Getting practical about InsurTech Innovation — Widgetlabs at DIA 2017

On the 10. and 11. of May, the Digital Insurance Agenda (DIA) Conference 2017 took place in Amsterdam. The event was a great platform for insurers and InsurTech startups to meet in a cool atmosphere. More than 850 people from all over the world came to Amsterdam and made the event to the best InsurTech event we have seen so far.

As the conference had a strict ban of PowerPoint presentations for the startup pitches, the companies had to show live demos of their product. This gave very good insights into the current state of InsurTech innovation and also showed the use of technologies like Machine Learning in a much more practical way.

Interesting to notice is that the live demos by startups gave more approaches to enhance existing processes than replacing them with totally new operational models. So insurers saw more partners than competitors.

We talked to a lot of insurance companies that want to work closely together with startups and use their innovative power for their own processes. But this often creates a challenge: Both sides seem to speak other languages and have to think about a translator in between them as both sides are not built with technologies that communicate well with each other.

At our booth, we had the chance to present our approach of an integration process of an InsurTech startup to interested people. To create longterm success, incumbents have to face the cultural differences between startups and insurers. And also the proper translation between the innovative technologies used by startups and the more mature systems used by insurers has to be ensured. Otherwise, a cooperation between these two will just be a short-term advantage.

A recent research by Celent showed these differences in a good overview:

Especially the different approaches for risk tolerance and speed of decisions can threaten a successful partnership. The strategic decision to implement an InsurTech startup has to include these practical questions as well.

We want to thank the organisers Reggy de Feniks and Roger Peverelli that we could be part of this great event.