Insurtech is often touted as the cure that will solve the insurance industry’s inefficient and antiquated processes – from distribution, to underwriting, to claims. While many insurers want to investigate the benefits of insurtech partnerships, most don’t have the first idea where to start, who to call.
That is why Guy Carpenter & Co. has created an insurtech matchmaker – a new subsidiary called GC Genesis, which aims to de-risk the hunt and selection of insurtech partners across the globe.
While many companies are excited about the opportunities that insurtech offers, they also want to make sure “they don’t make some extremely expensive mistakes,” said Vicky Carter, vice chair of Guy Carpenter’s Strategic Advisory team, in an interview with Insurance Journal.
The insurtech landscape is diverse and complex, Carter noted. As a result, insurers have to expend a huge amount of time, cost and resource to identify the right insurtech partners, which is prohibitive and risky for most companies, she added.
Carter said that GC Genesis was formed in response to the often-expressed concerns of clients who are worried about being left behind in the adoption of insurtech.
“Everybody feels that they should be doing something, but a lot of companies don’t know what to do. It’s not always enough to appoint an individual as head of innovation,” she affirmed. “Insurtech is complex and diverse. The resource and the commitment to analyzing and identifying the right solutions for your business have to be taken pretty seriously.”
“Having an ability to identify those capabilities most likely to help carriers operationally is no easy task given the size, growth and complexity of insurtech,” said Guy Carpenter in a press release announcing the formation of GC Genesis.
“Insurtech is pioneering new solutions and expanding capabilities for carriers to achieve greater diversification, reduce costs and improve overall performance,” said Peter Hearn, CEO of Guy Carpenter, in the press release. “Through GC Genesis, we will help our clients access and take advantage of that potential in the most effective ways possible.”
The GC Genesis launch was made on Sept. 9 at the reinsurance Rendez-Vous de Septembre (RVS) in Monte Carlo, a gathering of re/insurance industry executives who begin their annual treaty negotiations at this meeting.
GC Genesis employs a set of complementary services that help clients accelerate and de-risk their journey toward insurtech. These services are the so-called “Fitting Process” and the “InsurTech Alliance.”
GC Genesis aims to assess the baseline capabilities of clients, establishing their strategic objectives, said Claude Yoder, chief innovation and product development officer at Guy Carpenter, who joined Carter in the interview with Insurance Journal. “Our aim is to help them navigate this ecosystem and to guide them to the most relevant insurtech partners.”
“Insurers could be nervous about the nature of their distribution systems and their client interaction and want to modernize, using insurtech. Perhaps they want to recognize the younger generation who are starting to purchase through their platform,” Yoder said. “Or perhaps they are concerned about too many fraudulent claims and they want help with that.”
The insurers’ strategic objectives are identified during the Fitting Process. “For example, where are they headed in terms of new products, or geographic expansion? What are their ‘pain points’ with respect to rate selection or distribution or claim costs?” he continued.
During the next phase of the Fitting Process, GC Genesis takes that strategic information and compares it to a proprietary database of thousands of insurtech companies – matching insurer need with insurtech specialty or capability, Yoder affirmed.
Yoder said the GC Genesis database “includes a very comprehensive set of startups,” which are “painstakingly categorized” according to the part of the insurance process on which they focus, such as client interaction, underwriting and claims. They also are categorized by their technical capability, such as robotics, natural language processing, machine learning.
The Fitting Process analysis enables GC Genesis to create a road map to the insurtech partners that are the most likely to accelerate an insurer’s strategic journey or provide it with the most beneficial commercial relationships, he said, noting that an insurer may choose more than one insurtech startup to improve its business processes.
In addition, GC Genesis clients also can access a second, complementary service called the “InsurTech Alliance,” which provides a deeper analysis into specific insurtech startups, Yoder went on to say.
The Fitting Process helps whittle down several thousand insurtech firms to dozens, identifying those startups, or capabilities, that insurers could take on board immediately.
However, an insurer can ask for a further technical vetting via the InsurTech Alliance, conducted by New York City-based Numerati Partners, Yoder said, noting that Numerati will perform this deep dive into an insurtech startup, using its network of contacts in data analytics, academic institutions, private think tanks, innovators and technology firms of all types, including specialists in robotics, chatbots, and machine learning.
“The Alliance is meant to be an association of carriers, where the carrier members will actually direct the research activities that are undertaken by Numerati,” Yoder stated.
“For those looking for holistic advice on their insurtech strategy – from identifying needed capabilities and matching with vendors to test driving the actual platforms and signing contracts – companies can participate in both the Fitting Process and the InsurTech Alliance,” said Guy Carpenter in its prepared statement.
“[F]or the highest level of insight, influence and access, clients can become Founders of the InsurTech Alliance,” said Guy Carpenter, explaining that this includes training on technology adoption and innovation, technical assessments and consultations with the Numerati Partners Ecosystem of scientists and engineers, and the opportunity to direct the focus of InsurTech Alliance research….”
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