InsurTech: A Decade Gone, A Decade Ahead

Most insurers are embracing InsurTechs as an important part of the insurance ecosystem with roles as catalysts for innovation and change.

(Image credit: Larisa Koshkina.)

The InsurTech movement has been underway for the better part of a decade. Now that we have entered the 2020s, it might be worth exploring what could be on the horizon for InsurTech over the next ten years. InsurTech has evolved from its origins in the early part of the last decade (as an offshoot of the FinTech movement) and quickly gained momentum over the last few years to experience a strong close in 2019. Along the way, there were rumors of its demise. Perhaps this was a wishful thinking on the part of those hoping InsurTech would just go away and stop creating new competition or driving the need to innovate. Along the way, there was also plenty of hype. Some even predicted massive disruption and the decline of the incumbents. But, as is often the case, the truth falls somewhere in the middle.

Viewing a snapshot of 2019 as the culmination of the first decade of InsurTech is very informative. SMA’s recent research report, “InsurTech and Transformational Tech: Highlights and Insights for 2H19” does just that. The second half of 2019, in particular, demonstrates how strong the movement is at this stage in its evolution. The number of deals is up. The funding for the second half of 2019 (and the full year) is up. Even more important is the fact that late-stage funding is dominating, signaling that InsurTech winners are growing and likely here for the long term. In fact, there were eight P&C InsurTech funding events in 2019 for $100M or more.

So, what is ahead for the next decade? There may still be some that are rooting for InsurTech to fizzle, or at least to have a smaller impact than expected. However, most are embracing InsurTechs as an important part of the insurance ecosystem with roles as catalysts for innovation and change. With that background in mind, here are my top predictions for InsurTech in the 2020s:

  1. By 2030, we will see multiple InsurTechs with over a billion dollars per year in revenue.
  2. The term InsurTech will fade by mid-decade, but the impact of the movement will be lasting.
  3. The next 3-5 years will see a flurry of M&A activity in the space.
  4. InsurTech funding over the next five years will be greater than the prior ten years combined.
  5. InsurTech distributors will gain significant market share in personal lines, but agents/brokers will still dominate in commercial lines overall.
  6. InsurTechs will play a major role in reshaping ecosystems for connected vehicles and smart homes, but the true revolutionary change in these areas will occur in the decade of the 2030s.

Depending on your viewpoint, these predictions might be bold. Or they might just be common sense. Prognostications of this sort are always difficult, especially looking out ten years and especially while the world and the industry are in the midst of transformation. Therefore, you can feel free to disagree and come up with your own predictions for InsurTech. But do check back in with me in ten years to see if these predictions were fulfilled or if InsurTech and the industry have gone in different directions.

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Mark Breading // Mark Breading, a Partner at Strategy Meets Action, is known for his insights on the future of the insurance industry and innovative uses of technology. Mark consults with insurers and technology companies on forward thinking strategies for success in the digital age. Mark also leads SMA’s research program, has overseen the publication of over one hundred research reports, and directed custom research projects for insurer and tech clients. His thought leadership in the areas of InsurTech, emerging technologies, customer experience, and digital strategies has earned him rankings as one of the “Top Global Influencers in InsurTech” by InsurTech News and Onalytica and a place in the 10 finalists for the “Top Global IoT in Insurance Influencer Award.”

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