Why wait and see may be the best insurtech approach

Published: September 30, 2019

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Technology is undoubtedly the great transformer in the insurance industry. However, while it is tempting to jump on board the first Insurtech innovations that show promise, some in the industry are willing to be more patient.

Getting distracted by the promise of each insurtech idea can mean getting lost. Joanna Mendoca, president of Staebler Insurance, told a recent panel discussion she is will to wait and see.

“I think we guard against what we would just call FOMO [fear of missing out] with insurtech,” Mendoca said at the recent Gore Mutual’s Fast Forward event in Toronto.

Mendoca points out she is inundated with emails about new insurtech ideas that are meant to make the industry easier to manage. However, she says she would rather “do a lot more scrutiny and [be] more diligent about what the solution really is, what the functionality really is and how practical it really is.”

Fellow panelist William Chan, president at BrokerTeam, agrees and says taking time to select the right insurtech solution makes sense, even from a practical standpoint where not all solutions will work within your business model. He says BrokerTeam creates customer focus groups to decide which insurtech ideas to embrace.

“The other important thing we do is involve our staff because I don’t think it’s a bright thing to ram some technology that we’ve become fascinated with and want to implement in a month down our staff’s throats,” Chan said. “We need to get their input and also figuring out how it will work in our business. How can it work in our business? How can we integrate?”

According to Ibeth Ramos, lead innovation coach for Cookhouse Labs, it is important for brokers to understand what customers need before selecting insurtechs.

“And to be able to connect, we have to go to the core of who we are — human beings. And we can’t do that looking at somebody with a title or just looking at someone as a customer,” she said during the panel. “We have to really understand; we have to really come down and really empathize.”