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Insurtech Plus 2018

As a two day conference based in Shanghai, Insurtech Plus 2018 was a dual language event hosted by J&W consulting with over 300 attendees. The Digital Insurer was invited to lead a panel discussion and give a keynote address at the event.

In the morning session of the first day, Ellison Liu from Cigna-CMB spoke of the role that new data streams are having on product design, particularly in the life/health vertical.  The CEO of Shanghai-based Insurtech Roadefend then outlined the development of driver assistance technologies and its importance in the short/medium term as autonomous driving technology is still in its nascency. During the final session of the morning, TDI’s Michael O’Dwyer moderated a panel discussion The panel considered a wide range of technologies that insurers will need to contend with in the coming years. Specifically, although each of the panelists acknowledged the strength that life/health insurers have in distributing short term health insurance, Eddie Zhu of Qianhai Re maintained that the role of traditional insurers with agency and bancassurance networks will remain robust going forward.

From left: Michael O’Dywer, TDI; Wei Li (Chief Medical Officer of SCOR), Edward Zhu (MD of Qianhai Re-insurance), and Chuanyin Xu (GM of Enterprise Development at Aegon Life).

During the afternoon session, TDI’s Simon Phipps presented a keynote entitled Blockchain and Insurance: Opportunities Ahead. Simon highlighted the early-stage nature of blockchain, significant longer-term potential and, early use cases appearing in areas such as claims and identity management. He also noted examples from Axa, AIA and several startups which are actively pursuing broader blockchain-based deployments.

Ultimately, although no incumbent insurer has embraced blockchain as a de-facto standard, it does represent a potential game changer for the industry due to its decentralized nature and ability to authenticate data-driven occurrences (such as natural catastrophes, travel delays and electronic health record submissions).

The next Panel session was broadly titled: Technology Enables Auto Insurance, Health Insurance, Agricultural Insurance and Catastrophic Insurance During the session, the changing role of re-insurers as life and health insurers move to capture more revenue was acknowledged. The panel also discussed the opportunities for property insurers to leverage new technologies such as drones, advanced modeling and smart phones to disrupt agricultural and NatCat insurance.

Ultimately, the Insurtech Plus conference considered the effect that a wide range of technologies will have on insurers and was noteworthy for the way in which it exposed the fact that traditional life/health insurers are taking differing approaches to the digital era. The TDI team looks forward to bringing you more coverage from China in the months ahead.  In the meantime, preparation for TDI LIVEFEST, the worlds first fully online global conference, is well underway. Taking place in November 2018, you can register to attend for free by following the link below.

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