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保险科技是否过热?风投者、CEO与保险业高管之见

本周CB Insights举行的金融科技之未来大会上,来自Travelers、Clover Health、Metromile、Lemonade、XL Innovate与NEA等企业诸位高管、CEO及投资者等小组发言人就保险业未来前景发表了意见。

讨论焦点为保险业风险资本扶持创企崛起,以及现有保险企业及再保险企业参与程度。

以下为本周会议之于保险科技业观点,涵盖多重主题,如小型商业保险未来前景、替代借贷领域所获经验、保险结构、以及保险科技是否“过热”。

非寿险是否为小企业留下空间?

XL Innovate任事股东Tom Hutton

随着银行整合为货币中心银行,其丧失了有效为消费者及小企业发放贷款的能力,事实上其从不具备服务小企业的能力,只可服务消费者。同样,保险企业如今无法从服务消费者中获利,其目光已从消费者体验上移步。为规模为三人的企业承保无法使经理人获利,甚至并不值得为这一业务奔波,但小型企业仍有入保需求。

AttuneCEO James Hobson

小型企业获得的产品往往并不是针对其需求所设计的,不是打折的商业险就是捏造的用户险。我认为我对借贷等保险之所以感到兴奋,是在于如果能为小企业创制有针对性的产品并真正理解其需求,就能为其提供绝佳服务,获得小企业爱戴。但这是一项棘手难题。该问题难度大,也就意味着若真可解决,当极具价值。

The Travelers Companies Beth Maerz

Travelers非常清楚我们为什么会认为Simply Business是好的购买选择,即我们可尝试自己创所有保险内容、利用技术与经验,或可寻求契机直接与适合我们营商模式及预期进入市场方式的小企业合作。Simply Business代表了这一模式。小企业市场存在机遇,可以触达消费者,而经理人若采用此方法则无利可图。那么我们如何保证我们有这样做的产品与渠道。

从保险业替代接待市场汲取的经验有哪些?

AttuneCEO James Hobson

小型企业激情四溢,精力充沛,是经济的支柱。我认为若要找寻可借基本平台真正转变借贷的必要条件,具有一定的风险,保险业从根本上说是风险业务。因此我认为在所带数据类型及所需创建平台与全服务上看,存在许多必然推论。在OnDeck时,我感到鼓舞的是,我们必须席间全套解决方案,因为十年前OnDeck起步之时并没有获取某些事物的途径,而我们认为这些东西是创制出更好产品的基石。我认为在保险业,我们具备专注核心事物的能力。

最终,金融科技与新型借贷者往往与银行达成合作,因为银行是资金的源头,但这种伙伴关系正在深化。我认为这种合作还将持续加深,且在保险业的步伐还要更快。

XL Innovate任事董事Tom Hutton

我认为借贷体验也有所帮助,因为其让投资者确信其可对金融服务领域造成影响,且使企业家确信其可进入一项并不一定类属保险业的领域并发挥影响。我觉得四五年前我与之交谈过的几家企业都想成为保险业的Lending Club,因此将其记挂在心。

作为出售保险产品的创企,您对保险结构持何意见?

Metromile CEODan Preston

我们不轻易做出(收购运营商)的决定。我们找出了客户及其与我们打交道过程中所遇到诸多最为严峻的挑战。回归千禧一代购入保险产品的真正需求,我们的初始定价适应了其需求。但是随后我们发现传统保险运营商索赔过程伴随这许多摩擦。因此我们的一项重大战略决策即为由我们的员工、最终通过自有技术实际提供索赔服务。要真正实现该过程智能依靠自上而下的途径。保险业存在的某些挑战在于运营商与代理间的激励机制有时相左,所以为完成全套保险服务就必须承担风险。因此为将此索赔体验推入市场,我们许自设运营商。

Ladder CEO Jamie Hale

我们起初与运营商结成合作,但我们想要确保可提供全套解决方案,因此重建了整个体系,包括索赔、支付、管理、保单管理,重制成全数字体验。因此我们能剔除成本,提升客户体验。前端置与旧式清算技术结合并不能达成这一程序。

Clover Health CEO Vivek Garipalli

我们之于保险或医疗保健看法的基石在于我们投身健康险,是因为我们发现了与客户一致的机遇。以寿险为例,我认为这是一项存在一致需求的行业,客户活得越久作为保险商就有着既得利益。作为加入Medicare Advantage的健康险企业,我们的客户生涯相当长。试想一下仙剑大多数医疗保健类企业,营商模式与客户并不一致。我们所看到的健康险,尤其是私有化医疗领域是在风险调控的基础上收取保费,这意味着我们从政务处获得的保费取决于个人的诊断及其年龄。因此若想要管理健康保险,就与提升个人的长期收入与创造更高的利润直接相关。

