October 3, 2017
Six Innovators to Watch – September 2017
by Paul Carroll
As InsureTech Connect gets underway this week, here is our latest look at Six Innovators to Watch. (Previous honorees can be found here.) We hope that you find this month’s six, and the many others showcased at InsureTech Connect, thought-provoking and perhaps even inspirational as we try to drive innovation in insurance and risk management.
Agent Ave, based in St. Paul, MN, wants to help independent insurance agents manage the data associated with all the insurance companies they represent. From underwriting appetite, to application forms to company contacts, each insurer has different rules and regulations for an agent to manage—and, for an independent agent, managing all this information for multiple carriers can be overwhelming. The Agent Ave platform allows the agency to organize, coordinate and communicate this information via a single accessible tool, making agents more efficient, productive and able to serve their customers more quickly. Learn more about Agent Ave at https://www.itlinnovatorsedge.com/companies/agent-ave
Clear-Cut Medical is a medtech company based in Israel that has developed a portable MRI technology that promises significant savings of time and cost on cancer surgeries. The company’s ClearSight system is designed to provide a surgeon with effective margin assessment—making sure all cancer was caught by ensuring a margin of healthy tissue around excised tumors—in real time within the operating room, helping reduce the occurrence of second surgeries to remove cancerous tissue that was not caught. The savings and improved outcomes from avoiding another surgery can be significant, to the benefit of the payer, which typically is the insurance industry. The ClearSight system is available in Europe and is undergoing clinical trials in the U.S., with a goal of FDA approval in 2018. Learn more about Clear-Cut Medical at https://www.itlinnovatorsedge.com/companies/clear-cut-medical-ltd
DataCubes has a goal of using big data technology to enable insurers to underwrite a small commercial insurance risk with just the name and address of a company. The Chicago-area company’s data science uses that information to access relevant data to provide a more comprehensive risk profile of a business, thus allowing the insurer to underwrite and price coverage with precision, making coverage application faster while reducing manual entry of diverse data and ultimately lowering costs. DataCubes technology can be deployed as a customer-facing form—such as an agency portal or direct-to-consumer web site—or can be integrated with a carrier’s or MGA’s systems. Learn more about DataCubes at https://www.itlinnovatorsedge.com/companies/datacubes-inc
Digital Fineprint turns social media data into intelligence for insurance underwriting and customer engagement. One of its first applications was using social sign-ons to complete online forms for insurance coverage applications. The company has expanded to use data science to analyze social media information to provide insights to a consumer seeking to evaluate and better understand insurance needs, as well as generating a risk profile for insurers to underwrite a variety of coverages. London-based Digital Fineprint is working with several insurers around the world, including life/health and property/casualty companies. Learn more about Digital Fineprint at https://www.itlinnovatorsedge.com/companies/digital-fineprint-331
MotionsCloud wants to reduce the time it takes to settle insurance claims, addressing a pain point for both insurers and policyholders. Using a mobile application and artificial intelligence, MotionsCloud allows a policyholder to capture information about a claim, deliver information to insurers and even use a smartphone to provide a live video inspection and chat. In the background, the A.I. algorithms are analyzing the claim against historical claims and repair data and giving a human adjuster the information needed to quickly sign off on a claim—and even make payment via the app. MotionsCloud, based in Germany with an office in Des Moines, Iowa, hopes that, by reducing the time insurers spend evaluating and processing routine claims, they can boost customer satisfaction, lower costs and deploy their resources on more complex claims. Learn more about MotionsCloud at https://www.itlinnovatorsedge.com/companies/motionscloud
Safeguard has developed an insurance product, the Marriage Assurance policy, that is designed to not only provide a long-term benefit for policyholders who stay married but also provide a payout in case of divorce, death, or terminal illness. The Durham, N.C.-based company identified a lack of insurance coverage solutions against the financial losses that result from a divorce, especially among women. The Marriage Assurance product is designed to be bought by individual parties in a marriage to cover either themselves or their spouse, by a parent or grandparent or even by a business partnership concerned about protecting assets in case of a partner’s divorce. Safeguard is planning to either underwrite the coverage itself or partner with an established insurer to bring it to market. Learn more about Safeguard Guaranty at https://www.itlinnovatorsedge.com/companies/safeguard-guaranty-corporation
I hope I don’t come across as ignoring the fact that InsureTech Connect is being held in Las Vegas, where some evil idiot killed dozens and wounded hundreds more Sunday night while they minded their own business, enjoying an open-air concert. I just don’t know what to say. I’d love to think that, in the spirit of innovation in risk managment (not to mention humanity), we could at least have a conversation about how to preserve Second Amendment rights while reducing the number of mass shootings in the U.S. (They average almost one a day.) But past massacres haven’t led to a serious conversation about how to reduce gun violence, so I despair that this one somehow will, either.