Traditional insurers are taking lots of first meetings with leading insurtech companies. However, not many tend to take a second meeting. Earlier this month, Accenture hosted the Life Insuretech Summit in New York, where we brought together leading insurtech firms and carriers to discuss how technology is changing the industry.

What is clear is that leaders in insurance are not going to try to build all of the next industry solutions and content themselves. No individual carrier has the ability to build great solutions across the vast array of investments we are seeing with insurtech. Instead, the winning carriers will figure out how to marry their core capabilities with these new companies to create integrated ecosystems that provide real value to their customers in the long run.

One of the more interesting takeaways from the summit is that while carriers and fintech companies alike understand the importance of being able to partner, many are unable to do so successfully for a myriad of reasons.

As the holiday season is upon us, consider whether your company should be receiving coal for its insurtech efforts in 2017, and how to get on the nice list for 2018:

Naughty

Nice

Approaching a fintech meeting like a software acquisition. You go in knowing the specific value, capabilities, and functions you need and are looking for reasons why they don’t fit your needs. Going into a fintech meeting with an open mind and listening to what they have to say and what they are considering. Then exploring whether their products or services can provide value to your customers, processes or channels.
Requiring insurtech solutions to be exclusive to your insurance organization to give you a competitive edge. Recognizing that the value of fintech is that it enables you to leverage investment, energy and solutions that complement your business. Limiting them limits the development of those solutions.
Applying a procurement lens to contracting a fintech to try to drive the best deal for the carrier. Understanding that a fintech investment should develop long-term products or services for your company and seeking a win-win outcome.
Treating the fintech firm like a software vendor and assuming its solution needs to fully adapt to you and your customers. Accepting that you may need to adapt —even heavily – to get the value that the fintech solution creates.
Using your second meeting with a fintech to explore reasons why you should not partner. Exploring different opportunities in subsequent meetings with a fintech to jointly try to create value and being open to exploring further even if the first few ideas don’t make sense.
Treating the fintech as a buying event: make the decision or investment and you are done. Acknowledging that this is a partnership investment, which takes real, ongoing commitment of resources and leadership effort to drive the value.

For more information on how your company can more successfully innovate and partner with insurtech firms, feel free to contact me.

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