Greg Bailey believes incumbents must partner with insurtech start-ups in future

28 Jun 2016

The Co-founder and CEO of Denim, spoke on “Customer awareness, engagement and conversion at the Digital Edge“ at the Next Generation Insurance Customer 2016 conference at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue.

Click here to find out more about the event.

Read the text version of Greg Bailey’s interview here:

“Insurtech, I think, over the last eighteen to twenty-four months, has become the new buzz term of the industry, it seems like. And it's this notion of, "Will insurance technology start-ups or insurtech start-ups, will the disruption happen there, or will it happen from within the industry?" I think it's probably the combination of the two meeting in the middle.

We focus a lot on insurtech start-ups because we fundamentally think that a lot of the digital transformation in the industry is going to come from the outside in, and as a result, ourselves at Denim, as well as many other insurtech start-ups, which we like to refer to as the first cousin of Fintech, is where we think a lot of the new ideas, new thinking, new risk-taking takes place, but through great partnerships with the insurance industry incumbents. We think that's really where the transformation will evolve from.

I'm from Des Moines, Iowa, and the global insurance accelerator is in Des Moines, and every year, there are six brand new insurtech start-ups that go through the acceleration process, build their start-up, and begin partnering with new insurance companies, specifically in the life insurance space, focused on the US primarily, from my standpoint. MassMutual comes to mind. MassMutual is doing some very interesting things around segmenting the marketplace for life insurance offerings, and Haven Life, as a wholly owned subsidiary of theirs, where they are offering term life insurance entirely online and only online. Another company, of course, is John Hancock and Manulife with their partnership with Vitality. I think that will be an interesting experiment, I would suggest, to see how that comes about in the years to come with wearable devices.

I think over the next five, maybe ten years even, though, we're going to see massive opportunities evolve from these great partnerships of insurance industry incumbents along with the insurtech start-ups. Mobile technology, social, artificial intelligence, and wearable technology. Those four opportunities for insurance carriers, we feel like, are going to revolutionize or transform their business models, their product design, their pricing structure of how they think about the insurance industry. We call all of that the digital edge, and this is this place we've created called the digital edge where we think consumers currently live and act and purchase insurance products at, but many insurance companies just are not there yet.”