Insurers will have to develop solutions for digital advances like software-defined cars, increased ride-sharing and smart homes sooner than many expect. That's according to Farmers Insurance Head of Product Innovation Mariel Devesa, who gave the opening keynote address at INN's inaugural Dig In conference in Austin, Texas.
The implications on insurers are great, she says. New technology puts onus on insurers to create platforms that can ingest new business models and work cohesively to drive legislation that sets standards for who is liable in the event an autonomous car crashes. Most importantly, similar to USAA’s philosophy, Devesa argues no tech opportunity is too small for insurers to venture into.
“Traditional companies, in hospitality for instance, experience linear growth. New disruptors are growing exponentially,” she said. Small ventures and companies like Uber and Airbnb grow fast.
It’s up to insurers to figure out how to take advantage of disruptors like the cloud to increase revenue, Devesa adds. Achieving this requires a perfect blend of technology, connectivity to said technology and easy usage for insureds.
“Change is a lot easier at startups because it’s all new. It becomes more of a challenge at older companies,” Devesa said. “It’s that initial moment of reflection when you realize what you have been doing all along will not change results. How can we adapt to the new economy and create new product?
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