How AI, blockchain and autonomous vehicles will shake up insurance: Allianz exec

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Dogan Kaleli, head of programs for Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty in North America, has an active role in Allianz’s innovation efforts driving multiple InsurTech projects within Allianz North America. He is also a cofounder of multiple tech startups specializing in AI, quantum computing and digitalized ecosystems. Previously, Dogan was Allianz’s Head of Risk Management in the Americas and began his insurance career with Allianz in Turkey and Brazil; Kaleli actively mentors up-and-coming Turkish entrepreneurs through the Hamdi Ulukaya Startup Support Program (HUG). He spoke to Digital Insurance about issues in insurtech.

How does your work in the program business connect to your interest in emerging tech and innovation in insurance?

The programs business is very specific. Allianz has about $700 million in US and Canada program business. Program administrators and MGUs understand their markets very well, and are focused on how they can differentiate themselves most of them are focused on niche markets and they know exactly what those markets need from a product perspective. At the same time, they don't have our governance and large corporate structures and can be more nimble. So if you think about insurtechs focused on sales and business, they are looking to disrupt the customer expectations and create something beautiful, but they don't want to become a full insurance company. If we provide them the insurance paper. now they have capacity and can go to market, and I basically get a proof of concept for the technology.

Why are you passionate about AI's impact on insurance?

I'm actually working with one startup that I can't disclose, but they are specialized in both AI and quantum computing. Any AI company can support you with behavioral pricing, but it doesn't solve the black box of insurance. When you have the AI abilities combined with quantum computing, you can better explain what's going on with your level of income, your level of stress, these type of components traditional pricing results are not able to capture. If my AI captures any data source, I can plug in and analyze it in a heartbeat, and relate that to other underwriting factors.

What's another emerging technology you seen short-term potential for in insurance?

Blockchain, everyone is hesitant about it. but things are already happening. There's a company in Canada, Vouchforme (formerly Insurepal-ed.) that is creating a community around people insuring other people. Everyone invites people they know into this community, and they make each and every penny transparent through smart contracts. The transparency is the game changer for me.

That sounds a little like older models of insurance like co-ops and mutuals. Does that mean you see a return to a more community-based insurance overall, or that legacy insurers can take these kinds of lessons and apply them to new products?

i think both are possible. This model in the future is not very easily duplicated. There's a huge investment and capital requirement and reinsurance players going on in the backend. But the trust and the transparency is where I think the disruption is going to come from.

Lastly, you're working in data labs for autonomous vehicles as well. How does insurance's adaptation to those cars relate to other disruptions in the economy, like car-sharing?

I don't see the insurance coverage changing a lot [for car-sharing.] It's still the same car, it's not the owner of the car driving it which may be riskier because it's being used by many others, but we can adapt to that as an industry. The autonomous side is really interesting, and i'm still curious about how the outcome is going to be. At the end of the idea it comes back to the accuracy of the data. That is responsibile for lives of the people in that car. My personal assumption is the owner of the car will have very little liability and responsibility in terms of insurance, and the car manufacturers will be the owner of that responsbility. But a Iresponsibile for the car maintenance, what if I delay by one day or something like that? It's hard to imagine those conversations yet.

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