Psst, Hey, Lets Play a Word Game. Let’s merge
An old, stodgy, but successful industry = INSURANCE
( with )
An always changing, hip, modern industry = TECHNOLOGY.
The resulting birth of this union is what everyone now casually refers to as #InsurTech
Insurance + Technology = #InsurTech
Let's continue this game and compare the striking similarities of employee stereotypes in each industry.
Individuals in this field may exhibit Nerdy, Geekish, Awkward social behavior. High probability of late to the dating world and even higher probability of ownership of at least a pocket protector, TI calculator, a subscription to popular science, computing today, a video game fascination, and incalculable hours behind a computer keyboard as a teen, or a combination of all of the above.
This is not meant to serve as ridicule, Remember the title, I Am InsureTech, So the description above could be me.
The intent is to bring everyone deeper into the conversation surrounding #insuretech. The industry that I love and that has provided for my family for multiple decades is facing rapid change, it is needed and necessary and welcomed change, but I fear that the ones trying to change aren’t aware of the amount of regulation, process based workflows and the sloth like approach that the industry is cloaked in.
Our industry is malleable, but she ain't gonna surrender to a few thousand lines of code or be conquered by an insurance novice.
Allow me to share a rather funny example.
I attended the inaugural InsureTech conference last year and as I type this little blog, I am sitting on a plane returning from this years event. While at this years event the same buzzword worked its way into every pitch and every speakers liturgy - the word -
“ disruption “
I met with dozens of really neat startups, investment bankers and venture capitalists standing ready to pour millions into InsurTech. During these meetings I found myself ringing a mental bell every single time one of them spewed forth the disruption word.
Here’s the funny example I was referring to above, after one of the aforementioned “ disruptor's pitches “ I politely asked the following. I started it with an apology, as in forgive me, I am aged and I believe that you technologically gifted and superior minded group of people are going to disrupt our industry, but I have to ask, have either of you actually purchased your own auto or renters insurance or are you still on your parents policy ? "
Eyeballs facing the floor, feet shuffling, a shift of their body weight from one side to the other - they respond with ( insert your own highly dramatic and laughingly silly response here ) and you will get the picture.
Again, this is not for ridicule, I Am For Change in our Industry.
I should introduce you to the fact that the Latin word for Disrupt literally means to "BREAK APART ".
I am not sure I want to break apart our industry.
I am certain that Technology can enhance every single part of it. However, before we disrupt it – perhaps you should purchase the products first and really understand the pain points. Also, consider selling it and really embrace the pain points of multiple input, delayed responses from client and carrier alike and navigating a multitude of proprietary platforms already created to....wait for it - help DISRUPT our industry.
Ah Yes, but we were writing about InsureTech.
Let me provide you with Investopedia's description of InsureTech:
InsurTech refers to the use of technology innovations designed to squeeze out savings and efficiency from the current insurance industry model.
After you take a moment to let that definition soak in, let me present you with this gigantic series of revelations. The fax machine, the computer modem, the laptop, the mobile phone, have all been part of InsureTech, and I make a big assumption here, but I presume that many of you have used or currently use some type of new technology in your business.
It was not boasting to begin with the bold statement of I Am InsureTech, nor is it boastful for you to proclaim that you too are InsureTech.
Collectively we are InsureTech and shouldn’t we be the ones disrupting ? If you are fine with the status quo, peace to you. But if you want to attract younger needed talent to our industry – help them disrupt. Show them the pain points, allow them to introduce the technologically enhanced thought processes that come so easily to them. They are not steeped in tradition, workflow or even experience ( much like the young men I spoke of earlier, they don’t know what they don’t know ) AND I submit to you that that can be both GOOD and BAD.
Encourage failure and speak encouragement into our new brothers and sisters stepping into this mystical world of InsureTech. After all, most of us have been living in InsureTech for our entire careers, we just didn’t have the cool name to go along with it.
Since No single person has claimed ownership of the phrase #InsureTech – I may freely give it to you. Go forth Mr. or Mrs. InsureTech, Merge our beloved offerings with technology, Break it apart, Build our industry better than before.
You Are InsureTech, and of course, SO AM I.
Jeffery Arnold is a self described Thinker, Author and InsureTech Junkie. Through his agency RIGHTSURE, He Specializes in Joint Ventures with Tech Companies seeking alternative distribution opportunities. He refers to the insurance industry as a giver of life, dream fulfiller and industry of all things sexy, exciting and just plain awesome. Get future articles by following here. Prior Articles are here.
photo courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@agkdesign