September 11, 2018
3 Insurtech Firms Take a Star Turn
by John Cusano
Smart insurtech firms, such as Habit Analytics, Open Data Nation and StrongArm Tech, are likely to play a key role in helping incumbents.
Three smart insurtech firms were among a select group of startups showcasing their innovations to financial services executives, investors and journalists in New York.
I’m an executive sponsor at the lab, which was founded by Accenture together with the Partnership Fund for New York City. Since the facility opened in 2010, the surge in the number of technology startups looking to break into the financial services industry has been staggering. Nearly 50 startups have received backing from the FinTech Innovation Lab. They were chosen from hundreds of applicants. The funding these innovators have secured from the lab’s partners totals around $655 million. The FinTech concept has proved so successful that we’ve opened similar innovation labs in Hong Kong, Dublin and London.
The insurance industry is attracting the attention of a growing number of the startups approaching the innovation labs for support. This year we introduced a dedicated “insurtech track” at the lab to encourage and develop startups that are working on solutions for the insurance industry. It’s been a great success.
Three of the 11 startups showing their innovations at this year’s Demo Day were insurtech firms. The Demo Day is the culmination of a 12-week accelerator program that provides selected startups with intensive mentoring, technology and business assessments and extensive networking opportunities. At the Demo Day, the startups showcase their projects to executives from the financial services industry as well as investors and journalists.
See also: Can Insurtech Rescue Insurance?
These are the promising insurtech firms that presented their innovations:
- Habit Analytics. This firm uses real-time consumer data, sourced from smartphones and connected devices in homes, to create behavioral profiles that enable insurance companies to improve their risk models and enhance their products and services. Using information provided by Habit, insurers can, for example, monitor changes in a home’s risk, check the presence and performance of connected alarms and tailor services to suit the specific needs of customers.
- Open Data Nation. By aggregating and analyzing information from around 2.5 billion public records from major US cities, this startup provides insurers with valuable insights to help them better evaluate risk. The company uses predictive analytics and machine learning to create proprietary risk scores for commercial enterprises in these cities. By accessing these scores, insurers can select and prioritize the risks they wish to underwrite, and thereby improve their efficiency and reduce claims.
- StrongArm Tech. This insurtech firm aims to improve the wellbeing of industrial workers and help employers and their insurers reduce costs and enhance risk management. The company uses sensors worn by industrial workers to gather real-time data about the activities performed by these employees as well as the environments in which they’re working. Using a cloud-based artificial intelligence solution, StrongArm Tech analyzes this data and advises employers and insurers how they can reduce the risk of injury, and enhance the wellbeing, of workers. The company is also able to send real-time alerts to workers should they be in danger of harming themselves.
All three of these insurtech firms are looking to help insurers better manage risk. They’re aiming to help insurance companies perform better rather than trying to muscle in on their traditional markets. This desire for collaboration is a sign of the growing maturity of the insurtech sector. Smart insurtech firms, such as Habit Analytics, Open Data Nation and StrongArm Tech, are likely to play a key role in helping insurers capitalize on the many opportunities emerging from advances in digital technology.