Shifting Gears Sydney half-day seminar rundown

Shifting Gears Sydney half-day seminar rundown

On Tuesday 5 December, Montoux partnered with Deloitte to host the final Shifting Gears seminar of 2017 with a half day event in Sydney, Australia. Our aim was to cut through the hype of “insurtech” by exploring some real case studies and we were proud to bring together an array of speakers with first-hand experience of using technology to actively disrupt the status quo of insurance.  The seminar was facilitated by our very own Head of Marketing Rachel Meikle.

Jim Minto

We were honoured to have industry stalwart Jim Minto join us as our first speaker. Jim now has over 28 years of invaluable experience working across the insurance industry and led a very insightful session. Jim shared his experiences of innovating in the life insurance industry, leading change, disrupting the market and leaving competitors behind - as well as managing the political difficulties when making transformative change. Jim also talked about the life insurance industry more broadly and the need to embrace its complexity, making the observation that sometimes innovators try to simplify too much.

Laura McKiernan Boylan, Haven Life

We then transitioned to the digital realm, as Haven Life’s Laura McKiernan Boylan joined us via video conference from the US life insurer’s headquarters in New York City. Laura is product owner of Haven Life's algorithmic underwriting program, and did a fantastic job of answering questions from the audience about the company, its relationship with owner MassMutual, and more specific questions about algorithmic underwriting. It was interesting to hear about the ways US carriers have the potential to utilize the data available to them, and how this differs from what is available in Australia especially when it comes to medical information. Laura shared that Haven Life has recently rolled out a new application experience which reflexes off data they collect. “For example, if we see that you've taken a drug like ondansetron - anti-nausea used for chemotherapy or pregnancy - we actually ask about it in the application,” Laura said. “We also have a really robust rule set on all of the data we gather, and we're starting to enhance rules to look at interactions between data.”

Jason Wilby, Huddle

Next in the seminar we took a step away from life insurance, to talk about innovations in car and travel insurance with Huddle co-founder and joint CEO Jason Wilby. Huddle is underwritten by Hollard, and aims to build mutual trust with its policyholders - something it sees other insurers as lacking. Huddle is able to offer Instant Claims for many policyholders - and the less claims made, the more money they can give to community organisations and charities of each policyholder’s choice through Huddle’s Giveback initiative. Jason lead a very insightful Q&A session with the audience, explaining Huddle’s process and perspective on the insurance industry. Jason's expertise spans strategic design, technology, marketing and financial services.

Klaas Stijnen, Montoux

Montoux’s own CEO Klaas Stijnen was up next, speaking about our pricing product for life insurers and the potential of intelligent pricing optimization. Klaas outlined the ‘symptoms’ of sub-optimal pricing, and ways in which some commonly used systems are lacking - as they are not specifically built for this purpose. Klaas explained how Montoux runs optimization algorithms for pricing strategy and analysis, and how it can be used to develop a faster and more efficient pricing process, enabling insurers to become more strategic and agile in making pricing decisions. He finished with thoughts on how the industry can adopt insurtech, and highlighted the value of budgeting for innovation. The slides from Klaas’ session can be viewed here.

Basem Morris, Deloitte

The morning’s seminar finished on a real high note, with Deloitte data analytics actuary Basem Morris giving a fantastic presentation that was both insightful and entertaining, showcasing examples of how carriers around the world realise the power of data through advanced analytics. Basem spoke about where the opportunities for innovation within the industry lie, and how this can benefit business. Basem also explained how using ‘Nudge Theory’ can have a far more positive effect on people than direct instruction and legislation. Basem showed a video of a case study from New Mexico which demonstrated how applying concepts from behavioral economics can induce desired behaviors and deter small-scale fraud among unemployment claimants. The slides and video from Basem’s session can be viewed here.

The feedback we received from the morning’s event was overwhelmingly positive, with attendees really enjoying the half-day format and responses supported our feeling that the speaker time and audience Q&A discussion opportunity was well balanced.

We are really looking forward to using this feedback in shaping our work with Deloitte to host more Shifting Gears events in Australia and New Zealand throughout 2018, which will continue exploring how the industry is being shaped by technology and innovation.

In the meanwhile, if you are interested in keeping up to date with the latest news and insights from the industry - as well as being notified of the next Shifting Gears event in your area - sign up for our free fortnightly Shifting Gears newsletter here.

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