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Published 19 February, 2020
SINGAPORE, March 19th, 2020 – IDC Financial Insights released today the InsurTech Fast 50 research initiative which details a list of leading InsurTechs in Asia/Pacific* from 12 key markets. IDC’s InsurTech Fast 50 research refers to promising insurtech players based on extensive on-ground analysis of startup companies – specializing to service in the insurance sector from China, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, South Korea, and Australia. IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific applied its Triple U framework – ubiquity, utility, and usability – to determine the list of ‘InsurTech Fast 50’ companies.
The framework evaluates insurtech companies’ data across the following key metrics: solution design, digital innovation score, addressable market, customer adoption, ease of implementation, alliances and partnerships, market positioning, competitive advantage, future pipeline, and product roadmap. The information used to arrive at the list of InsurTech Fast 50, has been collected from secondary sources (i.e. news articles, company websites, technology journals, and other publications), peer reviews, and interviews conducted by IDC Financial Insights with insurtech entrepreneurs and insurance business leaders.
For the purpose of this research, IDC Financial Insights’ definition of an ‘insurtech’ is drawn parallel with the overall description of a fintech – leverages digital technologies and supports new models for financial services offered through “nontraditional” vendors. It refers to the “non-traditional” technology vendors themselves as well as their products and services. These nontraditional insurtech vendors are either companies not usually considered as underwriters of insurance products or start-ups who leverage technology to deliver digitally enabled insurance-related services. IDC’s definition intentionally excludes licensed insurance companies, and any other licensed financial institutions that are partaking in underwriting insurable risks. Furthermore, IDC has also excluded those non-traditional technology startup companies whose solutions can be applied to multiple industry verticals. Only startup tech companies with superior focus on improving, transforming, and enabling the insurance sector (i.e. life, property and casualty and reinsurance sectors) within their local markets have been included as part of the scope.
Earlier this year, IDC financial Insights predicts that by end of 2020, 40% of tier 1 insurers in Asia/Pacific* will work with at least three insurtechs – marking a significant tipping point where insurtech-collaboration would be more integral to an insurer’ digital strategy. There are two most important value propositions offered by the insurtech companies in the Asia/Pacific* region:
First, keeping the customers in charge, sections of processes in distribution lifecycle, product management and development, claims management, and client servicing and communication are redesigned to meet a differentiated outcome in service delivery. The decision to buy versus build capabilities is often critical for the insurance companies in these cases. When the higher degree of differentiation is preferred by insurers, they are often found to be open to “buy” from several viable options with ‘plug-n-play’ capabilities that are flexible, modular in nature, and easy in configuration and integration; especially in cases such as the settlement of claims, risk prediction, underwriting profit, customer-facing digital services, ‘niche’ product solutions, and more.
Secondly, there is a growing prominence of insurtech companies backed-by full-stack capabilities to service end-to-end insurance value chain without assuming the risk exposure (i.e. the risk is transferred to the insurance partners or parent insurance companies or underwriters). These insurtech firms are either playing their part as digital-agents, brokers or as standalone technology platform providers.
“The insurtech landscape in Asia/Pacific* region is very diverse and dynamic. The good news is, insurtech providers have considered the local market behaviors and preferences while designing their solution. With a heterogeneous mix of technologies and multiple business models, insurtech partnerships have come a long way,” says Arpita Mitra, Senior Research Manager at IDC Financial Insights Asia/Pacific.
Mitra adds “Insurtech companies are more willing to act as a conduit between the incumbent insurance companies and the end-user customers by enabling the businesses to leverage digital technologies for better flexibility in product designing, higher scalability in distribution channels, and more empowerment to the sales-agents. Their existence is now seen as a complementary force to reckon along with the knowledge and the expertise developed by the incumbents over the years.”
In the first wave of insurtech that started almost a decade ago, most of the innovation revolved around building price comparison portals or aggregator tools. The landscape has evolved ever since and currently, the solutions have been designed to bring insurance-related services at the doorstep of the customers – with hyper personalized offers, on-demand microinsurance products, usage-based insurance coverage, and more. The continuity in improving the various touchpoints have rendered higher transparency to the overall insurance sales process.