Ninety’s iii Circle: March 2022 Edition
Ninety’s iii Circle is our monthly round-up of new ideas in the global insurance industry. We cover headlining innovations, top innovation themes and innovation analysis for the month. Ninety’s Idea Pulse dashboard provides visual indicators of monthly innovation trends by business lines, regions, and Ninety’s innovation taxonomy – the Ten Types of Insurance Innovation.
The data for this report is compiled from officially announced, ready to market innovations reported from leading insurers, reinsurers, and brokers across the world.
Our monthly round-up includes a showcase of five case studies of innovations from a cross-section of business lines and trends. For the most part, the case studies chosen are representative examples of commonly recurring themes of the month. We also highlight examples of future innovation as seen through the lens of research and venture investment in emerging risks and technologies.
- In March, Ninety recorded a total of 46 new ideas and announcements from insurance businesses around the world, not counting insurtechs. March data was slightly lower than expected for first quarter end – the effect of the Ukraine situation and global uncertainty may have influenced the dip.
- Digital platforms and processes, risk analytics and data insights and AI continue to be leading technology trends from February. We also saw innovations in the emerging technology spectrum from tethering devices to manage space debris and an insurance innovation lab that will operate in the metaverse.
- Insurer investments included venture funding in proptech, fintech, healthtech and insurtech.
The Top Innovation Themes in March
|Frictionless Customer Experience||Digital Transformation||Risk Insights – New Models & Methods||New Products & Services||
Insurance Idea Pulse Dashboard: March 2022
- March data shows innovation priorities focused in two directions – addressing emerging risks and priorities on one hand and digital transformation in current operations, on the other. This marks a shift from previous months of Q1 2022, where emerging risks, digital distribution and climate action dominated. Customer experience and customer engagement initiatives were also another highlight of March.
- Specialty, Reinsurance and Lloyd’s continued to account for a third of innovation, followed by Personal P&C. Life and Health remained ahead of Commercial lines. Actions on managing life and health risk through digital health and wellbeing solutions are contributing to this rise. Life underwriting automation and streamlining the new business process has gained momentum – this may be attributed to increased pressure on improving underwriting efficiencies to offset the negative impact of Covid-19 on insurers.
- The US, UK and rest of Europe continue to dominate – accounting for close to 90% of new ideas and announcements in our dataset.
Five Innovations That Made Headlines in March
Outer space sustainability: Tokio Marine to develop space debris mitigation device.
Tokyo-based ALE Co.,Ltd. and Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on initiatives to create a sustainable space environment for commercialization of a debris mitigation device using EDT (ElectroDynamic Tether).
The partnership aims to address emerging risks from the recent flurry of space development – if flying objects in space increase, soon they will start to collide, and space debris will self-propagate and generate in large volumes. The anticipated concerns include an increase in risk of destruction of existing satellites and also an adverse effect on planned satellite launches and the use of satellite data, which is becoming a part of the social infrastructure.
The EDT device aims at space debris mitigation measures and will be loaded onto spacecraft (satellites, rocket upper stage, etc.) before launch. It will extend a long tether in space after the completion of the spacecraft’s mission. Using the Earth’s magnetic field and atmospheric drag, the orbital altitude is lowered in a shorter period of time and enables the satellite to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere and burn up.
The MOU will includes examination of business feasibility and technological development of the EDT device combining ALE’s knowledge and technology about space equipment development with Tokio Marine & Nichido’s expertise in risk management.
ALE’s vision is to “anchor space into our culture to empower humankind to new endeavors” and the company aims to contribute towards the sustainable development of the humankind, the range of whose activities may well expand beyond the Earth.
To that end, ALE is developing space entertainment, such as man-made shooting stars, that is aimed to spark people’s curiosity; accumulation and utilization of Earth’s atmospheric data which will enable to help characterize the mechanisms behind climate change; and the prevention of space debris, the maintenance of the orbital environment and the development of the EDT device that contributes to creating a sustainable space environment.
Digitising auto claim journeys: Initiatives from Admiral Group and Ohio Mutual Insurance Group
Claims digitisation coupled with the goal of improving efficiencies, remains high on the agenda of insurers, as they explore innovative options to create frictionless claims experience for customers. In March, multiple insurers embarked on different initiatives to transform the claims settlement process.
UK insurer Admiral has selected technology company Nuvalaw and Nuvalaw’s joint venture partner Trust Arbitration as its alternative dispute resolution (ADR) providers for personal injury claims. These claims include those on both the Ministry of Justice Claims Portal and the Official Injury Claim service, with the average court waiting period increasing from 40 weeks to 62 weeks due to COVID-19.
Nuvalaw’s cloud-based platform and Trust Arbitration’s specialist ADR service provides a solution for these and other disputed personal injury claims. It can handle all aspects online through to final settlement and reducing claims resolution times down from 400+ days to only a few.
In the US, Ohio Mutual Insurance Group has selected One Inc’s ClaimsPay digital payments platform to provide an improved claim payment experience for its members and vendors. The implementation aims to enhance the outbound claims payment process, providing new and improved options that allow for faster receipt of funds.
