GR spoke to chief commercial officer Tony Russell to see how the world of insurtech is changing, and how his business is tearing up the rulebook

Insurtech is a complex world. New technologies, new businesses and new ideas are competing against each other, all shouting to be heard by the traditional insurers looking to cherry pick the best innovations for themselves and gain that competitive edge.

But with the advent of cloud-based technologies and a more demanding insurance consumer, Charles Taylor InsureTech chief commercial officer Tony Russell says things need to change if insurers are not to fall behind the curve.

The issue is that some of them just don’t know which way to turn.

“The insurance industry as a whole is in a situation where it has to do something,” Russell says. “We know that the way we buy, sell, manage insurance is going to change, but a lot of companies dont know how that is going to happen.”

To help businesses better understand the challenges they are facing, and provide a better space for insurtechs to flourish, Charles Taylor InsureTech is offering a new approach to bringing these disruptive products to market.

“We think it is our duty of care to get involved as a vendor and present something back to the insurance industry that is a little bit more joined up,” Russell says. “As an insurtech, if you get seed capital for a great idea and take that to an insurer who sees that it will give them a competitive advantage, that insurer is not going to scale the business, they are just going to put their arms round it [and keep that technology for themselves].

“Surely, the best way is for a vendor to put an umbrella over those businesses, apply their brand and allow those businesses to flourish.”

And Russell says this approach means that insurers are much more likely to buy-in to the products and services on offer from these up and coming insurtech disruptors.

“We are seeing more and more that these niche little products deliver so much better value if you blend them together like a box of lego bricks,” he says. “That means insurers are much more likely to take [that solution], and we are having success with the conversations we are having now with that kind of approach with the chief information officers we are speaking to.”

In the MENA region specifically, Russell says that there is the added benefit of not having to deal with complex and cumbersome legacy systems.

“In the London Market, for example, you have hundreds of different systems and inconsistent bits of data that have been built up over the years,” he says. “Here in the MENA region, if the insurers adopt this technology early, then they stand a chance of getting ahead of the game.”