An Insider’s Guide to Navigating the InsurTech Landscape


“You can’t be all things to everyone” - it’s a common aphorism for a reason, as is the phrase “too good to be true.” These are important truisms that carriers should keep in mind while evaluating InsurTech partners. Let’s face it, the current landscape is confusing and every InsurTech is starting to look and sound the same. Even legacy providers are adopting InsurTech sounding messaging. That’s why I’ve pulled together this guide, because finding the right InsurTech partner is too important to screw it up.

Use an InsurTech Sherpa

There are thousands of InsurTech’s globally and it’s almost impossible to find the right partner on your own. I highly recommend working with a solutions provider or consultant that knows the market inside and out. SI’s like EY, KPMG, Capgemini etc. have helped many carriers find the right partner, and they maintain and update vetted lists of InsurTechs so you don’t have to. If the big guys are out of reach, there are many industry expert consultants that know the market and can help. As with any partner decisions, get as many recommendations as you can, look for potential red flags, and book as many real-world demos as possible to help ensure confidence in your final decision.

Common Red Flags

When you are looking for an InsurTech partner, remember that red flags fly on both sides. Beware of InsurTech’s that claim they can do everything you need, but can’t show you the product. Insist on testimonials, references, and case studies. In some cases, offshore development can be a red flag, you need to know that the development team is guided by, and responsive to, customer needs. 

Likewise, beware of the red flags that your organization is signaling to the InsurTech. Define your strategy, timelines, and budget before asking a potential InsurTech partner to jump through all your hoops. When the time comes, make sure you have a clear decision-making process and that the decision-makers are at the table. An inability to engage ultimate decision-makers is a serious red flag for InsurTech partners. 

Transparency is Critical

As I mentioned above, having very clear expectations from the beginning helps streamline the process by eliminating InsurTech partners that are not the right fit. By all means, be honest about what your organization needs as you evaluate where an InsurTech can add the most value. Inevitably even the best InsurTech partner will have limits when it comes to your project and you should expect that other technologies may need to be integrated. This is why mapping out the details of your project is so important. And your preferred InsurTech partner will work with you to understand what you have, what you want, what you need, and how everything fits together.

Five Steps to Take Now 

  1. Identify your top three priorities for 2020-2021 with decision-maker buy in.

  2. Determine the projects needed to support your top three priorities, some of which may already be underway.

  3. Find some quick wins (no more than three) to demonstrate value, set a timeline and know the budget.

  4. Ask three InsurTechs that are on your radar if they have solved similar problems for other carriers - ask for specifics.

  5. Showtime! Shortlist your top InsurTech partner candidates (with solid recommendations from industry experts) and put all your cards on the table. Expect the same of each potential partner.

When the coronavirus hit, the insurance industry had to adapt and frankly, many carriers have applied bandaids to problems that ultimately need a better solution. It’s time to address these challenges now, as the industry clearly doesn’t have another five to ten years to digitally transform. The right InsurTech partner will be able to introduce you to other InsurTech’s and technology providers that will be needed to address the full scope of your top projects. 

Breathe Life has a great solution for the digital distribution of individual life insurance products and we recognize that your project scope likely includes this and more. This is why Breathe Life is an engaged member of the InsurTech community, we can make introductions to other InsurTechs that can help - we know we can’t be all things to everyone.

To learn more about the InsurTech landscape and finding the right partner, please join us on July 15th at 10:30 AM EDT for a 45-minute session moderated by Jason Gross - VP Innovation at EMC Insurance. Panelists include Jane Wang, CEO of Optimity, Harsh Shah, director at Socotra, and Breathe Life’s CEO, Ian Jeffrey. We’ll explore how to find the best InsurTech partners, how to get the most out of these relationships, and how to minimize your risk. For more information and to register, please visit: https://breathelife.zoom.us/webinar/register/.



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