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Insurers, reinsurers investing in insurtech


Insurtech funding reached a total of $2.3 billion in 2017, a 36% increase over 2016, Willis Towers Watson P.L.C. said in a report released Thursday.

Both insurers and reinsurers are expanding their activities related to a “a broad range of technologies with potential applications to their core businesses,” according to the brokerage’s Quarterly Insurtech Briefing.

The 35 private technology investments by insurers and reinsurers in the 2017 fourth quarter and 120 private technology investments for the full year are the highest totals recorded in any quarter or year to date, respectively, the report said.

Some 83% of insurtech ventures have an insurer or reinsurer as an investor, while only 17% of ventures have no such investors, the report said.

Insurtech ventures fall into four categories, according to the report: product and distribution; business process enhancement; data and analytics; and claims management.

The largest category, product and distribution, includes some 256 companies “primarily focused on direct distribution and/or specialized insurance products,” the report said.

The business process enhancement category includes 100 companies looking to provide “outsourced insurance technology services or technology-enabled employee benefits administration,” the report said.

There are 70 companies working on data and analytics, focused on “analyzing new sources of open source or other external data and/or extracting insights to enable data-driven decision-making,” the report said.

The area of claims management has about 25 companies working on “streamlining and automating claims management processes,” the report said.

The Quarterly InsurTech Briefing is a collaboration between Willis Towers Watson Securities, Willis Re and CB Information Services Inc., a New York-based software firm.