Leaders of the UK’s Insurtech community have issued an urgent plea for the country’s insurers not to use the COVID-19 pandemic as a reason to abandon innovation.
Tech Nation Insurtech Board and Insurtech UK have issued a joint statement urging insurers to remain committed to supporting innovation and insurtech.
It also asks insurers to sign up to a pledge to support a range of measures to ensure Insurtech is not sacrificed in the face of the pandemic.
“The impacts of COVID-19 on the insurance industry are immediately pressing and come with unclear longer-term repercussions. Insurers are dealing with unprecedented pressures from every angle; looking after customers and partners is a clear priority, as is supporting staff through both remote-working and dramatic changes to working and personal lives,” said the statement. “Insurers are understandably reprioritising within their businesses, but in these challenging times, there may exist the temptation to pull support from mid-term and long-term opportunities, such as innovation and insurtech (including internal technology initiatives, providing funding to start-ups, and providing underwriting support for insurtechs).”
It added innovation in the UK insurance sector depends heavily on the leadership of our major insurers. “They are the engine rooms that many of our best and brightest insurtechs build their businesses upon, and they often underwrite the risks that allow our insurtechs to innovate on behalf of customers”.
The two organisations say many of their insurtech firms are SMEs, now facing tremendous challenges as a result of Covid-19 and its impacts on the economy. It warned they are also beacons for the future of the insurance sector and leaders in their own right, with a responsibility to ensure that the products and services they provide add tangible value for customers, particularly in these difficult times.
“Innovation and insurtech pave the way for the future of the insurance sector, and at this critical juncture, the sector must now band together and collaborate as best it can,” added the statement.
As such it has called on the leaders of the UK insurance sector, to commit to supporting:
- the active exploration of strategic partnerships with insurtechs
- mutual collaboration between insurtechs firms and insurers, to develop initial concepts into products that will ultimately better serve customers
- investment into new and existing initiatives, via both traditional and corporate Venture Capital
- communication between firms, to ensure that it is clear and timely, and as transparent as possible with respect to the decision-making processes around engagement, funding, and ongoing support
“If UK insurance leaders remain committed to innovation and insurtech, then the UK will remain a global leader in insurance and will be well-positioned to emerge from the current crisis with a more resilient, sustainable, and customer-centric insurance sector,” the statement concluded.