Best's Review



Editor's Desk
The Insurtech Marketplace

From the Editor’s Desk: Insurtech startups mature, tackle new problems … and still draw a crowd. March’s issue also examines environmental, social and governance investing.
  • Patricia Vowinkel
  • March 2019
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Insurtech startups now number in the thousands, tackle more complex areas of the insurance value chain, and spark the imagination of insurers and investors who want to take advantage of the latest technology and innovative solutions to industry challenges.

The industry can now boast of at least a half dozen insurtech unicorns—startups valued at more than $1 billion. And many are now expanding beyond their early focus on personal lines insurance as the industry matures.

Interest in insurtechs is still going strong, with about 6,000 people attending the InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas last year and more than 2,000 expected at the big Insurtech Insights conference in London later this month. Large turnouts show an industry that's still hungry for information and networking opportunities.

In our March issue, Best's Review looks at some of the latest insurtech developments.

In “Centers of Expertise,” Best's Review found that certain locations globally have emerged as centers with specialized insurtech expertise. The article explores how these places became centers for certain types of insurtech startups.

In “Uncovering Unicorns,” Best's Review identifies insurtech startups that have reached unicorn status. Not many insurtechs can claim a valuation of $1 billion or more, as it is still fairly early in the maturity process, according to Matthew Wong, a senior research analyst at CB Insights.

Early insurtechs often focused on ways to improve customer experience for personal insurance. A number of insurtechs today, however, are turning their attention to small-business customers. In “Taking Care of Business,” Best's Review looks at why the next wave of insurtechs is so interested in working with small businesses.

“It is very attractive to not only insurtech startups, but also the insurance industry as a whole,” according to Scott Ham, CEO of digital small-commercial insurance solutions for McKinsey.

Just as in the property/casualty lines, the life insurance sector also is working to improve customer experience. In “Decoding the Connection,” Best's Review talks to USAA executive Bill White about designing innovative life products. “Essentially what you're trying to find is data that is a substitute for a medical exam,” White said. “That's what everybody's trying to decode.”

When it comes to investing assets, insurers face growing scrutiny from regulators as well as shareholders. In “Joining the Movement,” Best's Review looks at insurance industry asset management and its environmental, social and governance investments.

March is Cyberrisk Awareness Month. As the world becomes increasingly virtual, insurers and risk managers explore protection from a growing array of exposures. Best's Review has a full lineup of cyber-related webinars, video interviews and articles online.

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

Patricia Vowinkel, Executive Editor,

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