Insurance Edge had a chance to chat with Danny Maleary, CEO of PRO MGA Solutions, to find out how 2020 is shaping up for the company.
IE: Tell us more about innovation after Covid-19.
DM: I’ve worked in insurance for over 30 years and the pace of change after March has been incredible to see. Companies are now looking for global partnerships and solutions, creating brand new platforms for their products and getting their products to market much, much faster.
IE: PRO MGA is a kind of hothouse for Managing General Agents as they develop isn’t it?
DM: Very much so, we work as an incubator, so an MGA might want to expand from the UK into the EU zone, or further afield into Asia perhaps. There’s a lot of emerging markets out there now and developing nations are embracing technology just as rapidly as the UK. We are seeing MGAs and venture capital partners asking all the right questions on opportunities and where the ROI is long term.
IE: That brings to the recent Lemonade IPO – that was a great return for many early investors. But can every insurtech based brand realise the same pay day?
DM: Maybe so, much depends on the brand itself, the core values, and how consumers and stock market investors perceive that brand image, the company’s social equity value, translating into sales. I mean are Lemonade doing things fundamentally different in the insurance market? No, but they’re doing it faster – and that has a consumer appeal in a digital age, no question about it.
What we are seeing this year is a trend where insurtechs and insurers are choosing their partners with care, with a view to online potential and global branding. PRO MGA is about bringing like-minded companies together and people are really sitting up and listening now. Things are becoming more automated, more remote in some ways, but two companies with the same mindset can really create new products that stand out.
IE: The problems surrounding Business Interruption claims are a bit of a PR setback for the industry, but as travel insurers are now rolling out Covid-19 policies, do you think the same process is underway in the Commercial sector?
DM: To me, what matters long term is that insurance companies deliver on their promises. The BI court cases will be interesting because it will push everyone forwards on exact definitions of terms, of specific risk covered. Tech-led companies already in the Commercial sector will adapt far better to the new reality for sure, parametric payouts are another area where MGAs or insurers that deliver will build trust very quickly.
IE: Do you see the same automation of claims in the motor sector as technology being built into modern car bumpers like sensors and cameras means more minor collisions will result in a write-off?
DM: You look at trailblazers like Tesla. They couldn’t really find an insurer that fitted with their over-the-air updates, constant innovation as regards ADAS systems etc. so they created their own insurance. There’s nothing stopping others in motor, or perhaps re-insurance, from doing the same thing; looking at real-time data, using algorithms to make risk predictions, and away you go.
Then there’s a new generation using voice assistants for stuff like asking Alexa for cheaper insurance, or if there’s a company that covers XYZ gadgets etc. The exciting thing about the future is that all these data streams can provide the tools insurers need to quote, and automate claims, and learn about demand for new products in each local market. There’s never been a better time to build new stuff, or so many companies out there who can help you you do it.
IE: Danny thanks for your time.