI technologies will reduce the time required to get coverage and file and process claims. I believe that AI will have the biggest impact on the insurance industry and we can already see it trending through the use of chatbots in the insurance industry.”


6. Joel Ohman, Founder of Car Insurance Comparison

Joel Ohman“It is highly likely that with the introduction of self-driving cars, the number of auto insurance claims will plummet. This is fantastic for the average motorist, but potentially a big negative for car insurance companies since they could long-term see premiums decrease substantially.”

7. Anita Sathe, Chief Strategy Officer at CoverHound  and CyberPolicy 

Anita Sathe“The ubiquity of cybercrime is fundamentally transforming the insurance industry. It’s no longer a question of if a business will be breached but when. For this reason, most businesses have begun to contractually require all third-party vendors or partners maintain at least $1 million of cyber insurance. In fact, according to our data, nearly 50 percent (46.3) of small businesses buying cyber insurance are purchasing due to contractual requirements. Additionally, we believe that the trend of requiring cyber insurance is only going to continue with compliance requirements such as HIPAA, PCI and DCI as well as recent data privacy regulation rulings such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.”

8. Phil Murphy, VP of Insurance at Ethos 

Phil Murphy“The insurtech industry is rapidly growing and there is much to come in 2019. Individual life insurance sales in the U.S. are expected to rise to $15 billion this year, and one major trend fueling this growth will be hyper-personalization.

Right now, agents are financially incentivized to sell the largest, most expensive policy. That's because it takes the same time for an agent to sell a $10,000 commission policy to a 55-year-old versus a $200 commission policy to a younger family (who has the least savings and often most needs the coverage). Using technology to make the process more efficient and cost-effective for both parties, insurtech players can personalize the experience to help everyone, regardless of their policy size, get exactly what they need.”

9. Jiten Puri, Founder and CEO of PolicyAdvisor

Jiten Puri“While some trends – like data-based processes and pricing – may take 2-3 years to take hold, what is unmistakably imminent is the consumers’ ask for frictionless fulfillment. The consumer is seeking a faster buying experience with less involvement of the underwriter or the human agent, with expectations for cycle time reducing to hours rather than the current standard of days and weeks. More simplified, faster-fulfilment products are in the offing that also start to cater to the mass market.

We will continue to see greater platform partnerships between carriers and tech-enabled distributors and consumer ecosystems that deliver seamless and intuitive consumer experiences and make insurance buying simpler, faster, and digital.”

10. Sonny Patel, CEO of Insurmi

Sonny Patel“The biggest trends shaping the insurance industry all impact either risk assessment or customer engagement. In 2019, many insurance companies are actively looking at exploring technologies that help them price and underwrite risk more accurately. For example, companies in the life and health space have started to use wearable devices and epigenetic testing to better understand the risk profiles of policyholders. When it comes to customer engagement, insurance companies are leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as chatbots to automate many customer facing interactions like selling a policy or filing a claim.”

11. Jeff Schwab, Vice President of Marketing for Dominion National

Jeff Schwab“Telemedicine will have a huge impact on insurance as it continues to gain momentum. Telemedicine allows healthcare providers and insurers to leverage innovative technology to better engage consumers and provide them with the necessary tools and information to stay on top of their health.”

12. Bijan Abdi, Founder and CEO of Freedom National Insurance

Bijan Abdi“Three major trends are making a big impact in the insurance industry going into 2019. The first one is Virtual Claims Adjusting, which lets insurers remotely measure losses, estimate damages, and reimburse customers faster. Next is the use of mobile technology. By use of mobile tech to communicate with customers through text and apps, carriers can process claims faster and customers check their policies from anywhere and make changes in real time.”

13. Sa El, Co-Founder of Simply Insurance

“The largest trend right now is the instant decision or instant approval type of underwriting. The newer companies have figured out how to get enough data from specific companies and with custom algorithms, make a decision on coverage in an instant.”

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.