3 Key Takeaways from InsureTech Connect (ITC) 2021
InRule kicked off the fourth quarter in the best way possible—with unparalleled access to the largest and most comprehensive gathering of insurtech professionals from around the globe at InsureTech Connect (ITC) 2021 in Las Vegas! Held at the lively Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, attendees engaged in three days of workshops, networking, and elevator pitches centered around the theme: “The future of insurance is here.”
ITC Vegas brought together more than 6000 insurance industry executives, entrepreneurs, and investors looking to network, connect, and chat about industry issues. The key focus was on leading technology across all insurance categories, including P&C, Life, Health, Small Business, and Specialty.
The energy at the event was palpable, and people were happy—no, thrilled—to see each other. It was the first in-person conference visit in eighteen months for many of us, and the insurance professionals in attendance had much to talk about!
“I am so excited to be here with you today,” said Jay Weintraub, co-founder, and CEO of ITC, during the event’s opening remarks. “I think we all agree; the magic happens when we are together in person.”
It was like any previous ITC, except that everyone was wearing masks, and we all used the touchless registration and networking options to maintain safe distancing. But these inconveniences didn’t slow anyone down, and the discussions were fast and furious—on stage, in the halls, and at the sea of booths in the exhibit hall.
While everyone was happy to be in Vegas, most of the conversations were less about the event itself but rather focused on the topic at hand: how technology is becoming more of a holistic force within our companies.
Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Chubb observed, “Technology is changing the insurance industry in a serious way because it is providing tools and capabilities to improve all functions and activities. From the initial notion of connection to customer experience to the process of underwriting and risk-taking, to the rest that occurs in a value chain all the way to the client.”
In addition to Greenberg, the conference had more than 250 expert speakers and panelists representing the best minds in insurance, from CEOs of global insurers to founders of startups looking to reshape the industry.
Although most of my time was spent in the exhibit hall meeting with clients and industry pros, there were many engaging sessions with key thought leaders in the insurance and the insurtech industries. One of those that stood out was a Chairman’s Circle conversation in which Caribou Honig, ITC co-founder, and chairman, discussed automotive safety technology and insurance with Mario Maiorana, chief engineer at General Motors, and Andrew Rose, president of OnStar Insurance at General Motors.
Key Takeaways from My Conversations at InRule’s ITC Booth
InRule was an exhibitor and participated as a Bronze sponsor for the event—so it was in booth 1129 was where I spent most of my time.
For three days, I spoke with numerous technology leaders about their most pressing issues and challenges. What struck me most from these conversations was how well-suited InRule’s solutions are positioned in a market looking to operationalize data and solve complexity across the ecosystem.
On my flight back from the event, three key themes stuck out in my mind from the dozens of chats that I had over the previous days:
Key Takeaway #1 – Brands want to work with data leaders, not just data vendors
With the digital revolution well underway, companies need technology partners who are thought leaders in their category that can guide them on how to best operationalize their available data.
Companies know that those who leverage data the best will win in the market. But this stuff isn’t easy, and they know they need help to figure everything out. One insurance company executive said to me that her new requirement for technology partner relationships is that “they must be able to teach us. We want to work with experts in their field, not just people who can build good software.”
We do a great job at InRule publishing thought leadership, reports, and case studies that help business leaders understand what we do and why we do it. And I often hear from our clients how happy they are with their InRule teams and that they genuinely feel they are working with external experts that educate and inspire them on how best to use data to drive business goals.
Key Takeaway #2 – Insurance leaders know the future is in AI & ML
Fully integrated artificial intelligence (AI) & machine learning (ML) technologies were a theme across product vendors. This, in turn, presents new challenges on usability and how best to act on these new investments.
We discussed how machine learning can short-cut data-driven decisions while not sacrificing an acceptable comfort level with the software. These are new areas for insurance companies to figure out, so it can be a bit daunting to turn over some of the decisioning processes to technology that have been manually performed for so long.
At InRule, one of our fundamental tenets is explainability, and our machine learning technology (xAI Workbench) supports that by providing the “why” behind every prediction made. This explainability helps companies embrace these innovations without the fear of introducing biases that could be problematic to the bottom line.
Check out our new, complimentary white paper, Smarter Predictions = Smarter Decisions. How Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing Automated Decision-Making, for more on this topic.
Key Takeaway #3 – Brands need robust solutions, not complex ones
People need the complex simplified, or they just won’t get the most out of it. I read an article recently about how wearable technology (i.e., Fitbits, Apple Watches, etc.) must be comfortable or people simply won’t wear them. It doesn’t matter if a new device has ten more features than a consumer’s current one—if they don’t wear it, then they get no value from it.
One of our core missions at InRule is to make tools that people can easily adopt, learn quickly, and make decisions without needing a computer science or data science degree. Most of the value we offer for automation happens behind the scenes, guiding an organization to take action and respond in real-time to available data and insights.
Inside of InRule’s new AI/ML digital decisioning product offering, you’ll know the root cause of all predictions, see individual factors driving the prediction and their importance, and be able to take informed action with confidence. Our technology provides you with predictions that are accurate, justifiable, actionable, and measurable.
If we missed you at the event, let’s connect soon. If we connected at the event, thanks for visiting with us!
We’re excited to continue conversations and plan together on what’s possible for 2022. Let’s stay in touch. Feel free to drop me a note at jpowell at inrule.com.