InsurTechNZ 2019 from Zero to Hero

Jackie Clark
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FinTech, InsurTech

Jason Roberts, Co-chair of FinTechNZ’s largest Working Group, InsurTechNZ shares highlights of the group’s activities for 2018, and a sneak peek of what’s to come for 2019: 

If someone said InsurTech wasn’t on the radar this time last year I would probably have agreed. What a difference a year makes. We’ve seen rapid market awareness of InsurTech and what it stands for, and significant market growth. The InsurTech sector in New Zealand has grown by 63% this year, according to research conducted by EYMBIE and InsurTechNZ, to map the InsurTech landscape in New Zealand. We only had a smattering of new companies in preceding years; highlighting the fact that many more companies are now seeing an opportunity in this area.

Highlights from InsurTechNZ’s rapid rise in 2018:

FinTechNZ and InsurTechNZ

Parent organisation FinTechNZ provided the foundation blocks on which InsurTechNZ has quickly grown, benefiting from the support and backing of the FinTechNZ team, the InsurTechNZ working group members and of course – our members!

Of the 150+ FinTechNZ members and 1,000 contacts, a recent survey revealed that 30-40% have an active interest in Insurance, so clearly this is the right home for us.

Developing our identity and focusing on the issues

We have matured and gone from an Insurance Working Group to ‘InsurTechNZ’ a founding member of GITA (Global Insurtech Alliance). We have become more sophisticated in our leadership and protocols; we have a Charter and new special interest groups emerging, so watch this space for further developments.

Looking back we realise we are all learning at a tremendous rate, particularly when identifying the issues, developing themes to consider and I believe the most difficult to all, learning to understand quite porous concepts of collaboration, never the easiest thing in a competitive business world.

To the credit of all involved insights, networking and discussion have helped us all learn together, and along the way companies will naturally find their best position and opportunity. We are developing a high degree of collaboration, which is a powerful statement of the energy of the sector.

Events and meet up

This year we had six InsurTechNZ events and two joint events with FinTechNZ, covering a variety of topics from ‘What is insurance and where are we going?’ to Legal/compliance, Sessions in AI, Customer engagement, Bridging the gap with the UK, and more. Looking back to our first events that had a round table of 15 people, the fact that we have well supported events with wonderful hosts and up to 80 attendees is a sure sign of interest.

While we have wrapped up for 2018, we look forward to starting 2019 with a bang – first with the InsurTech Landscape report (more below) due for formal release in February, followed in March/April  by a specialist session focused on InsurHealth. We’ll look at the new opportunities to reframe the traditional Claims narrative into a Wellness narrative, of special interest for Life/Health insurers crossing over to being ‘Well Health’ providers.

ANZIIF and Insurtech AU

ANZIIF Insurtech ConferenceThe Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) has shown great support, especially in hosting specialist InsurTech-focused events and discussion, but as importantly we helped eight New Zealand companies attend the ANZIIF Insurtech conference last February, providing a platform and exhibition stands to our members. We will be doing this again in 2019 and plan to take a delegation over in February Please contact Jason or Craig if you would like to be involved.

InsurTech Landscape report. A collaboration between EY and InsurtechNZ

We are wrapping up the draft of the InsurTech Landscape report, which will be published early next year. It has been modelled off a similar exercise completed in February with InsurTech Australia and EY, key findings included:

  • 63% of NZ InsurTechs had been founded within the past 12 months (16 new InsurTechs).
  • 57% of NZ InsurTechs plan to grow internationally within 12 months.
  • 50% of NZ InsurTechs have been formed with the intention to improve customer experience and engagement.
  • There is opportunity for increased collaboration between incumbents and InsurTechs, this has not yet been fully realised.
  • Future trends involve leveraging digital technologies such as AI and Blockchain.
  • There is a very strong focus on platform solutions and the role Technology enabler companies have to play.

We will release the report in New Zealand and also share this in unison with Insurtech Australia and EY at the upcoming ANZIIF conference.

Happy holidays

Once again, thanks for all the tremendous input from the InsurTechNZ working group, the Tech Alliance team and of course all the FinTechNZ attendees and members. It’s your organisation and we look forward to shaping a bigger and brighter InsurTechNZ next year.

Happy holidays every one and I hope you have a fantastic and well-deserved break. As for me, I’m getting Poppy, my 50 year old caravan, tidied up for her annual holiday break already!

Merry Christmas,

Jason Roberts
Chair, InsurTechNZ