Insurer Brit, the first insurer to bring a direct to card payment offering to the London Market in 2020, has expanded the direct claim payment solution to the US in March. In partnership with card payment leaders Visa and Mastercard, and Vitesse, a settlement and liquidity management system, Direct Pay offers end customers the ability to receive claims payments securely and instantly to their bank card.
Digital health engagement: Swiss Re partners with digital health engagement platform dacadoo.
Swiss Re and dacadoo announced a global partnership, with Swiss Re offering the dacadoo platform to insurers of all sizes.
dacadoo licenses its Digital Health Engagement Platform, including its Health Score and Risk Engine to life and health insurers. Through its ‘Connect, Score, Engage’ SaaS-based proposition, dacadoo supports insurers to engage their clients to lead healthier lifestyles. Available in over 18 languages, dacadoo’s technology is provided as a fully branded, white label solution or it can be integrated into customers’ products through its API.
dacadoo provides the Digital Health Engagement Platform powering Swiss Re’s MyWellLife offering. MyWellLife is a mobile-first digital engagement solution that provides 24/7 smart coaching to help users attain their health goals with guidance, support, motivation and rewards.
The new combined solution also aims to strengthen Swiss Re’s Personal Resilience Suite (PRS capabilities – a holistic, modular and innovative risk assessment approach, powered by Swiss Re’s underwriting manual Life Guide.
New products for engineering risks: HSB Launches Two New Engineering Sector Products.
Munich Re company HSB (UK and Ireland), a specialist engineering and technology insurer, has launched two specialist engineering and technology products on their UK e-trade platforms, further extending their suite of e-trade products available to brokers. The latest products, which are available on Acturis and HSB’s own trading portal (HSB Fast Track), are aimed at making it easier for brokers to trade engineering inspection and equipment breakdown risks.
HSB’s Inspection Services product, serviced via HSB’s network of engineer surveyors, provides businesses with periodic engineering inspections to comply with applicable health and safety legislation.
HSB’s Machinery and Technology Combined product provides insurance cover for equipment breakdown risks. The product is designed to also include inspection services, offering customers combined protection for their equipment assets.
Underwriting automation: Life insurers are leveraging Munich Re’s ALLFINANZ suite.
As with claims on P&C, digitising the underwriting process has risen in the priorities of life insurers and automation solutions are gaining traction as a result. Munich Re Automation Solutions ALLFINANZ platform that offers end-to-end digitisation of the life insurance new business process has been implemented by two leading insurers, MetLife and Allianz to transform new business and underwriting for their operations in Brazil and the Netherlands respectively.
MetLife has an on-going global relationship with Munich Re’s insurtech arm with MetLife France and MetLife Gulf also having adopted the technology last year. Under the agreement with MetLife Brazil, MetLife’s consultants, planners, and other third-party clients in Brazil gain access to various modules from Munich Re Automation Solutions’ suite of automated underwriting and advanced analytics tools, including the ALLFINANZ Interview Server.
Allianz Benelux also announced the implementation of ALLFINANZ in March. The partnership will enable Allianz to greatly speed up the life insurance underwriting journey for Dutch applicants. ALLFINANZ will provide Allianz with complete end-to-end capabilities across automated underwriting and advanced analytics which will enable Allianz Dutch life insurance brokers and agents to provide a faster and more efficient life insurance application experience for customers, as well as streamlining and improving the accuracy of Allianz’s underwriting decisions.
Future Innovation – Research & Ventures
Insurance R&D in the metaverse: IMA Financial Group launches metaverse’s insurance research & development facility.
Insurance brokerage firm IMA Financial Group announced the launch of IMA Web3Labs, the metaverse’s first insurance and risk management research and development facility. It will be located in Decentraland, a virtual world based on blockchain technology. Funded by IMA’s investment arm, IMA Investments, Web3Labs aims to set new industry expectations for exploring, testing and bringing to market risk and insurance strategies specific to the metaverse.
IMA Web3Labs will initially research risk mitigation specific to non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Per IMA, they have recognized a gap between the growth in NFTs and fundamental risk transfer and management strategies to secure them — a gap that leaves business operations in the decentralized finance market at risk. IMA plans to mint its own NFTs and use other tools to advance its expertise in the growing digital and meta opportunities ecosystem.
Venture Investment: IAG Firemark Ventures backs Plnar
IAG, Australia and New Zealand’s largest general insurer, has launched a second $75 million venture capital fund with an investment in Austin-based augmented reality dimensioning platform Plnar.
Founded in 2012, Plnar, the first investment by Firemark Ventures under Fund Two, uses computer imagery to create 3D renderings of home interiors which allows anyone with a smartphone to document interior property damage, enabling virtual and self-serve property claims. Together, IAG and Plnar will explore how imagery, data and AI can help create differentiated customer claims experiences. IAG is the first company to invest in Plnar outside the USA, bringing the technology to Australia and New Zealand for the first time for IAG’s customers.
IAG will commence a pilot program using Plnar involving property claims and its supply chain for IAG direct insurance brand NRMA Insurance.