The excerpted article was written by Isabella Kirkwood
In its 2019 Insurance Industry Outlook, Deloitte claimed Insurtech is fundamentally changing the rules of the game, driving a new innovation ecosystem with both threats and opportunities for industry leaders.
Despite the exponential surge of connectivity and digitization, some insurance providers still hold on to outdated notions about the industry’s ability to ward off disruption.
“We are using the best of technology tools to significantly complement human expertise.”
“We are living in an age of disruption. How we engage with our customers is evolving and consumer expectations are changing,” said Don Forgeron, president and CEO of the Insurance Bureau of Canada, for a survey the group released last year. “As insurers, we need to have the ability to adapt to the rapid changes that are impacting our business.”
While these circumstances have left the industry more archaic and less agile in comparison to other financial services sectors, it has made room for Insurtech startups to target the around 30 percent of Canadians currently lacking any life insurance coverage. Enter: PolicyAdvisor, an Insurtech startup based in Toronto, which is looking to build a new kind of insurance experience. The company combines modern technology and human expertise in an effort to simplify the insurance-buying process for consumers. Most notably, the company claims it’s outperforming the traditional insurance broker.
PolicyAdvisor harnesses data from multiple sources, using algorithms that scan hundreds of complex insurance documents to identify the right policy match for a customer. PolicyAdvisors’ approach is markedly different from other movers and shakers in Canadian Insurtech, which generally target the business and enterprise segment.
ProNavigator, is an example, having built a natural language processing AI platform that provids insurance companies with 24/7 virtual assistants. Montreal-based Breathe Life provides life and health insurers, distribution organizations, and advisors with white-label solutions to quickly and cost-effectively onboard new clients. Finaeo, another notable Canadian Insurtech company, has created workflow platforms for insurance advisors that help with repetitive tasks.
PolicyAdvisor not only works with consumers but is also an independent insurance advisor that directly provides policies to those consumers. BetaKit spoke with PolicyAdvisor founder and CEO Jiten Puri about how he’s looking to address gaps in life insurance, and what’s on the horizon for the company.
Puri, previously worked as a banker with Morgan Stanley out of New York, looking after mergers and acquisitions in the FinTech space. He called life insurance the last vestige of financial services that has yet to see the evolution other segments have embarked on. Canadian companies like Wealthsimple, Koho, Borrowell, and formerly Planswell, have all gone after a particular consumer segment with their own technology offerings. Borrowell, for example, deals with lending, while Wealthsimple takes on investing, and Koho deals with saving and spending. Puri saw an opportunity to bring together his understanding of, and connectivity in, the financial space to innovate insurance in Canada.