Author Finds New Technologies, Startups ‘Amazing’ and Full of Possibilities
Rob Galbraith’s book also addresses changing customer expectations and the demands of a millennial workforce.
- Meg Green
- June 2021
The End of Insurance as We Know It: How Millennials, Insurtech, and Venture Capital Will Disrupt the Ecosystem
Rob Galbraith is a self-professed “insurance nerd” who's been in the industry for more than 20 years, primarily on the carrier side. Over time, particularly the past five years, he learned of new technologies and startups that were “amazing,” he said. “The possibilities blew me away.”
This prompted him to write a book about how millennials, new technology and venture capital are poised to disrupt the insurance industry. Following is an edited transcript of an interview with AM Best TV.
What do you hope people take from the book?
It's important for us to recognize that, yes, insurance is different and unique in many respects from other industries, but that doesn't mean that it can't be disrupted.
In the book, you talk about green whales. Can you tell us what they are?
I use this term for a lot of the core systems modernization projects or digital transformations that many organizations have gone about. Organizations are having to make heavy investments that, perhaps, should have been made earlier. These projects can run over budget and take more time than expected. They are quickly being surpassed by new technologies such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence.
Organizations need to be very realistic about the time frames and cost involved. They also have to be able to change course midstream if new technologies, providers, others come out that may ultimately be a better choice for that organization.
How do you see blockchain impacting the industry?
I think the real promise is in managing various parties of an insurance transaction. Car repair shops, medical providers and others that need to access some, but not all, of the information and be able to interact in various ways.
If these [interactions] are able to securely and seamlessly be a blockchain, I think that holds huge promise, particularly in helping to drive expense ratios down to make insurance more affordable.
How do you see the industry evolving?
I think the fact that we are very much a data-driven industry, an industry based on algorithms and perfect for our computing age, is very advantageous to us. At the same time, risk and exposures are not going away.
There will be a need for new products and new innovations. You're going to see a move to be more customer-focused than product-focused. Hopefully we do a lot more personalization.
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