New technology and data sets are profoundly affecting the insurance industry, by allowing insurers to better assess the risks they are exposed to and interact with their consumers in new ways. They are also drawing new entrants into the market, with ‘Insurtech’ startups entering the field, as well as established technology companies.
What are the most promising of these new technologies, and how will they change the industry? Will established insurers be able to retain their dominance of the market? And how will consumers and insurers react to the potential new market dynamics?
The selfie generation
One of the most striking new technologies to emerge is being developed by Lapetus, a US-based startup whose CHRONOS underwriting process involves the potential customer uploading a selfie of themselves, along with some basic personal details including age, sex and physical activity level. From the selfie, Lapetus uses machine learning techniques to validate self-reported body mass index, gender, evidence of smoking and an estimated age.
It then combines this information with that gleaned from the selfie, in order to produce a term assurance quote based on the desired level of coverage. The whole process is marketed as “prospect to policyholder in under 10 minutes” and claims to dramatically cut underwriting time.
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