New insurtech accelerator opens in Australia

A new insurtech accelerator has launched in Australia, intended to grow the country’s footprint in a booming sector of the insurance industry.

The startup hub, Insurtech Australia, will operate as a standalone division of Fintech Australia, a local incubator founded in 2015. The new venture will reportedly aid insurers, reinsurers and brokers by tapping into emerging technologies startups are developing. These disciplines include wearables, machine learning, IoT and telematics, according to the company.

"We want to make Australia one of the world’s leading markets for insurance innovation,” said Brenton Charnley, lead & co-founder of Insurtech Australia, in a statement. “Insurtech is a rapidly growing sector worldwide, and Australia has the ideas and skills to compete.”

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Members work on laptop computers in a common room at the Embarcadero WeWork Cos Inc. offices in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017. WeWork has focused its attention on Asia since 2016 with the opening of its first facility in Shanghai amid booming demand for flexible work spaces. Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg

Founding insurance industry members include the likes of QBE, MunichRe, Ernst & Young, RAC Insurance and Oliver Wyman. Insurtech startup partners of parent company Fintech Australia will also be granted immediate membership into the incubator. Established corporate partners can join at their discretion.

“Insurance is a multi-billion dollar industry, with massive potential for new ideas and technologies,” said Danielle Szetho, CEO of Fintech Australia. “By creating a clear focus point for insurtech policy and bringing together people from the startup and corporate sectors to collaborate, Insurtech Australia will play a vital role in creating the insurance industry of tomorrow.”

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