LFP061 – InsureTech the 30,000 Feet Guide with Jonathan Howe UK Insurance Lead at PwC

PwC Banner_Orange_JGI am delighted to be joined today by Jonathan Howe UK Insurance lead at Price Waterhouse Coopers. As long time listeners will know I am very reluctant to give anyone a big picture topic on anything. Most folks are experts on one coalface and very few on the whole coal mine.

Jonathan HoweHowever Jonathan is a rara avis in the modern world in many ways. His linkedin career is perhaps the shortest I have read – one entry – 23 years at PwC. Now that’s the lifetime employment model that used to exist back in the day and exists for very few today. That’s also, compared to many butterflies in the modern world, an opportunity to dig a very deep well of experience and knowledge in a sector.

Secondly Jonathan leads the UK insurance practice (over 1,000 employees) and is responsible for PwC’s services for the UK Insurance Industry across all their range including audit, regulatory compliance, actuarial, consulting, tax and deals.

Thirdly PwC have been involved in a series of reports on the sector. Now plenty of reports are out there the more cynical amongst you may say and quality varies. True. However in “InsureTech a force for good”  Jonathan and colleagues have gone more than an extra mile. Amazingly they and their report partners Startupbootcamp have surveyed over 1,300 insurance startups. Wow.

Add that to decades in the industry and we have another of the rarest birds in the real world – someone who really is an expert.

The subtitle of “InsurTech a force for good” is an interesting overview “How InsurTech can reconnect insurers with their customers while simultaneously boosting the bottom line”

I met Jonathan at an event recently. It wasn’t a game of Top Trumps but if it had been Jonathan would have won hands down … when you have a database of 1,300 startups that’s a hell of a lot of facts to bring into any debate.

Topics discussed include – – Vespas 🙂

– racing Vespas :-O

– Jonathan’s career in insurance and how that has led to InsureTech

– the job of a consultant

– banking versus insurance and the tribal nature of both; banks as being asset focused and insurers as being more liability focused [when of course both have both assets and liabilities by definition]

– the last 30yrs of insurance, its changes, crises and how it rode the banking crisis

– how to find 1,300 insurance startups and get a real handle on the sector (hence the poor nature of much commentary that one reads)

– the first para of the reports executive summary:

“Insurance technology (InsurTech) is a burgeoning phenomenon that has the potential to help the insurance industry reconnect with its customers following a period of increasing alienation and disengagement. Not only does InsurTech offer the insurance industry huge commercial potential, it can also help insurers reaffirm their purpose in society – to protect and support policyholders”

– “only 27% of consumers trust their insurance providers”

– insurance company regulation being wide-ranging and therefore capturing many business models as new insurers rather than InsureTechs. There are very few players coming in to be new insurance companies

– InsureTech as facilitating parts of the value chain rather than the whole thing

– the gap around assimilating folks data and reporting back to them where they personally have insurance underlaps and overlaps. How this relates to the historic pattern of siloed insurance products

– Three approaches to this (including in-house for incumbents):

  1. InsureTechs who promise to assimilate your policies and provide this info
  2. InsureTechs who are moving to policies to insure the owner rather than his objects
  3. InsureTechs re micro-insurance for smaller slices of your possessions

– about 80% of InsureTechs are front-end, customer-facing (as opposed to banking where 70-80% might be back-office/process focused)

– how this might be expected to change going forwards

– buying insurance by price not value/quality, ratings and performance data

– what the range of views are across incumbents about this new world – addressing these angles

– the problem of filtering all the potential suitors if an incumbent wants to work with the new players

disruption vs enhancement – an important distinction for Fintech as a whole

– the game for incumbents competing with each other will change regardless of what any disrupters do or do not manage to achieve

– how PwC liaise with very small businesses that many InsureTechs are

– cultural issues with insurers interact with InsureTechs

– blockchain and insurance – PwC report working with Z/Yen (over 50 insurers took part) Chain Reaction: How Blockchain Technology Might Transform Wholesale Insurance

– PwC’s credibility and credentials in the Insurance sector, old and new

And much more more 🙂

Share and enjoy!