Best's Review

AM BEST'S MONTHLY INSURANCE MAGAZINE


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Editor's Desk
A New Tomorrow

From the Editor’s Desk: Insurers build collaborative relationships with insurtechs. January’s issue also includes Best’s Review’s ranking of the top auditors and actuaries as well as the 2019 trade show calendar.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • January 2019
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Since insurtechs came on the scene a few years ago, many of the industry's biggest insurance carriers have gotten religion and are now investing in insurtechs and working with them to improve customer engagement and build better business models.

At the InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas in November, close to 6,000 people gathered to exchange ideas as well as business cards.

In “Rallying Cry,” Best's Review looks at the evolving relationship between insurers and insurtechs and how they are increasingly working with each other as partners rather than as rivals. In the keynote speech at InsureTech Connect, Anthony Kuczinski, CEO of Munich Reinsurance America spoke about the need for collaboration.

“I look at the future of insurance as being pretty much what it has been for the past couple centuries, if you will,” Kuczinski told AMBest TV after this speech. “What might change going forward is how we deliver that product, how we deliver that insurance. In a world where a lot of changes are going on, and technology is changing, and customer expectations are changing, we as an insurance industry and reinsurance industry, have to respond to those changes, as well.”

As they explore the possibilities, a number of insurers have set up venture capital funds to invest in promising startups. In “Proof of Concept,” Best's Review examines the shift in investing priorities as insurers put more of their dollars into late stage startups.

Other coverage from InsureTech Connect includes an interview with Lemonade CEO Daniel Schreiber and Chief Behavior Officer Dan Ariely. Schreiber and Ariely spoke about the deep distrust people have for insurers and how they chose to address it.

Insurtechs have pushed insurers to consider new technologies and ways to put them to use to make the business more approachable and cost efficient. One of those technologies is blockchain, or the distributed ledger. In “Betting on Blockchain,” Best's Review speaks with Patrick Schmid of the RiskBlock Alliance about some of the use cases that are in development. Schmid says there are four use cases underway: proof of insurance, parametric insurance, first notice of loss and subrogation.

In the life insurance sector, new advances in genomics are also having a major impact. In “The Time Is Now,” Best's Review takes a look at how genetic testing is forcing insurers to reconsider the status quo. “Every life insurance company out there has to—at a minimum—develop talent and expertise and understanding of the issue as a first step,” said Dr. Dave Rengachary, senior vice president and chief medical director, U.S. mortality markets for Reinsurance Group of America.

January is Insurance Actuary &Auditor Awareness Month and this issue includes our annual look at the top insurance auditors and actuaries. These listings include only insurance companies with statements that listed auditors or external actuaries. The insurer population includes U.S. companies that file with AM Best.

The January issue also includes our 2019 trade show and conference calendar, organized by industry sector. Readers can find, at-a-glance, the most notable trade shows for their sector for the coming year.

All of these features can be found online in a new reader-friendly version of Best's Review. Go to www.bestreview.com to read and share these articles and other Best's Review content.

 

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor, patricia.vowinkel@ambest.com


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