2021 has been a big year for InsurTech, with investment reaching record highs across the globe and new products hitting the market. Investors are finally giving InsurTech the attention it deserves. As the year wraps up, our eyes and ears are tuned in to see what 2022 might hold. We caught up with Matthew Cheong, Junior Legal Counsel at QBE Asia, to hear his predictions.
NRF: What are some InsurTech trends you are seeing in your region? What are some of the drivers?
Matthew Cheong (MC): Insurance in Asia is going through rapid digitalisation and investment in the InsurTech space is growing year on year. Asia has always been a leading hub for technology and innovation, and we see a trend of very knowledgeable start-ups emerging across the entire insurance value chain. QBE Asia is committed to being at the forefront of this evolution and we already have multiple investments in our own digital ecosystem, including partnering with ventures that can help how we engage the consumer.
Intermediaries and policy holders want an insurance company that not only keeps up with technological advancement but looks to the future as well. At QBE Asia we are enthusiastic about discovering InsurTechs that will help us create new digital opportunities, improve on delivering and producing customised products for the consumer, and removing any pain points so consumers can engage with us simply and efficiently. For example, we are one of very few general insurers that have an e-claims portal for customers.
NRF: What do you see as the next big thing for Insurance?
MC: QBE, similar to other large insurers, now has access to a large volume of data in every business line we operate. The advancement of Artificial Intelligence (A.I) allows for much faster understanding of this data. This empowers our intermediaries and underwriters to engage clients knowledgably with data driven policy advice in real time.
Customers want to connect with insurers from virtually anywhere and at any time. The employment of AI processing will soon permeate almost every facet of the insurance business. QBE Asia has started seeing benefits from our integrated AI systems that streamline and automate our claims workflow and reduce costs by consolidating the underwriting processes on a centralised platform. We also deploy Robotic Process Automation to save significant costs on repetitive non-value adding tasks and have started to actively integrate connected devices (Internet of Things, IoT) into our insurance processes.
How is QBE in Asia supporting Insurtechs? How does QBE see its role?
MC: At QBE Asia we always start with our customers – both intermediaries and insureds – in mind when looking at the best technology solution. We have invested heavily in our digital ecosystem, combining both in-house development and partnerships with innovative Fintechs. The insurance market is evolving and our customers expect us to keep up and offer the latest products and solutions. Digital natives are also asking for increased affordability, easy access and tailored coverage.
QBE Asia is committed to developing and engaging InsurTech start-ups in the region. We are always open to new ideas and are constantly exploring relationships and opportunities that allow for greater customer engagement, satisfaction and reach. We are active members of InsurTech Associations across Asia, and participate regularly in InsurTech Acceleration labs. In addition, we have a venture investment and development arm, QBE Ventures, looking globally for partnerships, and we encourage InsurTechs to contact us if they believe they can add real value to our customers.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s global InsurTech practice works with insurers and InsurTechs on legal matters across the insurance value chain. Check out our FinTech Pulse podcast for more insights.
This is a first in a series of interviews with members of the InsurTech community.