THIS is where insurtechs could take the industry if they had a clue what they were doing.Instead, they cater to the base instincts of people because of ignorance or avarice. They’re looking for quantity, booking as many policies with as little effort as possible. Cash flow. The fact that they dishonestly or misguidedly lead people to believe they can really sell them insurance in 60-90 seconds makes me think there is more than just gross ignorance involved. If they actually understood the industry and what is at stake for the public, they would know the Amazon “one-click” approach isn’t suited for what we sell. Insurance policies have lots of endorsements for a reason--unless a lot of those coverage options are being built in, there are people with lots of coverage gaps that don’t have to be there. The insurance industry is founded on good faith, and good faith means a lot of things that don’t seem to be part of the business model of a lot of insurtechs. If we consider ourselves professionals, there are certain characteristics of being a professional that we have to meet. One of those is altruism. I don’t see any real altruism, for example, coming from a company like Lemonade other than the charity perception they like to give lip service to. When I got my online homeowners quotes, the companies never asked me about my boat dock. Assuming they’re using state-of-the-art data resources like satellite imagery, something in their system should have told them that I live on a lake and have a $40,000 covered boat dock. They should also have access to information that tells them the dock is on Army Corps of Engineers property, not MY “residence premises.” As a result, they would have issued me a homeowners policy with a $40,000 gap for that exposure alone. On our neighborhood NextDoor app, someone said they had a slip on their dock that was available for renting. That makes their dock used for business, necessitating another endorsement to cover that exposure. Does anyone at this insurtech know this? Does anyone at this insurtech really care that they may have a book of business full of people who have potentially bankrupting uninsured exposures? I doubt it. Too cool to care. Would a traditional agent ask these questions? Many would not, so I don’t blame this attitude just on insurtechs. There is plenty of room for improvement in traditional channels. That’s where I see the role of technology. Automate processing as best as possible and use RELIABLE information resources to streamline the processes. That should give knowledgeable, caring professionals, with the assistance of AI technology, the ability to devote most of their time to exposure analysis, risk management, advocacy and education. See also: Predicting the Future of Insurtech The industry needs disruption and can benefit greatly from technology, but not the kind being offered by most of the insurtechs I’ve looked at. Everyone knows the U.S. has a great need for rebuilding infrastructure. If we let the equivalent of insurtechs do it, they’d be rebuilding bridges with matchsticks. This message needs to be shared at insurtech conferences, but I’ve not seen any indications that it is.
The Problem With Insurtech Conferences
The insurtech industry must get away from the misguided premise that what consumers want and need is fast, easy and cheap.