How Live Video is underwriting Insurtech Growth

Live Video is a key capability within Insurtech apps that are disrupting the insurance industry. In this blog you will learn more about Insurtech and the role of Live Video in Insurance applications.

TokBox attended the excellent InsureTech Connect conference in Las Vegas on October 3-4, 2017. If you were not able to talk to us there, please contact us to discuss your Insurance use cases. You can also download our Insurance Datasheet for more information about our platform.

So what is Insurtech?

This “insurance technology” term arrived relatively recently as an outgrowth of “Fintech”, providing a cool way of discussing the application of technology, typically disruptively, to the global insurance market. It recognizes that that the overall financial services umbrella is too broad and that insurance processes and customer experiences are very different from retail banking, wealth management, mortgages and loans, brokerage, trading and the many many other areas of finance. It is a recognition that there is suddenly an intense technology focus on how to change and disrupt core processes of how customers interact with insurance services. New software technologies are enabling new business models and processes.

As a result, the Insurtech market is exploding with many hundreds of new startups working to disrupt their way into this well established $4.6 trillion industry. The industry is arguably 4,000 years old – for example, key principles were documented in the Code of Hammurabi as far back as 1754 BC.  Elena Mesropyan, writing at LTP, was easily able to highlight 101 interesting Insurtech startups, and she tracks many times this number.

Like all industries, the technology combination of global Internet connectivity, cloud-scale computing, mobile device capabilities, and rich web and media experiences are the weapons of choice in creating new disruptive insurance workflows and customer experiences. The opportunity to create faster digital business models that we see across industries today is now coming full-steam to insurance.

CBInsights’ research shows that well over 600 Insurtech startups have raised over $7 billion in the past 5 years, with the “hockey stick” investment ramp occurring in the past 2 years. Like most startup-driven disruption periods, there is all kinds of specialization for different sub-segments and different parts of the value chain. There are many startups separately targeting commercial, home, life, auto – and even pet insurance!

The incumbent insurance companies are not standing still. They are aggressively “going digital” with new technologies themselves, as well as leveraging and absorbing startup innovations. Most large insurers have strategic venture arms actively investing in selected startups. Whether and how major insurance firms should incorporate Insurtech innovations is a hot topic in analyst research, where PwC stated that three in four insurance companies believe that some part of their business is at risk of disruption, and also on CNBC and other business media.

Live Video and Insurtech

TokBox has been supporting Live Video use-cases for insurance for many years. Esurance introduced live video appraisal and customer support into their mobile app, built on the TokBox platform, way back in 2014 – the first company to do so. TokBox powers live video for many insurance and financial applications, including Flexperto, Gistek Ubiquos, Unblu, Livewire, Royal Bank of Scotland and many more.

In just the past three months, TokBox has attended Insurtech events in Berlin, London, São Paolo, and now Las Vegas. We are amazed at the enthusiasm and interest in Live Video as an important component of these new insurance processes. Across these events we have seen three key Insurtech technology trends:

  1. Cloud Platform: Like Uber and every other disruptive approach, Insurtech builds on the speed and flexibility of deploying high-scale cloud platforms with flexible mobile and web client interfaces that are globally accessible. The app becomes the process and the faster it can iterate, the faster new business models can be built. Such apps need flexible communications Platform as a Service (cPaaS) components, like TokBox, that integrate easily and can keep up with the speed of development.
  2. AI and Automation: Everyone is looking at how to to simplify and automate more insurance processes – whether it is selling and approval, claims, claim resolution, or any other part of the value chain. AI and Machine Learning technologies are being applied across industries and are especially relevant to the sophisticated decision making and risk management required in insurance processes. Big companies may be able to build large AI labs, but for everyone else there are AI startups, such as Elafris and others,  directly targeting insurance needs. While some AI startups are targeting incumbents with full Insurtech-driven solutions, others see themselves as tool providers to other Insurtech application builders. Just as TokBox does for Live Video.
  3. Making Live Customer Moments Count: There is a paradox here that automation actually puts significant increased pressure on live customer support. When the need finally arises to communicate live, the process cannot fall back to horrible old 800-# phone calls into legacy call centers with limited live app context (“who’s calling?”, “what about?”)! Service must be delivered within the full context of the app process, immediately in the current moment, combined with all the relevant situational data that only the app has. This demands that real-time communications is embedded directly into the app. And since live moments are the critical un-automated customer moments where precise communication is essential, live video is key to ensuring that trust is better established, claims issues are visually seen, advice is made more personal, etc. Video communication is now expected by consumers. If they can easily live video chat with their kids, why can’t they do the same with you – a major business?

So, whether you are an Insurtech startup challenger, or an established insurance firm, Live Video must become a key part of your overall customer experience strategy. TokBox is the market leader in providing a flexible cloud platform for embedding Live Video into your mobile and web apps. So please talk to us by contacting us here:

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Charles Rummelein

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