Insurtech investment surging, says PwC
Global investment in insurtech in the second quarter of 2017 surpassed that in the previous three quarters combined, according to a new report from PwC.
Insurers, reinsurers and venture capital firms ploughed $985 million into insurtech, up 247 per cent from the $398 million invested in the same period of 2016. The first three months of 2017 saw $283 million of insurtech funding.
PwC expects the rate of investment in cutting edge technology in the insurance industry will continue at a similar pace.
The report noted an uptick in interest in insurtech from the reinsurance industry.
“While concern about disruption and loss of market share undoubtedly remains, reinsurers have noticed that a new wave of start-ups are focused less on disrupting the entire industry and more on redesigning specific areas of the value chain,” PwC stated.
“This offers an opportunity for reinsurers to work alongside these innovators.”
The report notes that reinsurers have begun to realise how exploring new technologies and talent groups can help them play a leading role in transforming their industry.
The report found that 82 per cent of reinsurance companies said they plan to partner with insurtechs — but that some hesitation remains.
Arthur Wightman, PwC Bermuda leader and insurance leader, said: “It’s very encouraging to see both insurers and reinsurers increasingly view insurtech as an enabler rather than a competitor.
“A collaboration between experienced industry players and new ideas and technology will result in new products, reduced costs and more engaged customers.”
Mr Wightman said reinsurers should not be overly concerned about start-ups directly disrupting their product offerings.
“They should instead focus on what makes their business unique and where they see future growth coming from,” he said. “Reinsurers then need to find the best way of directly working with this new wealth of tech-savvy talent to place themselves at the heart of what will undoubtedly be a transformation for their business and the wider industry.”
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