再看业内现有玩家,保险业非常的交易化。保险商售出保险,就相当于完成了任务。若与运营大型健康险保险商的认识交谈,他们将会按每人年收入来审视其利润,这并不是借款估价理念,改变了机构运营的整体结构。若拿去UnitedHealth多年来积累的价值数百亿美元的穿透架构、基建与所得,抹去其多年来收集的数据库,并试图从零重建,仍存在一些根源问题,即该企业并未建立人士组织以真正拉升改善结果,关注实际互动,创建反馈环。

对风投者来说保险业是否过热?

Homebrew合伙人Satya Patel

我们认为保险业是一个极端过热的领域。保险科技企业售卖了许多“灵丹妙药”。许多企业可有效开发潜在客户;有些企业可通过转售别家产品进行流量套利;有公司则完全依赖运营商与再保险合伙人。我们认为公平的机遇曾在与创建全面整合、垂直一体化的保险商。但这是一项长期的资本密集型博弈。然而存在一种与较金融科技中惯常所见模型而言并不常见的模式,我认为该模式可致使一大批初代企业瓦解,从而为第二代企业让位。

XL Innovate任事董事Tom Hutton

有评论称保险科技过热。其实2000年泡沫经济时期成立的保险类创企可能比去年还要多。这些企业有数百家,在线出售车险与寿险。我认为所获的经验在于保险科技经历了几波浪潮,一次是90年代的巨灾建模,一次是泡沫,另一次是现在。而此次浪潮中达成了诸多共识,如行业对其表现出支持的意愿。 只要我还再局,保险业就存在机遇。有时候投资新事物格外诱人。我觉得我们会见证几轮狂热,这些时期活动比其他时候规模要大。我认为每年都会出现有趣的公司。

During this week’s CB Insights’ Future of Fintech Conference, panel speakers including executives, CEOs and investors from Travelers, Clover HealthMetromileLemonade, XL Innovate, and NEA among others weighed in on the future of the insurance industry.

At the heart of such discussions was both the rise of venture capital-backed startups in the insurance industry as well as the level of engagement by both insurance incumbents and reinsurers.

Below are perspectives on the insurance tech industry from this week’s conference covering a number of themes including the future of small commercial insurance, lessons from the alternative lending space, insurance structuring, and whether the category is “overheated.”

The commentary

Have P&C insurers left a gap open in the small business segment?

Tom Hutton, Managing Partner, XL Innovate

As banks consolidated into money center banks, they lost their ability to be efficient at making consumer and small business loans if they ever had that capability in small business, they surely did in consumer. Similarly, insurance companies have taken their eye off the ball of the customer experience … where the industry today doesn’t even serve that customer profitably. Brokers don’t make money providing three-person companies insurance policies. It’s not worth driving out to see them, but they still need it.

James Hobson, CEO, Attune

Small businesses tend to not get products that are designed around the small business need. They tend to get either watered down commercial products or trumped up consumer products. I think what I’m excited about for insurance like lending is that if you can build a purposeful product for them and you can really understand their needs, you can serve them exceptionally well and they’ll love you for it. But it’s a really hard problem. There’s a high degree of difficulty and so that means if you can do it, there’s real value in it.

Beth Maerz, The Travelers Companies

Travelers has been very clear around why we thought Simply Business was a good purchase for us, which is we could try to build the entire stack ourselves and build the technology and the experience or we could look for an opportunity to enter into a direct channel with the small business that fit our business model and fit how we wanted to go to market with another distribution channel and Simply Business represented that. There is an opportunity in the small business market to reach people in a way that the brokers perhaps can’t profitably so how do we make sure we both have the channel and the product to do that.

What are some lessons from the alternative lending space for insurance?

James Hobson, CEO, Attune

Small business owners are passionate and energetic and they really are the backbone of the economy. I think if you look at what was needed to really transform lending at a fundamental platform level, it’s a risk business and insurance is ultimately a risk business. So I think there are a lot of corollaries in the type of data that we’ll be able to bring in and the way that you need to build a platform and service the full-stack. At OnDeck, I was encouraged by the fact that we had to build the full-stack ourselves because 10 years ago when OnDeck was started, there were simply no places [where] you could get some of the things we thought were fundamentally needed to make a better product. I think in insurance, we have the ability to focus in on some core things.

