Author Looks at the Future of Insurance for Startups
Bryan Falchuk’s latest book also addresses how a new generation of carriers is rethinking customers’ evolving needs.
- John Weber
- September 2021
The Future of Insurance: From Disruption to Evolution, Volume II. The Startups
Insurance industry veteran and author Bryan Falchuk peered into what the future may hold for legacy carriers in his first book, The Future of Insurance: From Disruption to Evolution, Volume 1. The Incumbents. Now in the latest book in his series he takes another glimpse into the future but this time for insurance startups. Through a series of insights and stories, eight startup carriers and MGAs share ways they are innovating and evolving their businesses and meeting the needs of changing customer expectations.
Following is an edited transcript of an interview with AM Best TV.
Can you tell us a bit about the new book?
This is a continuation of a story I started last year that looked at how legacy carriers are breaking through barriers or handcuffs to try to innovate and evolve. The context in that book is not just COVID-19 and changing customer expectations but also the threat of disruptors and the rise of startups. Startups are doing interesting things to free themselves from some of the handcuffs that those on the legacy side live with daily. I wanted to look at the other side of that coin and dig into the stories of those startups to see if it's really that simple.
Is it just a clean sheet and they can do whatever they want or are there roadblocks like those on the incumbent side face? The grass is not green anywhere unless you're willing to garden. These startups have fascinating stories and interesting journeys with some highs and lows.
We're seeing many MGA startups these days. Are we in something of an MGA renaissance as a result of insurtech?
MGAs today may have a different meaning than they did 10 years ago. Then it was a broker with some direct access to a piece of the market. They had some underwriting and product creation in-house.
Now an MGA, at least in the context of these startups, is a stepping stone. It's the path that you go on, maybe as a digital broker or agent. You become an MGA to get your product out there and tested. Today, the MGA idea is really attractive. It's not just a special kind of broker, but it's an enabler of building something new.
What are the lessons of legacy carriers that might apply to startups?
In the first book I talk about how it's important for legacy carriers to look to their customers for answers and to listen to and engage with their employees. That applies to startups, too. Customers are central to startups and why many exist in the first place. Also, anytime we're doing a project, it's easy to get taken off course. Like incumbents, startups also need to remain focused. In fact, it's imperative to their survival.
AM Best Trilogy
AM Best details the history of AM Best, credit rating agencies and the life of Alfred M. Best.
The Company—A History of AM Best
The Industry—A History of Credit Rating Agencies
The Man—A Biography of Alfred M. Best
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