Partnering with Insurtechs
12 May 2021
Insurers across the world are adjusting to the new normal of the on-going pandemic, and as a result, there is massive acceleration in digital transformation efforts. For this purpose, Insurers and non-insurance companies alike are bringing on insurtech companies as strategic partners.
Gartner defines insurtechs as technology companies that are in their early stages of operation; that drive specific innovation across the insurance value chain by leveraging new technologies, user interfaces, business processes or business models; that leverage different forms of funding, including venture capital.
As per a CB Insights report, Funding to insurtech companies hit yearly and quarterly highs in 2020 and Q1‘21, respectively, signaling the confidence investors have in the future of the insurance tech market. In 2020, business relationships involving insurtech companies also hit a record high, coming in at over 650 partnerships for the year.
Companies such as Axa, Munich Re, and American Family are among the insurers with the most formal business relationships with insurtech companies. Recently, China-headquartered Leapstack, an AI-enabled InsurTech company specializing in healthcare, has announced a strategic plan to ink strategic partnerships with multiple Korean insurance companies as the company advances into the South Korean market.
Some Consumer-facing insurtech companies are partnering with other tech providers to improve their product offerings.For instance, auto insurtech Root provides additional benefits to policyholders via partnerships with road assistance app Agero and gas station location app GasBuddy. Home insurtech Hippo recently partnered with ADT and Handdii to improve the security and home repair services it offers policyholders. As these insurtech companies look to aggressively grow their customer bases, expect them to continue partnering with companies that offer complementary digital services.
The partnership between Galileo Platforms, a specialist blockchain technology platform for the insurance industry, and Amodo, a provider of insurance telematics technology and advisory services, including behaviour data analysis, will enable clients to benefit from their diverse experience and expertise in their respective areas of the insurance industry.
Primary core insurance software vendors like Duck Creek, Guidewire, and Unqork are also among the most active in partnering with insurtechs. These companies are incorporating complementary insurtech products to create a stickier experience for customers by tying these products to their core suites. Horizontal software providers like Microsoft and Salesforce and more mature insurtech platforms like Bold Penguin and Snapsheet have also actively formed partnerships to build out their insurance ecosystem capabilities.
We believe, as insurtech companies mature and build increasingly innovative solutions, expect to see insurers double down on successful partnerships and explore new ones.
Negotiating with AI
Negotiation is a fundamental business skill—one that is inextricably linked with human emotion and psychology as much as economic calculus. Many companies negotiate countless contracts a year, ranging from facilities rentals, technology licenses, sales, employment or strategic partnerships. One of the biggest challenges, companies face in negotiating contracts is that they span such a wide variety of topics. Even the best-trained negotiators may struggle when parsing through a contract that is outside of their purview.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is capable of performing many tasks that enhance human labour and thinking — so it only stands to reason that it can provide an advantage in the negotiation process as well. There are several levels on which this is happening.
As salespeople or customer service reps interact with customers electronically, they may be able to take advantage of real-time AI recommendations to help guide the engagement or transaction. Rather than monitor singular conversations and interject recommendations on a case-by-case basis, the AI-based negotiation system digests lots of conversational data across lots of sales reps to try to understand where there are coaching opportunities, new training opportunities, value prop improvement opportunities, and product improvement opportunities.
AI can also be applied against transaction or customer relationship management (CRM) data, to sift through responses and engagements to determine where and how companies may be missing opportunities. Also, there are chatbots that can be trained to bargain with customers.
Estonian startup Pactum, which provides an AI-based commercial negotiation tool, was engaged by Walmart to automate negotiations with part of its global supplier network. Pactum's AI-based negotiation tool starts the process by interviewing the customer, recording all the required information surrounding the negotiation, and determining the value for each possible tradeoff in the contract for the customer. Pactum's team then builds the negotiation flows.
Project Debater is the first AI system that can debate humans on complex topics. Project Debater digests massive texts, constructs a well-structured speech on a given topic, delivers it with clarity and purpose, and rebuts its opponent. It can analyze a proposition and automatically highlight the best arguments for and against it, factoring in both logical and emotional impact. Eventually IBM predicts, Project Debater will help people reason by providing compelling, evidence-based arguments and limiting the influence of emotion, bias, or ambiguity.
Perhaps one day, robot lawyers will go forth to negotiate on our behalf. But, in the meantime, A.I. can be used today to improve humans’ negotiation tactics.
Credits : Akhil Handa
Road Network Management with AI
The lack of road safety in India is increasingly becoming a matter of major concern. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, India recorded around 4.3 lakh road accidents in 2019, which took the lives of 1.5 lakh people. Poor road infrastructure, encroachment, and increasing number of vehicles have contributed to the high number of road hazards in the country. The solution seems clear: real-time road monitoring and information collation about road infrastructure.
New Delhi-based deep tech startup Nayan India Science and Technologies has developed a road safety and traffic monitoring solution that uses a camera, computer vision and artificial intelligence. The application constantly monitors roads, infrastructure, and traffic violation. The AI Powered algorithms analyse the video feeds and alert in case of violations, defects or dangers on the road. The B2B SaaS startup works with road transport authorities, insurance companies, private aggregators, public transportation fleets etc. to provide real world, last-mile analytics to better revenue channels.
RoadMetrics is an AI-based solution that uses image and sensor data obtained from a simple smartphone to classify road defects, signs, traffic signals, street lights, etc. This road and street-level data helps enterprise mapping firms and smart city bodies with analytics on road networks and a better mapping experience. The data is sold through the API model as well as on a per km basis, depending on the geography for Smart Cities.
Swedish start-up, Mapillary, acquired by Facebook, is the street-level imagery platform that scales and automates mapping using collaboration, cameras and computer vision. Mapillary’s tools enable anyone to collect, share, and use street-level images which are combined for improving the city maps.
US based RoadBotics automated inspections and generated actionable data about road networks, including identification of individual distresses like potholes and alligator cracks. Their detailed maps, unbiased ratings, and practical tools save time and taxpayer dollars for hundreds of communities across the country and around the world.
As per IBEF ORG, India has the second-largest road network in the world, spanning a total of 5.89 million kilometres (kms). This road network transports 64.5% of all goods in the country and 90% of India’s total passenger traffic uses road network to commute. Road transportation has gradually increased over the years with improvement in connectivity between cities, towns and villages in the country. In India, sale of automobiles and movement of freight by roads is growing at a rapid rate. The startups are focused in solving road network issues by using India’s main asset - its huge population.
Credits : Akhil Handa Manisha Gawle