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InsureTech 2018 Recap: 3 Ways Insurers Are Transforming Customer Experience


Even though it’s only three years old, the InsureTech Connect (ITC) conference has become the “it” event for carriers (“incumbents”), tech companies and investors who are leading (or panicking about?) digital disruption in the insurance industry. This year attendance nearly doubled from last year to more than 6,000, with two-thirds of those attending at a VP level and above.

As ITC sponsors, Intelledox hosted a fun pre-event reception at Topgolf, and then we sat down with insurers to talk about their digital transformation initiatives. In addition to meetings, we also attended a number of keynotes and sessions to get a pulse on what’s happening in the industry. Here is a summary of a few key takeaways.

What topics are top of mind among insurance executives? What challenges are keeping them up at night?

It’s clear from an audience poll that customer experience is driving technology investments across insurance and financial services.


Biggest Insurance Challenges Wordcloud Image       Insurance future vision Wordcloud

Many of the startup InsureTech challengers echoed this theme across various presentations:

  • “We obsess and obsess about the user journey and user delight.” – Scott Walchek, CEO and founder of Trov
  • “Our goal is to bring transparency and enable innovation…to change the way consumers think about insurance.” – Ken Lin, CEO of Credit Karma
  • “We want to change the consumer’s view of insurance from transactional to meaningful. … When you use technology well, you don’t just collapse costs. Providing instant responses, it’s delightful to the customer.” –Daniel Schreiber, CEO of Lemonade

For their part, a number of top executives at traditional carriers also emphasized the importance of putting the customer first in prioritizing their technology investments:

  • “Many companies that have been comfortable, that aren’t customer-centric, that have been focused on their own internal technology requirements, will be afflicted by what’s coming.” –David Hopewell, head of data and innovation, Transamerica
  • “Customer acquisition is just the beginning. How you deliver value to customers – that’s the real benefit to them in this ecosystem. We’re trying to create a better experience for everyone we engage.” –Mark Watson, CEO, Argo Group

Streamlining Forms: Three Stories of Digital Transformation

So alongside this theme of customer experience, I was excited to hear three particular stories, some from the executives above. These companies specifically targeted forms-based processes as a way to not only improve the experience of insurance consumers, but to then use that data to inform product development around customer needs. (Given that’s what Intelledox enables, this was music to my ears!)

Argo Group

Argo has seen the most success in transforming line-of-business areas where the company can “materially change the customer experience,” especially for its broker channel, said Andrew Breen, the SVP of Digital for Argo. The company reduced processing for underwriting construction projects from two days to a two-minute experience by re-inventing its forms.

“If I give the customer a form with 50 questions and ask them to wait 24 hours for an underwriter to call, that’s not going to win any customers,” Breen said. Argo eliminated is old ACORD forms and reduced the number of questions from 50 to less than 10 by pulling in external data to pre-fill information and building in logic. And, automated algorithms price 85% of the risk. Now more than 90% percent of applications are conducted through these new digital interviews.

Credit Karma

Credit Karma has also succeeded by automatically pulling in consumer credit and vehicle data during its quoting and onboarding processes.

The company unveiled its new auto insurance product at ITC, starting in Texas and California. The focus is on delivering a “frictionless experience,” Lin said. The company enables consumers to obtain 10-30 insurance quotes with just a few clicks, by pulling in that external data to calculate premiums in real time. And Lin touts that the process is more transparent to consumers. By changing variables, consumers can easily see what factors influence the rates.

“Credit Karma truly starts with the customer and then works to the solutions. In a word, it’s all about building massive trust,” Lin added.


If you’re not familiar with this industry disrupter, Lemonade has seen record customer growth and is ranked at the top of insurance consumer satisfaction surveys. This is in part due to the way it dramatically simplifies customer interactions and makes them mobile friendly. (Schreiber said 17% of its new business comes from social media, compared to around 1% for most businesses, which says something about its demographics!)

But if Act 1 is using technology to deliver “delightful” customer experiences at a lower cost, then Act 2 for Lemonade is all about using that data, Schreiber explained. “When you onboard with us, we will know how you interacted on the questions. Did you answer quickly? Where did you pause? Did you apply at 2 am? On a mobile device? Where were you? As that data accumulates, we get more insights. This allows us to identify and price risks ever faster and ever more precisely.”

Companies that aren’t built around this digital data construct will find they lack the ability to compete because they can’t manage risks at that same level, Schreiber warned. “We’ve only seen 10% of the iceberg” in terms of data science, he added.


Insurance Iceberg Diagram from Lemonade CEO

Lemonade CEO says insurers have only seen the tip of the iceberg when it comes to digital data.

Wrapup: Seen and Heard at InsureTech Connect 2018

We know traveling gets expensive, so here are a few additional ITC event recaps we found of interest. If you’d like to feel like you were there in person, check these out, and put September 23-25 on your calendar for ITC 2019.

And here’s a shot of what you missed at Topgolf. Join us next year!

Photo of Intelledox at Topgolf


Download our 5 Ways Forms are Killing Your Customer Experience eBook to learn more about improving your company’s customer experience. Then head to our insurance solutions page. Or drop me a note to continue the conversation.

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