The Future of InsurTech? AI and the IoT, Says Accenture

The number of insurtech firms with a focus on big data, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things has skyrocketed in recent years, with those firms attracting nearly half of the total funding spent globally on insurtech.

According to a report by Accenture, there are about 70 insurance startups focusing on big data now, up from 24 startups in 2014, with a corresponding leap in AI and the IoT or “connected insurance.”

Accenture, which analyzed 450 insurtech deals for the report, noted that the number of deals for AI and the IoT almost tripled in the two year span between 2014 and 2016. Altogether, big data, AI, and the IoT accounted for 56% of the total number of insurance-related deals made in 2016.

Deals involving data, AI, and IoT represented 70% of the total value invested in insurtech for 2016, according to the report, and the number is expected to keep increasing, especially as more insurance companies and startups launch innovation groups or technology incubators.

However, insurance should learn a trick or two from banking, says Accenture. While more and more retail banks are expressing a willingness to work with fintech startups or those outside of the traditional banking sphere, traditional insurance providers have yet to reach the same level of collaboration, according to the report.

Accenture’s analysis of more than 200 insurers and 80 retail banks worldwide showed that approximately 60% of banks are working with startups on technology initiatives,  compared to 38% of insurers.

In 2016, more than half of banks (56%) provided venture funding or coaching to startups, in contrast to 26% of traditional insurers.

The full report can be viewed here.

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