Reports show 2017 to be highest on record for technology investments

According to reports, 2017 was a record-breaking year for insurtech investment by (re)insurers. Willis Re, in collaboration with CB Insights, outlined in their latest Willis Towers Watson Securities research that 2017 saw 120 private technology investments by (re)insurers, with Q4 alone seeing 35 private technology investments by (re)insurers.

These figures give both 2017 and Q4 of 2017 the highest levels of recorded investment in this area to date. This amounts to a 36% year on year increase in insurtech funding from $1.7bn in 2016 to $2.3bn in 2017.

Willis Towers Watson Securities chief executive Rafal Walkiewicz highlighted that incumbents had sent a strong message that they were prepared to harness technology to stay ahead of disruptors.

Walkiewicz said: “Incumbents sent a clear message to potential disruptive outsiders: by investing heavily in start-ups and technology, (re)insurance companies appear to have assumed a semblance of control over the InsurTech revolution.”

Stressing that understanding insurtech was vital to truly benefiting from it, Walkiewicz added: “During the year, conversations about disruption of the existing value chain evolved towards an efficiency-driven search for incremental innovation. However, technology revolutions rarely result in redistribution of power among incumbents. It can be argued that incumbents’ collective response to InsurTech hype has diminished their ability to recognize true disruption.”