- 05 Jul
The Marketing Eye was delighted to host a recent roundtable of some of the brightest talents in InsurTech at the offices of Incisive Media in Soho.
In a fast-paced and engaging conversation that was over all too quickly, topics ranged from the major insurers’ changing attitudes to InsurTech, to the role of VCs and Angels in helping bring new ideas to market, and the pros and cons of the aggregators in achieving critical mass. Unsurprisingly, the role of the regulator was never far from people’s minds and nor was Brexit and its impact on London as a pre-eminent insurance hub.
As Stephen Brittain, interim CEO of In My Bag, said: “It is quite remarkable that four years ago InsurTech didn’t exist as a terminology and the uptake of technology in insurance was happening at a "glacial pace”. Now, change is happening rapidly and everybody is taking note, from the incumbents to the media.
As highlighted by John Warburton, CEO and founder of Konsilio, “There is a realisation that this is a strategic CEO issue for the major insurers and they are starting to put resources behind it”. Some of the lessons of the FinTech revolution are evidently being taken onboard. The banks' initial dismissiveness of the threat was soon replaced by a general willingness to work with and support the start-ups, and this is now being seen in insurance too.
Investors also appear to be taking a longer-term view – maybe starting to adopt the Silicon Valley approach. Becky Downing, CEO and Founder of Buzzmove, commented that VC investors now seem to be adopting a private equity mindset and applying less pressure to spend the money and scale-up too quickly.
The main anxiety was the drain on talent created by Brexit, with several of the participants commenting that they were already feeling the impact. Dylan Bourguignon, CEO of So Sure, gave a ringing endorsement for London when he said: “In London, we’ve got the great advantage of being one of the largest insurance hubs in the world…and one of the most advanced distribution channels for consumer lines. We’ve got a talent pool that has been evolving for a decade”. However, he rounded off with a warning that London risks losing it all through the uncertainty created by Brexit.
There is no doubt about it, InsurTech is a dynamic sector filled with opportunity to capture the hearts, minds and wallets of frustrated consumers, but there are challenges, too. Here at The Marketing Eye, we look forward to supporting the most ambitious and the best to drive a long-overdue revolution in one of the UKs most established industries.
For a full write up of the event, please download the PDF.
Brands represented at the roundtable were:
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