Executive Interview - 11 of 15
This article is part of a series of interviews with InsurTech Executives involved in the distribution of property/casualty insurance about their missions, how they are changing the industry, and the implications for carriers.View All Interviews
Tim Attia, CEO and co-founder of Slice Labs LLC, predicts radical change in insurance distribution on the horizon, and the mission of the InsurTech he leads lines up with his view.
Slice helps carriers offer on-demand insurance by leveraging the Slice Insurance Cloud Services (ICS) platform, a platform powered by machine learning and advanced big data technologies along with Ph.D. behavioral science expertise.
“From here, we see insurance being more ingrained in everyday business and consumer life, where distribution is an afterthought occurring behind the scenes and the real impact of insurance will be that it is always adapting and customizing to better serve customers in on-demand models,” he wrote in an emailed response to a question we posed about the future of insurance distribution in September.
But he also says that on-demand insurance distribution can increase the value of agents for customers.
Below, he explains these ideas, answering questions we posed as part of our InsurTechs to Watch feature.
1. Describe your company and its mission. What does the company do?
Tim Attia, CEO and Co-Founder, Slice Labs, LLC: Slice is the insurance engine leading tomorrow’s cloud-based, on-demand digital services ecosystems. Our mission is to empower insurers and technology companies to build truly intelligent and intuitive digital insurance products using the AI, machine learning, and Ph.D. behavioral science expertise accessible through Slice’s Insurance Cloud Services (ICS) platform and Slice Mind capabilities.
We’re at the turning point where we’ll see insurance become truly intelligent, operating in our digital ecosystems in such a way where consumers and businesses often do not have to think about whether it’s functioning—it will simply be there for them. Insurance will exist in a more valuable and wide-scale manner reshaping traditional home, travel, cyber, and auto insurance, and even creating new digital insurance channels that were never imagined prior to the recent AI revolution.
(Editor’s Note: Introduced in March 2019, Slice Mind combines AI, machine learning and behavioral psychology into an engine that transforms data insights into actions. It promises to provide actionable recommendations that will help companies protect and grow their businesses through simulations, predictions, experiments, nudging and personalization. Better risk protection comes from Slice Mind’s ability to predict potential claims, among other capabilities.
According to a blog item on the Slice website, Slice Mind products and services use data and artificial intelligence to build models that not only predict everything from marketing prospects to degree of honesty in claims submission, but then use “nudging”—a concept of behavioral science involving small suggestions that influence behavior—to put these insights into action.)
2. Who does your technology serve? (Agents and brokers only; Agents, brokers and carriers; customers directly, etc.)
Attia (Slice): Slice ICS is a flexible cloud platform enabling carriers, technology companies, and other service providers to deliver on-demand, pay-as-you-go, insurance products. Additionally, Slice offers on-demand homeshare insurance in the U.S. and the U.K. that is sold directly to homeshare host customers, and on-demand cyber insurance that is sold directly to SMB customers in the U.S.
While this marks a shift in distribution, our goal is not to replace insurance agents. In fact, Slice believes on-demand insurance distribution can increase sales as carriers can give agents the ability to attract clients through a value proposition of near instant coverage with seconds of application processing times. We could see agent and customer interactions where the insured is an entrepreneur that requires cyber, homeshare, and even perhaps rideshare insurance. The agent increases their reputation as a trusted adviser by educating the client about each product and quickly delivering coverage in the meeting instead of having to return to the office with a pile of papers to process.
3. Who pays for the technology you offer? Is the cost considered commission income or a service fee?
Attia (Slice): Slice ICS customers leverage the platform via high-value subscription model pricing.
Customers (homeshare or cyber, for example) pay directly for the policies purchased.
Both ICS and Slice homeshare and cyber customer segments complete their purchases either on a computer or mobile app. By creating a simple, on-demand purchasing model we have virtually eliminated processing times. For example, cyber insurance customers used to have to wait weeks for paper-based applications to be approved. This left their businesses vulnerable to risk during that period. Slice on-demand cyber insurance is purchased within minutes. We expect to see carriers realize these types of processing time improvements as they invent new on-demand insurance products in ICS.
4. Are you disrupting (replacing) or empowering traditional distribution?
Attia (Slice): We’re disrupting AND empowering through strategic partnerships with incumbents, technology firms, and service providers. The disruption comes by eliminating the need for slower, legacy distribution models while giving the insured the flexibility to purchase insurance only when they need it.
The empowerment is achieved by giving carriers flexibility and control over the insurance customer experiences that they are delivering.
Slice has been one of the pioneers in helping modernize the business of insurance. We have seen this type of evolution in other industries with cloud, AI, and big data. Until the past couple years, these technologies really haven’t made a major impact on insurance. It is exciting to be at the forefront of this transformation.
5. What should P/C insurance carriers know about you?
Attia (Slice): Slice is transforming insurance carriers into digital insurers offering customized on-demand, pay-as-you-go insurance products. Top global insurers in the U.S., Canada, U.K., and Asia use Slice ICS instead of investing in infrastructure and employees to build an entirely new business unit.
ICS is a secure, flexible, and scalable platform that includes pricing, rating, licensing, claims processing, and automated underwriting which represents the next chapter in insurance technology innovation enabling insurers to reinvent themselves by launching new digital products within a few weeks.
6. Bonus Question: What does the future of commercial insurance distribution look like?
Attia (Slice): The future of commercial insurance distribution will be founded on cloud, AI, big data/small data analysis, and other means of analyzing customer behavior. While it is hard to pinpoint granular specifics on what the industry will look like, we’re at the point today where insurance can be purchased like movies on Netflix due to Slice ICS. From here, we see insurance being more ingrained in everyday business and consumer life where distribution is an afterthought occurring behind the scenes and the real impact of insurance will be that it is always adapting and customizing to better serve customers in on-demand models. The backend of distribution will be akin to an operating system (OS) for a computer, but the OS would be Slice ICS and Slice Mind behind cloud-based digital ecosystems delivering a variety of services from multiple providers in a seamless experience.