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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

UK InsurTech investment more than doubled in 2016

Despite political and economic uncertainty as a result of Brexit, the value of InsurTech investments in the UK more than doubled to almost $19m (£15m) last year, the highest in Europe, according to a report from Accenture.

Technology to "disrupt the industry in the years to come" ©Shutterstock
Technology to "disrupt the industry in the years to come" ©Shutterstock

Germany and France also saw strong growth in 2016, completing the top three InsurTech markets in Europe, while the US’s share of deal volume dropped slightly from 63% to 56%.

It was also found that Artificial intelligence (AI) and the internet of things (IoT) now account for almost half of total investments in InsurTech globally, with the number of deals across these technologies increasing by 79% last year.

Accenture financial services managing director, Julian Skan said: “The rise in InsurTech is further evidence of the growing role that new technologies are playing in shaping innovation across financial services.

“The next challenge for InsurTech startups is the same as that which the more mature Fintechs are now facing – being able to translate that investment into growth and customer acquisition.” 

Although AI and IoT only represent 24% of the 216 InsurTech deals seen worldwide in 2016, they accounted for 44% or $71m of total investment, compared with just 10% the previous year, according to the report.

It highlights how AI has the potential to transform the insurance industry from simply assessing risk based on past experience, to monitoring risks in real-time and mitigating, or preventing losses for customers.

While the IoT is expected to enable insurers to offer more-personalised, real-time services, boost operational efficiency, and price products with greater precision.

“We’ve seen a rapid acceleration of investment into and deal activity around intelligent automation and IoT start-ups over the last 12 months, and these technologies are primed to disrupt the industry in the years to come,” report co-author, Roy Jubraj, said.

It was also found that the percentage of InsurTech investment in the rest of the world, outside the traditional hubs, increased from 11% in 2015 to 23% last year.

In addition, the Asia Pacific region saw investment in Fintech double, eclipsing North America for the first time.

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