Over the past year, the degree of openness for China’s insurance market had been increasingly deepened, which attracted many overseas giants. Internet companies were also making constant efforts to try to cooperate with traditional insurance companies. With the entry of science and technology companies, a large number of insurtech startups had been favored by the market and capital. In the meantime time, strengthening supervision is still the inevitable theme of the insurance industry. The balance between innovation and compliance is also what the insurance companies should learn.
In such an active situation, the Selection Day of Batch 2 of Plug and Play China is also coming.
The two-day Selection Day gathers almost 30 excellent startups, its business direction covers all kinds of insurance, such as property insurance/accident insurance, life insurance/health insurance/group insurance as well as all links of insurance value chain such as distribution, customer management and underwriting.
On the Selection Day, experts from the innovation departments of Munich Re, Swiss Re, Willis Towers Watson, Sunshine Insurance Group and other companies jointly selected 18 Insurtech startups to join this Batch.
Insurtech team noticed that some noteworthy changes have taken place in the direction of attention of this Batch compared to the last Batch that just ended:
▎Non-vehicle property insurance continues to grow, and chronic disease management attracts widespread attention.
In the aspects of property/accident insurance, automobile insurance is still the most important business of insurance companies. However, we noticed that interest in non-vehicle property insurance has increased among large enterprises, for example, family property insurance, pet insurance, network security insurance and other kinds of insurances have received more attention.
Besides, Plug and Play China Insurtech Team noticed that the attentions of Industrial Internet of Things and Small and Medium Enterprise businesses in the market were gradually increased. So, they were brought into the vision of insurance company partners. In this Batch, we will work with large enterprise partners to focus on the value promotion they brought to the insurance industry.
In terms of life insurance/health insurance/group insurance, this Batch tends to focus more on health insurance technology. Among them, medical and digital records, chronic disease management are the businesses that insurance companies paid more attention to in this Batch.
The management of chronic diseases has great application space in the process of insurance underwriting and settlement of claims. On the one hand, the daily monitoring of the parameters of chronic diseases can help consumers to manage their daily health and improve their quality of life. On the other hand, insurance companies can also design insurance products with focused goals to reduce the risk of claims and return to the essence of “Insurance is for assurance”.
▎Value Chain Attention Shift: From Distribution to Underwriting
In the links of the insurance value chain, underwriting is the hottest topic in this Batch. Among the topics, risk modeling, data analysis and automation are three aspects that those insurance companies focused on.
With the progress of technologies, insurance companies can quantify and analyze more data that were unavailable or difficult to analyze previously in order to forecast risks more comprehensively and accurately. The improvement of the underwriting technology will help insurance companies to improve their existing products, make the claim ratio more reasonable, and provide more perfect value-added services for users based on more accurate risk prediction.
Moreover, the distribution link that attracted the most attention in the last Batch is still hot in this Batch. Specifically, insurance companies mainly focus on the following three aspects: agent tools, direct market channels and cross-selling, which are basically consistent with the situation of the last Batch. It is obvious that these are the business sectors that the insurance companies continue to invest innovative resources in for a long term.
▎Technology Keywords: Big Data, Non-structural
In specific technological aspects, insurance companies have shown strong interests in Predictive Analysis, Big Data and Non-structural Data solutions. Besides, Machine Vision and Internet of Things/Sensors are still very popular. After the last batch, they still ranks among the Top 5 Areas of Concern for insurance companies. It is expected that these two technologies will remain the hot directions of insurtech for some time to come.
High Accuracy OCR Technology is in great demand in insurance industry. However, at present, due to the inconsistency of document formats and different hardware configurations in different regions of China, the recognition rate of OCR has been hindered. Therefore, the high-quality OCR technology R&D team still has much room for development in the insurance industry.
Internet of Things (IOT) technology has been widely used in various fields of property insurance. Our country is vast and has a great number of populations. With a large span between the North and the South, the influence of extreme weather on different parts of the country is different. Internet of Things/Sensor technology can be effectively used in the process of underwriting, settlement of claim and damage determination of property insurance (especially agricultural insurance) to greatly reduce the difficulty of underwriting by people and effectively prevents claims fraud.
▎New Batch is opening and it will promote growth in a hundred days
After the Selection Day, large enterprise partners and startups in the Batch will continue to enter a compact acceleration phase. In the next three months, the two sides will carry out many online and offline communications and clarify each other’s needs gradually and rapidly develop iterative products, in order to get achievements between their cooperation.
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Plug and Play Insurtech Innovation Platform was established in 2016 and entered China in 2018.
For now, Plug and Play Insurtech has cooperated with more than 90 leading insurance companies worldwide, covering insurance, reinsurance, insurance agents, insurance intermediaries and other value chains.
Our partners include American leading insurance companies such as USAA, State Farm, Nationwide, and the well-known European insurance companies such as Munich Re, Swiss Re, SCOR, and Asian insurance companies such as Nissay, Sompo Japan Insurance, Taiping Life Insurance and Sunshine Insurance Group.
So far, we have held 6 Batches at our Silicon Valley headquarter and 2 Batches in China. Nearly 200 insurtech startups have been accelerated around the world. Together with large enterprise partners, they constitute an active Insurtech Innovation Ecosystem around the globe.