The New Age Finance: InsurTech

The world is well versed with the word ‘Fintech’; an industry that has disrupted the financial ecosystem. It has been an aggregator and given rise to various branches we refer to as InsurTech, WealthTech, RegTech, etc. The convergence of existing service with technology has introduced us to ‘Tech-led’ products and services.

InsurTech; a short form for technology-led insurance services, focuses on manufacturing, distributing and aggregating digital insurance policies. Earlier where insurance was a push product, owing to digitization, it is now a ‘pull’ product. Moreover, post-pandemic, global and hyperlocal occurrences have changed risk perception in the mind of people aggregating the demand of insurance.

By paying a nominal fee and ensuring a larger payout at the time of need, individuals are seeing the worth of pricing their own risk. In addition, the convenience of buying insurance through an app is augmenting the acceptability and usage of InsurTechs, making it the most promising sector in India. According to India InsurTech Association, InsurTech fundings in the country have increased from $11 million in 2016 to $287 million in 2020 with more than 110 InsurTech startups operating in India. As per reports, the regulatory sandbox IRDAI received 170 applications from insurers of which 14 applications were specifically from InsurTech companies.

Although InsurTechs focus majorly on individuals and personal lives, they are also actively moving into the commercial segment. Similar to personal insurances, they are bringing innovation to products in the commercial segment too. For instance, blockchain-led insurance services, micro-insurances, usage-based insurance, peer-to-peer insurance, digital brokerage system- often target small and medium-sized businesses.

InsurTechs serving the commercial segment are also focusing on loss prevention and efficacy. For instance, they’ve built algorithms that assist in drone inspection for claims, underwriting, etc. They are specializing in actuarial/risk discovery models and make their offerings easily available, facilitating product comparison and simplifying the purchase process.

With a nimble operating model and digital innovations, they are targeting profit pools and targeting digital-savvy customer segments. Like Fintechs, InsurTechs are targeting only specific value pools. The key to their success is that they are addressing unmet customer needs.

Indian InsurTechs still face regulatory barriers but amidst the roadblocks, they are evolving by collaborating with incumbents. With their fresh strategic plans and advantages, InsurTechs are increasingly allying with traditional financial institutions to reach the masses while allowing incumbents to improve their digital foothold.

In the new age of finance, technology has become a driving factor in any industry, especially the financial world. With full automation, targeted product concepts, data-driven insights, etc., the ‘tech-led’ firms are creating a buzz like never before.

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