Ultimately, fintech and the new lenders have always been partners with banks because that’s where the capital came from, but you’re seeing the partnerships deepen. I think you’ll see those partnerships continue to deepen. I think you’ll see them happen faster in insurance.

Tom Hutton, Managing Partner, XL Innovate

I think the lending experience has helped as well because it’s convinced the investors that financial services is an area they can have an impact in and entrepreneurs have been convinced they can enter a sector where they don’t necessarily come from insurance and can have a big impact. I think the first few ventures I spoke with four or five years ago all wanted to be theLending Club of insurance so they had in their mind.

As a startup selling insurance products, how did you think about insurance structuring?

Dan Preston, CEO, Metromile

We made the decision (to acquire a carrier) not lightly. We had identified a number of the biggest challenges for our customers and their experience with us. Going back to the point of what millennials are really looking for in an insurance product, the pricing that we created initially was adapted to that need, but then what we discovered was the claims process in being done by a traditional carrier has all of this friction associated with it. So a big strategic decision for us was to actually deliver that claims experience by our staff and ultimately through our technology. And the only way to truly enable that was to do that from top to bottom. And some of the challenges in the industry is that there are these incentives set up between carrier and agency that are not well aligned sometimes and so in order to do the full stack, you need to actually hold the risk. And so in order to bring that claims experience to market, we needed that carrier in house as well.

Jamie Hale, CEO, Ladder

We have started out with a partner carrier, but we wanted to make sure that we could have a full-stack solution so we rebuilt everything from claims, payments, administration, and policy management to be a fully digital experience. So that we can both take the cost out of the process and enhance the customer experience. It’s something you can’t do by putting a front end on top of old-school pieces of back office technology.

Vivek Garipalli, CEO, Clover Health

The basic thesis in terms of how we think about insurance or healthcare is that we got into health insurance because we saw an opportunity for alignment with our customer. So if you take life insurance for example, I view that as an industry where there’s alignment, where as a life insurer you have a vested interest in seeing your customer live as long as possible. As a health insurer in Medicare Advantage, we tend to have a pretty long customer life and if you think about most of the businesses in healthcare today, the business models are pretty misaligned with the consumer. What we saw with health insurance especially in privatized Medicare was the ability to collect premiums on a risk-adjusted basis, meaning the premiums we get from the government are tied to someone’s diagnoses and their age. So now when you think about managing care, you have a direct correlation with improving someone’s long-term outcomes and generating higher margin.

Then when we look at existing players, it’s a very transaction business. You sell the policy, and you’re kind’ve done. So if you talk to some of the folks who run large health insurers, they look at their profits in terms of annual income per member, it’s not a LTV notion and that changes the whole makeup of how an organization operates. If we went into UnitedHealth and took out their tens of billions of dollars of legacy architecture, infrastructure and acquisitions they made over time and take out all their data silos that had been created over time and tried to rebuild everything from scratch, there’s still the DNA issue of the company where they haven’t set up their personnel to actually drive improved outcomes and focus on clinical interactions and creating those feedback loops.

Is insurance overheated as a category for venture investors?

Satya Patel, Partner, Homebrew

Insurance is an area that we think is way overheated. There’s a lot of snake oil being sold by insurtech companies. You have a lot of companies that are effectively lead generation or traffic arbitrage companies reselling someone else’s product or you’ve got a company [with] 100% platform dependency on a carrier or reinsurance partner. We think the equity opportunity is in building fully integrated, vertically integrated insurance carriers, but that’s a very long-term game and a very capital-intensive game. But that’s a less common model than some of what you’re seeing in insurtech, which I think is going to lead to a rash of companies in the first generation falling by the wayside so a second generation can emerge.

Tom Hutton, Managing Partner, XL Innovate

There was a comment that insurtech was overheated. There were probably more insurance-related ventures formed in the bubble of 2000 than there have been in the last year, by the way. They were all selling auto and life policies online, there were hundreds. But the lesson I think is that there have been a couple waves of insurance technology, one of which was catastrophe modeling in the 90s, one of which was the bubble, and now. And this one, there has been a lot that has come into alignment including the industry’s willingness to support. There’s been opportunities in insurance for as long as I’ve been around it. There are times where it is particularly appealing to invest in new things. I think we will see cycles of frenzy when activity is greater than at other times. I think there will be interesting companies every year.


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