Artificial intelligence, distributed ledger technologies, novel biomarkers of aging and longevity, internet of things; all of these technologies are rapidly evolving, converging and giving raise to the new applications in every industry. From helping us track the rate of our mental physiological aging, to impacting our overall health and longevity, AI has the potential and the capacity to transform life and health insurance as we know it. In a recent article titled “How AI And Aging Research Can Help Life Insurance Companies”, I explored many ways in which AI and aging research are going to disrupt the traditional models of how life insurance companies operate and can help them, as well as policy owners, make better informed decisions.
Traditional life insurance companies used broad actuarial tables to assign policy seekers to a risk category. However, there is a new upcoming brand of insurance that makes it even more relevant for the entire society and economy at large. You might have probably heard of fintech, the technology startups disrupting the finance industry. The insurance industry has a term for its hyper-growth startups too – Insurtech (insurance + technology). Although still behind the fintech curve, insurtech is poised to be a game changer for customers and insurance companies alike.
Insurance is at the crossroads of major changes that are happening in society, aging being one of those. Today, more and more insurance companies can be seen at longevity conferences. While some of them are there to give presentations on actuary, it seems that they visit these conferences to see where longevity is going, and if we are going to see a major shift in life expectancy and health span. The participation of insurance companies in longevity conferences has accelerated a lot in the past few years. And the general trend is that these companies are focusing more on how to influence the environment surrounding you, because the biology of a person cannot be changed but the environment around them can be altered. The end goal for Insurtech companies is to make people live better and longer lives, not just longer lives. How do they plan to achieve this? By bundling well-being initiatives with insurance. Because after all, if the focus is just on prolonging human life, then it will not be inspiring for a long time.
One of the leading Insurtech hubs is House of Insurtech Switzerland (HITS), which focuses on building partnerships with startups to co-create and scale-up innovative services. HITS is a subsidiary of Generali Switzerland and is thus part of the Generali Group, one of the largest insurance companies in the world. HITS has operated as an independent limited company since December 2019. HITS is one of the Corp-Up Studios of Generali: an open innovation lab connecting insurance-related corporates and startups to co-create and scale-up innovative tried-and-true services.
The hub has so far partnered with many startups, including: Art Recognition, which offers an AI authentication system to art lovers; Billte, which digitizes the entire billing process; Clara, which focuses on providing fintech options through AI and digitizes map visualizations; Imburse, which helps enhance and deploy any changes to your payment offering; vlot, which helps identify and close income and savings gaps; Zoundream, a portable device to translate newborn cries into baby needs; and Lynna, an innovative B2B2C distribution platform for single item insurance, among many more. Because of its unique model of building a direct relationship between corporates and startups, HITS is on the verge of becoming the leading insurtech hub in Europe.