How do property/casualty insurers and brokers stack up against other industries in terms of innovation?

Executive Summary

The insurance industry lags just behind the rest of the financial services sector on innovation, in the view of Asha Vellaikal, Managing Director and Global Head of Digital Labs for Marsh, who brings to her role a perspective from working with fast-moving innovators like telecoms. Participating in CM's Virtual Roundtable with other insurance innovators, Vellaikal advised insurers and insurance brokers to pay attention to "embedded finance" developments in the fintech world, and co-panelists described how incumbent carriers are working with InsurTechs in 2020. Watch the entire Virtual Roundtable—"Is Insurance Innovation Overrated?"—on the Carrier Management channel of InsuranceJournal.TV

In short, they aren’t sprinting anywhere as fast as “innovation natives” in the high-tech and pharma universes, according to Asha Vellaikal, a career technologist and innovation executive who has been managing director and global head of Digital Labs for Marsh since 2017. While insurers are moving forward, they lag just behind other financial services players in their innovation efforts, she noted, advising insurers and insurance brokers to pay attention to trends in the fintech world.

A relative newcomer to the insurance industry, Vellaikal shared her perspective based on her past experiences building Silicon Valley startups and as a director of innovation in the telecom industry during a CM Virtual Roundtable, “Is Insurance Innovation Overrated?” In particular, she drew viewers’ attention to the emergence of “finance-as-a-service” platforms.

“Fintech will soon become a monetization channel for other companies. What I mean by that is that SaaS [software-as-a-service] companies and [others] will start looking at fintech as a monetization channel in addition to subscriptions. And I think that kind of concept also applies to insurance,” she said.

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