Paul Mang/Guidewire

One of the more intriguing InsurTech trends over the last year has been an accelerated push by MGA startups to make insurance easier for consumers in a variety of ways. COVID-19 propelled that advance, according to Paul Mang, Guidewire Software’s chief innovation officer.

“MGAs are out there innovating,” Mang said. “I like the idea that there is a lot of energy put into making insurance easier to consume.”

Mang’s comments are highlights of a Carrier Management-led panel discussion about COVID-19-related InsurTech chances. The full panel discussion can be seen during InsurTech Summit 2021, a multi-session event that will run online on May 12. Sign up at

Mang said that MGAs are addressing InsurTech innovations that “existing, larger underwriters” could have done, including boosting transparency of the underwriting and selling processes.

“There’s got to be a way in a system where there is compatibility, interoperability [and] data sharing, so that as an industry, we can really consume more innovation – these great ideas that are being generated,” Mang said.

MGA InsurTechs have shown themselves to be part of the solution, he said, to address “the weaknesses in our infrastructure.”

COVID Accelerated Consumer Demands for Change

Abel Travis

Whatever InsurTech segments push for change, COVID has given consumers even more power in the process. according to panelist Abel Travis, vice president and head of Fundamental Underwriters at AF Group. The reason – they switched to digital with other parts of their lives, so digital insurance became a natural outgrowth.

“Ninety percent of consumers now prefer to interact with their insurers – whether it’s an insurance organization or an InsurTech – in a digital manner,” Travis said.

Andrew Rear/photo provided

Panelist Andrew Rear, founder and former CEO of Munich Re Digital Partners, said COVID has spurred real monetization of digital technologies in service of consumers.

“What’s happening here is that you are just seeing the capitalization of this transformation in consumer behavior,” Rear said. “And what we know from every other market that has gone online – whether that’s ever any product category or in any country – is once it goes online, it never goes off.

“This is a once in a lifetime step up by consumers,” Rear added.

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Topics InsurTech Tech Insurance Wholesale COVID-19