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Can AI shape risk assessment? Find out with Steve Tunstall, the CEO & co-founder of Inzsure Pte Ltd, an Insurtech platform transforming the commercial insurance experience for SME customers.
Steve is the CEO & co-founder of Inzsure Pte Ltd, an Insurtech platform transforming the commercial insurance experience for SME customers.
Steve is an Insurtech, Insurance & Risk champion with 30 years of experience and 15 years of P&L responsibility. He is a Contributor to The Insurtech Book - Top Seller on Amazon.
Steve has held the post of CEO, Managing Director, in six companies in four countries. With global experience in over 100 countries brings a broad-based and pragmatic approach to the leadership of Insurance, Risk, and Opportunities.
Interview with Steve Tunstall
The following section summarizes our interview with Steve. But if you’d like to hear the full interview, we’ve left a link to the Spotify podcast below.
Insurance is pretty old fashioned according to Steve. It’s one of the last areas of the Fintech space to be impacted by tech. There are a few reasons why most of the other banking services areas like wallets and moving money have been pretty active. Especially during the decade, and now global players are making a huge impact. Insurance has been slower, but we’ve made a huge impact now.
Personal lines like Motor, travel insurance, and personal insurance are now available to buy online. Even buying life insurance is now being introduced online.
Steve’s specialty, being commercial, cyber protection, and property insurance is the last section to go online. And there are a couple of reasons why. 80% of the policies for motor or personal insurance are quite commoditised. You can get something that suits you quite easily, and anything else can be tweaked.
It tends to be the other way around with commercial insurance. Where only 20% is commoditized and straightforward, whereas the other 80% needs some sort of tailoring. So this makes it less easy to do in an aggravated state. With commercial insurance, you’re looking at something more long-term.
You’re looking at the full life of the policy and you want to be able to manage so since commercial claims are much more complex. Which is why we need an intermediate like a human in the model. People like to know we’ve got that support.
Digital transformation is a slow-cooked meal. It isn’t fast food by any means and it varies country by country. For example, in the UK, 70-90% of insurance is sold online. Australia, New Zealand, and other European countries are falling on this trajectory, also shifting online. The US is slowly but that is also starting to change. And in Southeast Asia, it’s a mixed pattern. Certain jurisdictions in Asia are embracing the technology, others less so. One of the biggest problems in Asia is actually understanding what the technology can do. But there is some resistance from regulations. Part of that is due to the mindset of not wanting something new to be introduced, but that does not serve the customer well at all.
It’s a complex situation
This is one of the only industries where the intermediary plays a significant role. And at the moment, most of the intermediaries are humans who are fearful of tech. They’re worried about being replaced by bots for example. Another issue is that customers are not well educated enough to understand what insurance is. So they often rely on the intermediary and like talking through issues before they buy. So unless the insurer sees a profit in introducing an emerging tech, they can't invest in tech.
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This is also another complex query. The short answer is maybe. Machine learning is definitely an emerging technology that can understand data. But the challenge is the huge diversity of input variables. You’d have to imagine all of these data points that you’d have to feed the system to predict cases accurately. Hence why Machine Learning systems are currently unable to scale. People are however more open to machine learning systems over humans. We tend to trust a website or tech, but often doubt a human agent. So there is a lot of scope here.