I recently attended the Insurtech Hartford Symposium in Hartford, CT that was held April 26-27th. Like many conferences being held in 2022, it was the first time the event was back to physical attendance since pre-pandemic times. I was both amazed and pleasantly surprised at the level of attendance and the diversity of attendees and topics. There were over 750 attendees, mostly from across North America, with three agenda tracks for the two-day event. There was a business, technology and entrepreneur track and great session topics included in each. They also had a “Pitch” contest for startups at the end of each day. Many fabulous ideas were pitched, and a number of carriers, VC’s and Equity Firms represented.
I personally moderated two panel discussion during the event, one on business track for better underwriting: Innovating with AI & NLP with panelist David Carter - Executive Vice President Chief Underwriting Officer, Sompo International; Nichole Myers - Chief Underwriter at Ethos; and Tracey Waller - Director, Small Commercial Underwriting at Verisk. In the session we talked about how the traditional role of underwriter will evolve and how AI and NLP helps evaluate risk. We covered such topics as how organizations are using AI/NLP and what problems they are solving through automation, how using Al/NLP has transformed and positively impacted the underwriting process, and underwriting teams and technical and human/staffing challenges encounters with the automation transformation in underwriting.
If you are familiar with the underwriting space you know the gap between what was once considered an “art” by many actuaries behind the underwriting curtain is quickly becoming science with the acute focus of actuaries and data scientist continuing to peel away at the complexities of the underwriting process. Underwriters are seeing the benefits of automation by being focused on the ability to process more and higher value tasks. Additioanlly, intelligent automation is helping to insulate against the risk of losing staff to “the great resignation”, retirement, the next pandemic, and job transition as many today are doing.
The other session I moderated was on trends in insurance technology with panelist Lisa Wardlaw – Global Head of Insurance, Geosite; Edmund Falcigno - Innovation Associate, Innovation & Business Architecture, AXA XL; Mark Stender – President, Intellagents; and Jeff Carlson – VP of Emerging Technology, Travelers. In this session we covered such topics as capital investments and what technology is fueling digital acceleration, how organizations are using AI/NLP and third-party data in the consumer acquisition process and risk selection, how blockchain is impacting organizations, what benefit do parametric insurance products bring to both clients and insurers, and the future of distribution once the business model is fully digitized as it relates to embedded insurance.
Each panelist provided an interesting vision of trends and the future of insurance. All agreed that digital acceleration will continue to blaze a path through insurance with continued focus of capital investment pushing the envelope for increased automation at a pace not seen in the history of insurance.
Each of these sessions led to fantastic discussions and a lot of audience interest and interaction. I attended the first Insurtech Hartford event when living in CT (now in FL) back around 2016. Back then I also attended the Insurtech Hartford Hack-a-thon for startups. There were a few dozen people with a handful of local carriers and a few VC’s represented. How it has grown! My hat’s off to Stacey Brown and the rest of the Insurtech Hartford team, along with all insurtechs globally. It’s been amazing to see the rapid growth, focus, and funding in this space in such a short period of time.
If you have interest in learning more please reach out.