When Two Worlds Collide: Life Insurance Meets Silicon Valley

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It’s no secret that the Silicon Valley is a hub for tech disruptors and innovators who are reinventing, reshaping and influencing change in every industry they touch. With the insurance world at a tipping point of major change, the visionaries of the valley have a keen and seemingly growing interest in the industry. As a company that’s both facilitating and embracing the inevitable change, we were eager to get a first-hand look at how Silicon Valley is approaching the world of insurance. So, an intrepid team from The LOGiQ3 Group, including Chris Murumets (CEO and Co-founder of LOGiQ3 Group, Tonya Blackmore (CEO of APEXA), Tom Freitas (CEO of TAI) and myself, took a field trip to the valley with three objectives in mind. 

First, understand the Valley’s approach to insurance. Second tell the LOGiQ3 story and get feedback on what we’ve been up to over the past ten years. And last but not least, identify potential partners to enable LOGiQ3 to become part of the Valley ecosystem – without physically relocating everyone to California (although Tonya and I have a bet as to who is going to live there first!).  The results? We left energized, excited and eager to dive into the future outlook of the insurance industry. Find out why below.

 

3 Things We Learned From our Field Trip to the Valley


1. Silicon Valley is making significant investments in insurance

To get a lay of the land we met with Mike Connor, CEO of SVIA, an open Insurance Innovation Accelerator, who has over 30 years of Valley knowledge and experience.  Right off the bat, it became clear that there was ‘something in the water’ in terms of the way the locals were approaching Insurance innovation. It was a generally more open-minded to what was possible rather than looking at what was already being done and just tinkering a little. This kind of approach requires a significant amount of time invested in not only understanding the current landscape but innovative ways to reshape it. The other form of investment demonstrating a clear interest in the industry is monetary. Check out these staggering numbers:

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 Source: Vertafore

The significant investments in both time and money shows the extent of the momentum around the insurance space. To me, it also signals a genuine interest in innovating the industry for the better versus investing into a venture half-heartedly. Which leads me to our next learning from the field trip. 

 

2. The Valley is genuinely interested. 

While the Silicon Valley is a world of its own, we felt right at home with everyone we met. Regardless of who we spoke to, they really gave us their full focus, attention and time – no looking at clocks, no playing with smartphones, no distractions. This is definitely not something we experience in the everyday world of business. We wondered if this might be the true secret to all this tech success – people being genuinely interested in what other people have to say and offer – kind of ironic in a place where tech is king.

 Being in an industry that has not seen change in a long time, we know that any kind of innovation requires a 100% commitment to understanding the full landscape and all parties involved. During our trip we were able to witness the genuine interest Valley folks have in the insurance industry. Not only do we appreciate their efforts, we’re also excited about what is to come in the future. While change can be intimidating – they are working hard to find solutions for the better. And they aren’t doing it alone (refer to learning #3).

 

3. Silicon Valley innovators are actively working with members of the insurance industry 

 One of the many highlights of our trip was our visit to the Plug and Play Tech Center, a global innovation platform for startups, corporations and investors, in Sunnyvale. It was truly a buzzing hive of activity that has everything a startup needs - from an accelerator, to an investor or mentor and everything in between. But startups aren’t the only ones reaping rewards from this center. It’s also a playground, so to speak, for large corporations.

 We heard first-hand, from connecting with Munich Re’s Silicon Valley team, the mutual benefits that exist for corporations connecting with startups via Plug and Play. Startups get to connect with real-world issues and ensure that they are attempting to solve the right problems. Larger corporations get access to the brightest, best talent and the potential innovation this brings to their business. It’s a huge opportunity to align their businesses with what Insurance is going to look like ten, twenty or one hundred years from now. Currently, Insurance ventures reside in the FinTech group, however a dedicated InsureTech or InsTech vertical is being created. Even more proof of the growing interest in insurance.   

 It’s amazing to see the energy that is being channeled into reshaping the future of insurance. As we continue to monitor industry innovation we’re quickly realizing that more and more are jumping onboard the change. Not only is Silicon Valley fueling new ideas for insurance, we’re also seeing encouragement coming from within the industry. A big thank you to everyone who made our whirlwind trip a huge success. It certainly left us wanting more! Be warned Silicon Valley – we’ll be back!

 

Simon Bell

Written by Simon Bell


Topics: Innovation, Life Insurance

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