Insurtech France is an association under the 1901 law, created at the end of 2020 and which brings together Insurtech players to support the transformation of insurance at the service of customers. Pierre Bonodot, treasurer of the organization, agreed to tell us more about the state of maturity of innovation in insurance.
You are treasurer of Insurtech France, what are his missions?
Pierre Bondot: We operate in ecosystems, with start-ups, established insurers and brokers, service providers, incubators, studios, accelerators and investors in particular. We have nearly 200 members today.
Our common values are transparency, innovation and simplicity. Concretely, the association is a privileged space for exchange between actors who share common problems, through working groups, such as international development.
Is innovation risk-taking necessary for the insurance industry?
Insurance, by managing uncertainty and covering the risks of individuals, professionals and businesses, is one of the key drivers of growth. It always accompanies the transformations of the economy.
Innovations concern its entire value chain, not just the distribution of products and services, but also customer journeys, claims management or internal processes. There are many concrete examples, based on use cases. This may involve developing better identity verification solutions for customers via blockchain, detecting fraud via AI or even optimizing financial processes via data.
All insurance sectors are now concerned. On large risks, for example, the intensification of the use of big data makes it possible to develop new approaches and solutions for scoring, modeling and risk estimation, for management by risk manager clients but also to improve pricing and damage coverage.
We are increasingly seeing the development of ecosystems of partners, insurers, brokers, reinsurers, start-ups, among others. The objective is to build and deliver offers and services that take advantage of the strengths of each member of an ecosystem. There is a lot of pragmatism in the approaches. They are based first on the usefulness and appetite of the actors. The key issues are then on the sharing and protection of data, services and processes and on the sharing of value and customer knowledge between the actors.
Finally, there is the development of parametric insurance, currently mainly on climatic and agricultural risks. It is a renewed approach to insurance, with systematic use of internal and external data and automation of pricing and management processes.
Where are insurers in their transformation since the turn of open insurance?
The term open insurance has been used for several years already, but we have indeed seen a clear acceleration and enrichment of the ecosystem since last year. For me, the phenomenon ofopen insurance corresponds first of all to the very principle of openness and sharing of resources in the insurance market. It is also, as we have seen above, the constitution of increasingly rich ecosystems, with actors of different sizes, maturities and natures and standards in terms of tools and processes that generalize.
The acceleration can be seen not only in the development of more and more numerous partnerships and ecosystems, but also in the development of increasingly sophisticated partnerships, involving more than 2 players and in the development of platformization models where the insurance is part of a wider range of services. The acceleration can finally be seen in the regularity of the operational deliveries of the ecosystems. We are now on industrial approaches.
On the platformization side, there are two major trends: either the insurer places itself at the center of the customer relationship and enriches its offer with external contributions, or it integrates broader ecosystems, viaintegrated insurance for example. These trends affect all insurance players, whether they are start-ups or more established players.
To make insurance all the more relevant in risk assessment, does it need more interoperability or data sharing?
We must first take into account the regulatory framework for insurance players, whether it concerns the protection of personal data or the obligations to collect and process customer information. It is then not only a question of organizing the sharing of data between partners but beyond that, of integrating the data dimension “by design” into all transformation projects, both internally and externally, of determining the level of detail of this data, the rules for storage and use.
Ecosystems are being built today on the principles of exchanging anonymized data, on major risks or in the context of health data, for example. Other models choose to use external public data and bet on the relevance and scalability of the algorithms they develop. Standards are finally emerging on the market, in the use of the blockchain or APIs for example.
Do you think that we are still in a situation of classic competition between traditional and new players?
Within Insurtech France, I do not see this opposition between two visions of insurance. I rather see an enrichment of the sector via the development of the ecosystems that we mentioned above. I see players arriving in the insurance sector, from other tech sectors, such as mobility, health or the fight against climate change and who are looking for insurance solutions to be built with players of the sector.
Many Insurtechs have specialized in very specific insurance processes and work closely with insurers, such as in life insurance, for example. The subject of reciprocal mistrust is now outdated. Start-ups are there to offer new services with different approaches and in fairly specific niches. Complementarity is played out from all points of view.
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