This is a fascinating time to be working in the insurance industry. The technological and social changes that are taking place are transforming the world around us and changing how we do business. Insurers and reinsurers that get ahead of the wave and bring their companies into the digital era will elevate their business to a new level, providing ever greater value to their customers. Executive SummaryWill the insurance industry rise to the challenge of digital disrupters? Increased insurer investments in InsurTech startups reveal that talk of disruption has awoken the sleeping giant, observes Munich Re U.S. CEO Tony Kuczinski. He also describes the ultimate payoff for leaders who change their corporate culture to be agile and future-focused—deeper partnerships with clients and other stakeholders.
For the last several years, among other initiatives, Munich Re has placed teams of professionals in Silicon Valley and other innovation hubs such as Tel Aviv and Berlin. These teams were deployed to meet with startups, venture capitalists, large tech firms and others who are part of that ecosystem. Their primary mission is to learn about trends in innovation, to form new partnerships and to invest in companies that have strategic value for Munich Re and our clients. In the short time we have been there, we have seen an incredible surge in InsurTech activity. For example, since 2014, InsurTech startups have raised equity capital of $4.5 billion compared to just $746 million in the three years prior. (Source: CB Insights Insurance Tech blog: “Funding to Insurance Tech Startups Tops $1B in First Half of 2016,” July 5, 2016)