Four Insurtech Startups Shaking Up The Insurance Industry by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Insurtech can ease the insurance claim process

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In the same way that the banking industry was disrupted by fintech, and the legal sector by lawtech, the world of insurance is being shaken up by insurtech.

Insurance is one of the oldest and most traditional industries and until recently it has proved fairly resistant to change. In the last few years growing numbers of tech startups have emerged and started to encroach on the territory of the big players. U.K. insurtech in particular has seen a surge in activity and a sharp increase in fundraising. Last year it attracted $1.7 billion in investment.

Insurtech companies tend to focus on increased personalization and greater speed and efficiency of services to meet changing customer needs, with many using AI to offer deeper data insights. And while some are set on displacing the industry incumbents, others are working with the leading insurance firms as they transition to the age of digital innovation.

Tractable

This insurtech startup is changing the way car insurers handle claims by applying AI to accident and disaster recovery. The technology looks at the asset damage and predicts repair costs from photos in real time, so that claims can be settled faster. Instead of it taking days or even weeks to assess a damage claim after a car accident, for insurers using Tractable it now takes minutes. 

Founded in 2014, Tractable is led by Alex Dalyac, Adrien Cohen and Razvan Ranca, and is being used by some of the largest insurance companies in the world to capture photos at the point of an accident and receive an estimate of the damage very quickly. Previously this image recognition technology wasn’t advanced enough, and companies didn’t have access to enough data to make their models work accurately. Tractable solves both problems by training its deep learning technology on over 100 million images.

The company has raised $30 million in investments from Insight Venture Partners, the lead investor in the Series B round, and other US investors, as well as private capital from business angels from the insurance industry. Tractable employs around 100 people and has offices in London, New York, Tokyo, Munich and Madrid.

Dinghy

This app-based freelancer insurer enables freelancers to match their insurance to their on-demand working lives, something they have previously found difficult to do.

Founded in 2017 by Ben Wilks, Edward Woodcock and Robert Hartley, three former employees of insurance firm Simply Business, Dinghy launched the world’s first on-demand professional indemnity insurance and on-demand public liability cover, business equipment cover, legal expenses and cyber liability cover.

The Dinghy platform has been built to retrieve quotes within 45 seconds and policies in less than three minutes. Its new mobile-first platform has multiple API integrations to speed up completion, while insurance admin time is massively reduced. This means that a freelancer can be covered when they work, and save money by toggling their cover down when they are not.

In July 2017 Dinghy closed a $1.1 million seed round led by Balderton Capital, before being acquired this year by Kingsbridge group, a specialist in contractor insurance. It now has plans to launch in the U.S. and Germany.

Dinghy has just been named one of the 50 most disruptive companies in the U.K. by Disruption50.

Untangler

The inconsistent and often unpredictable nature of external data can cause insurers a real headache, leading to delays in processing new opportunities and managing existing books of business.

Untangler is the insurtech that gets around that problem by using AI to recognize inbound customer or employee data in any format, transform it into readable data in seconds from which providers can create quotes without having to convert the data within cells.

Launched in May this year the technology was developed by entrepreneurs Richard Stewart and Steve Carter, initially for their own startup Untangl, which provides employee benefits, including insurance products, to SMEs.

Stewart says: “Admittedly, we built Untangler as an afterthought because it improved the customer journey and sped up our buying process. It was only later, when a leading UK insurer asked us if they could use it that its true value as a standalone product became clear.”

Funding to date has come from the founders and private investors, with further investment now being sought to accelerate growth.

Business Comparison

Nowadays insurance comparison platforms are the first port of call for consumers in the domestic market as a way of finding the cheapest deals quickly and easily, but up until recently similar services simply didn’t exists for business customers.

This gap in the market was recognized by former MoneySuperMarket.com employee Philip Brennan, who had previously headed up the company’s business channels. In 2015 he came up with a solution, BusinessComparison. When a business submits its insurance requirements to the website they are matched to the best deal within minutes.

Brennan wanted BusinessComparison to be more than just a price comparison site. His goal was to establish a trusted brand that understood the needs of small businesses, particularly startups and micro businesses. The site also offers help and advice around saving money.

Last year the company helped 319,344 customers, double the number in 2017, and it has a current turnover of £2.5 million ($3,1 million) annually. BusinessComparison is aiming to help 25% of small businesses in the U.K. within its first 10 years.

July 9, 2019 at 08:28AM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/alisoncoleman/2019/07/09/four-insurtech-startups-shaking-up-the-insurance-industry/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
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