What Technology Will Most Impact the Future of Insurance? 15 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 24 June 2019
  • Sam Mire

Definitions of “living dangerously” vary greatly. For some, living on the edge may entail skydiving, whitewater rafting, or wing suiting. But for the common, nine-to-five human trying to improve their quality of life, there's one sure-fire way to get that recklessness-fueled adrenaline rush: go without insurance.

We're not advising this, and neither would these industry insiders, who gave us their perspectives on the technologies shaping the insurance industry that we so depend on:

1. Lev Barinksiy, CEO of SmartFinancial

Lev Barinskiy“Insurtech companies like SmartFinancial have changed the way people are shopping for insurance. By allowing consumers to shop multiple insurance quotes for free by filling out one form, ad-tech companies like ours offer options and save the consumers a lot of time and money. No longer do shoppers have to spend hours comparison shopping; the work is done for them in minutes through a comparison-shopping engine.”

2. Patricia Renzi, Principal at Milliman

Pat Renzi“I believe AI will have the most impact because it allows us to make it easier to issue insurance (automated underwriting) and to accomplish a host of other things, including identifying customer needs, performing competitive analysis, and better understanding the value of customers, products and the company so insurers can more readily serve customers and shareholders. 

3. Scott W. Johnson, Manager and Principal Broker at Marindependent Insurance Services

Scott W. Johnson“Everyone thought that the 1-800 number might end the typical insurance agency. Then they they thought the internet just might do this. But insurance agencies are fully entrenched and seemingly just using the very tools that were supposed to put them out of business to grow it.

The sad fact is that the single biggest technology that can change the insurance in the US really might not seem like a technology at all, but it might be brought on by one: Regulatory Consolidation. As we all know the insurance industry is regulated by the states and to a lesser extent the federal government. Can some tech company come in and through an app and the internet, assist in consolidating this regulatory burden?”

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

David Peterson“AI will allow for communications to be generated by robots rather than marketers, and the cloud is making technology more affordable, thus reducing costs overall. And just like other parts of the insurance business value chain (i.e. claims, underwriting, etc.), marketing organizations are looking very carefully into predictive analytics.”

5. Jiten Puri, Founder and CEO of PolicyAdvisor

Jiten Puri“No surprises here – as artificial intelligence takes hold within underwriting systems, it will impart underwriters a granular and sophisticated view of applicant risk profiles. Deep learning will allow insurance companies to predictively decode risk profiles and make tailored and personalized coverage offers. At an enterprise level, carriers will learn from portfolio behavior patterns and seek to fill gaps by trading portfolio risks on commodity exchanges.”

6. Karn Saroya, CEO of Cover

“I think mobile devices are becoming more dominant, especially with personal lines of insurance. Insurance companies are very dependent on predictive modeling and analytics, so technology that helps front-line underwriters and adjudicators of risk will shake up the industry (i.e. sensors on devices to detect texting and driving, for example).”

7. Keller Tiemann, Founder and CEO of Leadsurance

Keller Tiemann“Big Data, Machine Learning, and AI solutions will make the biggest impact, for example, InsurTech giant ‘Lemonade', a company that is are already solving insurance problems with AI and bringing tremendous value to both carriers and policyholders by increasing efficiencies and reducing costs.”

8. Joel Ohman, Founder of Car Insurance Comparison

Joel Ohman“The nightmare driving robot scenario that haunts every car insurance company CEO’s dreams goes like this: perfect robotic drivers means drastically reduced likelihood of a car crash equals car insurance companies
forced to in turn drastically reduce their premiums means drastically reduced
revenues equals tanking stock prices means, well, you don’t need to be a Wall Street financial analyst (or a science fiction writer) to see why robotic driverless cars should be causing car insurance company CEO’s to break out in a cold sweat at the mere thought of trying to sell insurance on cars that never get into accidents.”

9. Jayant Lakshmikanthan, CEO and Founder of CLARA analytics

Jayant Lakshmikanthan“Novel AI-based applications can shift the workforce and advance what companies are able to assess and offer as well as how quickly they can do it. And this is just over the short term. Advances in AI come as the result of a number of factors, but undoubtedly, consumer-based technologies have led the charge. Voice, machine learning, computer vision, and deep learning have been refined in consumer products, services and platforms, but they are now being combined to create very powerful automated solutions for some of the biggest issues organizations face.”

10. Phil Murphy, VP of Insurance at Ethos 

Phil Murphy“Innovative insurance companies will be leveraging machine learning to underwrite life expectancies in order to pursue a simpler customer journey. The traditional life insurance application experience is 10 weeks long. That's 10 weeks of being upsold murky products, filling out paperwork, getting medical exams and blood tests. Thanks to machine learning, automation has vastly improved the application experience.”

11. Sonny Patel, CEO of Insurmi

Sonny Patel“In 2019, many insurance companies are
actively looking at exploring technologies that help them price and underwrite risk more accurately. 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.”

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

Anita Sathe“There’s no single piece of technology that’s going to have the biggest impact on the insurance industry, but rather our reliance on technology as a whole is impacting the insurance industry. Every day our systems and data become more deeply intertwined, and we have a collective responsibility to protect each others’ systems and information. Those who offer services to SMBs have a timely opportunity to affect cyber insurance adoption on a massive scale. Just as cybersecurity services are often included in conjunction with the purchase of technology services, cyber insurance will increasingly be included as a crucial capability to protect businesses and their customers. In fact, any technology provider that enables a business to grow digitally should recognize that providing cyber insurance is guiding them in the right direction.”

13. Jonathan Holloway, Director of Digital Strategy at NoExam.com

Jonathan Holloway“Data is having the biggest impact. In terms of underwriting, more data available will reduce costs and more accurately predict risk. It also reduces the amount of time involved to get a policy in force. We are living in the age of data, and insurance companies are always looking for more accurate ways to determine risk. Data from wearables is already making its way into life insurance, and car insurance has had the safe driving data trackers for a while now. Look for this trend to continue as companies leverage machine learning algorithms to better calculate risk.”

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

Jeff Schwab“Telemedicine is a non-invasive way to help those with a fear of the doctor's office. It can also be an effective tool to refer members to a participating provider based on an assessment. Encouraging members to use participating providers is a driver of cost savings for the member and insurer.”

15. Sa El, Co-Founder of Simply Insurance

Sa El“Accelerated Underwriting – I think the technology behind accelerated underwriting is having and is going to continue to have the biggest impact on the insurance industry.

This is primarily because getting everything Fast is what we all seem to  be about in 2019.”

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.