Insurtech investment remains high

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Investment rises and the pieces fall into place.
Insurance

The second quarter of 2019 saw global levels of investment in insurtech remain high – in fact, it was the fourth consecutive quarter in which commitments for new funding exceeded US$1.2 billion in total.

This is according to Willis Towers Watson’s new Quarterly InsurTech Briefing, which found that the overall value of deals announced in the second quarter of the year was $1.41 billion, comprising a total of 69 deals – nice to see, we’re sure you’ll agree. Looking more specifically at lines, property/casualty investments rose by 283 per cent compared with the equivalent quarter last year, and life and health deals rose by 259 per cent. Additionally, the number of strategic investments by reinsurers hit 36, a record high.

A dip was noted in the number of early-stage investments, which were at their lowest point since the third quarter of 2017; however, this was offset by the dominance of larger later-stage investments. Seed and Series-A funding in insurtech startups raised a total of $147 million in the second quarter of this year, and of that, 59 per cent of ventures were focused on distribution of insurance.

“Technology as a strategic vertical is now commonplace in nearly every single insurer and reinsurer across the globe,” pointed out Dr Andrew Johnston, Willis Re’s Global Head of Insurtech, “but the technology from the incoming insurtech pastures may not be quite as green or as impacting as many incumbents had hoped – or at least anticipated. While we remain resolute in our position about the value created by some insurtechs, we are also maintaining our position of realistic pragmatism.”

Willis Towers Watson’s report includes a focus on tools that can support price quotation, binding and policy issuance. Ben Nicholls, Global Leader of Alternative Distribution Operations at Willis Re, commented: “There is no reason why commercial insurance sectors around the world, across most classes of business, cannot be supported more ubiquitously by readier access to appropriate Quote, Bind, Issue platforms. But only a few speciality insurers have begun to use technologically sound systems extensively. The evolution is relatively slow, but we are now meeting a number of insurtech businesses that seem genuinely to have cracked it.”

You can read the full report here.