Dec 18, 2020

What COVID-19 really means for core systems and insurtechs

Digital Transformation
Michael Kelly, CEO, FINEOS
3 min
What COVID-19 really means for core systems and insurtechs
Michael Kelly, CEO of FINEOS, discusses digital transformation in the COVID-19-inflected insurtech sector...

Before COVID-19, digital transformation through implementing modern core systems and insurtech digital add-ons were already gaining momentum as carriers began to gradually push to replace their legacy technology and processes.

Today, we are seeing COVID-19 significantly expedite the call for digital transformation within carriers as their clients and customers are demanding a new era of flexible and online employee benefits software that can serve their needs. 

Expectations are evolving

When considering the impact of COVID-19 in the insurance industry, what we are really looking at is the lasting influence on how people will work in the future and what they will expect from their employee benefits experience going forward. 

At some point, a COVID-19 vaccine will become widely available and we will return to a degree of normality. But what we won't go back to, is the typical five days a week commuting back and forth to the office; everybody in a traffic jam on the way into the city and then everybody in a traffic jam on the way out. The world will move forward with a more on-line, flexible, hybrid working model. 

The employee benefits industry will play a key role in empowering employees to gain the most out of their life and health benefits in this online real-time world, while ensuring their insurance cover keeps up with their evolving lives and ongoing expectations. Employees want the flexibility to choose the exact benefits they need at a particular point in time and they are coming to expect to be able to do so from anywhere, instantaneously. They expect to be able to ask a question or file a claim from their phone while making breakfast for the kids and get an immediate response from a carrier. Keeping up with these employee expectations by providing robust digital and mobile capabilities is becoming more essential for carriers and having modern core systems will help them to meet these demands.

Digital transformation now for a better tomorrow

To provide increasingly in-demand digital capabilities, carriers will need strong, modern end-to-end core systems that are purpose built for their industry to support group and voluntary employee benefits on the same core platform. This is essential for understanding and managing the complete employee relationship and for cutting down turnaround time on processes in order to offer the instant correct responses which employees expect. 

Carriers who have been slow to get on board with digital transformation have an investment journey ahead of them. The most important thing they must do to achieve digital transformation is ensure they partner with the appropriate vendors who really understand their industry and business. Digital transformation is achievable when everyone speaks the same language and collaborates to deliver the best outcome for the end clients and customers. 

This article was contributed by Michael Kelly, CEO, FINEOS

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Jun 18, 2021

Akur8’s US$30mn Series B to fuel US and APAC expansion

2 min
Parisian insurtech Akur8 has raised $30mn in a Series B round, capital which will be used as it expands out of the EU and into the US and APAC markets

Still a relatively new company in the sector, Akur8’s progress since it was founded in 2018 has been characterised by cutting-edge tech, strategic growth, and a highly personable approach that clearly demonstrates the youthful innovation of insurtech itself.

The company strives to embody four key values:

  • Challenging a status quo that doesn’t benefit customers
  • “Disrupt the known, organise the unknown”
  • Provide artificial intelligence (AI) tech with a distinctly human edge
  • Create solutions that will endure the test of time

At the heart of Akur8’s business is its Transparent AI solution. Capable of empowering actuaries and pricing teams through better, faster decision making, the insurtech touts it as “the only solution that automates rate modeling while keeping full transparency and control.”



Transforming insurance pricing

In just two years, Akur8 has acquired over 30 customers in 10 countries - including high-profile insurers like Munich Re, Tokio Marine Kiln, AXA, and Generali - and established additional offices in London and New York. Now, the company is keen to develop its business in the US’ verdant insurance market and build its presence in APAC.

The Series B round, which comes just over a year after Akur8’s $12mn Series A, was co-led by returning investors BlackFin Capital Partners and MTech Capital.

“The BlackFin team is thrilled to see Akur8 continue to spread its wings and deploy its next generation pricing platform across insurance carriers worldwide,” said Julien Creuzé, Partner. “We have built a great relationship with the Akur8 management team and it’s a pleasure to welcome new investors and continue this journey with them.”

Guillaume Beraud-Sudreau, Co-Founder and Chief Actuary at Akur8, added, “We are humbled by the trust that our clients and investors have placed in Akur8. Building the future of insurance pricing powered by Transparent AI has been our goal since the first day of R&D. Now this vision has become reality and we can’t wait to accelerate our growth to become the global reference in insurance pricing.”

Cover image source: Akur8

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