Blog: Claims - the final frontier for insurtechs

Star Trek Enterprise

What is the insurtech difference when it comes to claims? Jonathan Swift mulls on how the Next Generation is starting to figure this out

“The claims experience is really critical to our brand and making sure that customers are saying Digital Risks is who I am insured with. Whilst others struggle with that, we want to be a case that if you have a claim it is Digital Risks who you are dealing with.”

This sentiment is interesting because there has perhaps been an – incorrect – assumption that insurtechs are really only focused on acquiring customers by making it as simple as possible.

But the comment above from Digital Risks CEO and co-founder Cameron Shearer highlights that the admittedly young sector is starting to take claims seriously. So much so that following its investment from BGL parent BHL, Digital Risks is planning to hire a claims exec in the next three months.

I mention this because at the end of the last year I hit on the idea of inviting some insurtech claims managers to the first Post Claims Club meeting of 2020 to find out what they were potentially doing differently when it came to the moment of truth.

And I was not talking about insurtechs that have assimilated themselves into the supply chain such as AI powered motor repair specialist Tractable or gig economy FNOL services like We Go Look, but start-ups that are selling and distributing insurance to consumers, whether personal or commercial.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but it soon became apparent that many of the leading UK insurtechs did not currently have someone in a role that looked and felt like a claims director.

Indeed, Bought By Many and Zego were the only two of the first tranche I analysed on LinkedIn that had recruited members of staff who seemed to have ownership of this part of the value chain, and both had the title head of claims [Christine Matthew and Val Uvarov respectively].

It should also be noted that both Bought By Many and Zego have completed Series B raises so are more mature, and both operate in markets that whilst not completely mass market, do produce decent volumes.

Subsequent conversations with insurtechs - such as Digital Risks - have shown that claims is certainly on the agenda of players who to date have not invested here; or that this aspect is currently managed by someone with the likes of operations or customer service in their job title.

But call me old school, but claims are claims, and no matter how much insurtechs are seeking to bring insurance kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, that will always be the case.

Or will it?

Having assembled a trio of insurtech head of claims [Ticker’s Andy Warren completing the original panel] I was minded to also include someone who works for a business in the most buzziest of buzzy areas of insurance, parametrics.

A space where the ‘claim’ – if the term is still relevant – is paid at the point of loss rather, than first notification, with the policyholder never having to submit a traditional ‘claim’ to their insurer. Instead they are reimbursed based on an agreed parametric trigger.

With this mind I have invited Laura Rous, chief product officer at ‘commodity price risk management platform’ Stable, to complete the quartet.

I am now looking forward to quizzing these people at the first Post Claims Club meeting on the morning of 18 March. To find out what makes the insurtech claims handling experience different, and whether that is down to processes, staff, culture, data or a combination of these factors.

To find out if they are going where no incumbent insurer has gone before.

If you would like to join me, we still have a few spaces left for the meeting, which will also see Aviva UK GI claims direct Andrew Morrish, Davies Claims Solutions CEO Kath Mainon and Zurich head of claims fraud Scott Clayton speaking.

To sign up please register here now.


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