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3 Things The Insurance Industry Can Learn from Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 13:31:58 +0000 / by Chris Murumets


If you had the chance to read my colleague’s article on our trip the Silicon Valley earlier this year, you’ll know that the visionaries and innovators in this space have a keen interest in the insurance industry.  During this trip, we learned about the Silicon Valley Insurance Accelerator (SVIA). An organization that connects the established insurance industry with the Valley’s network of innovative technology, InsurTech Startups, Venture firms and other global innovation hubs. The goal is to facilitate the flow of market, technology insights, and investment, ultimately accelerating innovation in the insurance industry.

They recently hosted the Insurance Disrupted Conference to talk about the next big wave disrupting InsurTech. We had the chance to hear about big data, analytics and AI from some seriously innovative companies including Lumiata, BanjoXL Innovate and NAUTO. All players in the Insurtech space. Being part of a company that is both facilitating and embracing the changing world of insurance, this conference left me feeling energized and excited for what is to come. Which inspired me to share 3 things the insurance industry can learn from the SVIA Insurance Disrupted Conference.  

1. Data Layering

The discussion around data layering was particularly intriguing because it demonstrated how data can lead to innovation through layers.


Source: Emerging Big Data / Analytic / AI Technologies featuring AppOrchid Inc, Lumiata, XL Innovate & AIG

This image was presented at the conference and I think holds a lot of power. Big data can often be overwhelming – truly because there is so much of it. So how can we break it down to make it actionable? The first step is applying a layer of analytics. Which is definitely something we are seeing in the insurance industry.

Take TAI's INSIGHTS platform launched earlier this year. TAI, is an administrative processing software , so it holds a ton of reinsurance data. The data within the system would be the bottom layer. INSIGHTS is a platform to understand risk across your reinsurance program by slicing and dicing the data available. So it acts as the analytic layer on top of the data that gives reinsurers the ability to make more meaning of it.

Building a workflow around the data analytics is the next layer. Let’s say from your analysis you’ve noticed various patterns. If X happens here, Y is likely to happen here so you need to take Z action. By having this insight, you can predict activity and build a workflow so that an action is triggered when another variable has occurred.

The final layer is innovation. Perhaps going through this process will open your eyes to a pain point or need in the market leading to the innovative product or service. Keep in mind this is a lengthy process and doesn't happen over night (although that would be ideal!) BUT thinking about it in this way can perhaps reduce the overwhelming feeling of working with big data.

2. The Power of Social Media

In the digital age, people flock to social media to provide real-time updates on their life. All this activity is really changing the way we do business. It creates a pool of insights that, as  demonstrated at the SVIA conference, businesses can tap into in various ways. Ryan Johnson of Banjo, demonstrated how the insurance industry can leverage social media with a simple tweet of a photo capturing a car accident. He showed how various elements of the photo, like a gas station sign, could be used to identify the location and the parties affected in order to initiate the involvement of their respective insurance companies.  

3. The Future is Now

This is something that resonated with me during NAUTO's discussion. NAUTO's technology connects camera networks and artificial intelligence to help prevent accidents before they happen. I was definitely impressed by the demonstration of their software but what really stuck out to me was the timeline of various car companies’ implementation of this kind of technology. While there were plenty of automobile brands on the list, insurance companies were nowhere to be found. Yet this is something that will affect them too.

For me, the takeaway here is that the insurance industry really can’t shy away from embracing innovation and change. Because first of all, this change is happening within the industry but secondly, it is also happening to those around us which we have direct involvement in.

Thank you again to SVIA for introducing us the next wave of disruptors in the InsurTech world. This was just a glimpse of the insights shared at the conference but I hope it inspired thoughts around your perspective on innovation in insurance.   

Stay tuned for exciting news!

I encourage you to sign up for our blog as we continue to explore the world of insurance innovation and to find out how our Group will be making a meaningful impact on InsurTech over the next  6 months (wink wink)!


Topics: Innovation

Chris Murumets

Written by Chris Murumets

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