Editorial by Rick Huckstep
Innovation is one of those words that gets used a lot. I see it all the time when reviewing investment pitch decks from startups. “We’re going to be big because we’re innovative”. “Invest in me because I’m applying innovation”. “Innovation is in our DNA”.
However, most of the time, the use of the word ‘innovation’ is nothing more than vague and meaningless. This is why so many pitch decks end up in the trash can! The word gets confused with the invention and the creation of something specific. To be innovative is more than just inventing a solution.
Innovation is all about solving a problem in a way that has a positive outcome. True innovation leads to impactful change.
Which is the theme we look at for this month’s InsurTech Insights.
The lead articles from KPMG and me come at the subject of innovation in the insurance industry from two different perspectives.
Ali Geramian, from KPMG’s Innovation Lab in the US, looks at the approach taken by many incumbent insurers to invest in technology startups as a source of innovation. Using data from KPMG studies, Geramian reports that “62% [of insurance executives] indicated that their company either had or was planning to create a venture capital fund to invest in insurtech.”
Geramian, for KPMG, makes the point that transformative M&A is an effective strategy if delivered in the right way. And he provides a three-point plan for doing so.
In my article, I look at the application of innovation in the digital age. Whilst many talk of disruption to insurance markets (another over-used word), I prefer to see the technology changes as more of a rapid evolution. A catching up that is gaining pace amongst the incumbents, fuelled by the growth in InsurTech.
For my article, I spoke with two old friends of mine in the insurance technology space.
Jacob Abboud is recognised as an industry leading business transformation leader who also happens to be the CIO of Allianz Insurance.
Scott Walchek is the charismatic and experienced CEO and founder of Trov, the world’s first on-demand, micro-duration insurance platform.
Whether you are an entrepreneur building something new, an incumbent taking the challenge head-on by innovating from within, or a big dog bringing your war chest to the party, one thing is for sure in the 21st century global insurance industry: the digital era is here, change is happening, and the ride is going to be exciting.
Rick gets two different perspectives on innovation, one from Allianz, and the the other from Trov.