Having studied dozens of legacy and startup insurers to see how the insurance industry can innovate and evolve, I have seen many different technologies, solutions, strategies and tactics be employed. Often, I’m asked if there are things specific to incumbents or to startups that the other lacks that shed light on who will win out ultimately. Some think the clean sheet that startups have allows them to do things incumbents could never do, while others point to the resources and capabilities of incumbents as armor that a startup’s arrows cannot pierce.

The reality is that neither side inherently gets to win out over the other, and while there are differences, what has become consistently clear is that a single trait I find on both sides is the greatest predictor of lasting success: humility.

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