The insurance industry is still undergoing a technology-fueled evolution, with insurtech startups at the forefront of ushering in new innovations. The Forward50 Americas report (Report) from InsureTech Connect and Sønr identifies 50 of the most transformational insurtechs that are poised to reshape the industry over the next 3-5 years.
The Report focuses on startups that have raised up to a Series A funding round and provides unique insights into emergent trends that could impact the insurance market. This article notes some companies from the Report that might be of interest to property and casualty insurance agents in the United States.
According to the Report, the insurtechs seek to enhance legacy processes and systems with cutting-edge technology – from AI and machine learning to IoT and blockchain. Their solutions tackle long-standing pain points for both insurers and customers across critical functions like underwriting, claims, and distribution. This technology-first approach, the report claims, enables more personalized, seamless experiences for insurance brokers, agents, and customers.
As agents navigate a rapidly evolving market, awareness of insurtech innovations can reveal strategic opportunities to improve competitiveness. This article spotlights key trends and startups for P&C agents to consider from the Forward50 Americas report.
Key Industry Trends according to the Forward50 Americas report
Several notable trends stand out from the Forward50 Americas report that are impacting the P&C insurance landscape and creating opportunities for agents.
Growth in Managing General Agents (MGAs). Over 10% of the top 50 insurtechs are operating or launching MGAs. This indicates a rising demand for more specialized insurance products and capacity. MGAs like Cover Whale and Joyn are targeting underserved segments with tailored offerings. Their tech-enabled platforms provide operational efficiencies while still enabling human expertise. This model allows carriers and brokers to develop new products quickly if they leverage insurtech MGAs.
Expansion of Cyber Insurance. With cyber threats on the rise, 12% of the top 50 insurtechs now offer cyber insurance – especially to fill gaps in coverage for small and mid-sized businesses. Startups like Converge and Elpha Secure combine security software with policies so customers can better manage IT vulnerabilities. Usage-based and parametric policies that offer transparent pricing are also gaining traction. As more emerging risks move online, there is a greater need for personalized cyber protection.
Parametric and Usage-Based Models. Innovative coverage that aligns premium costs to actual risk profiles is a growing trend. Parametric policies like those from Canopy Weather and Baoba make payouts automatically based on event triggers rather than claims processes. With telematics integrating into more IoT devices, startups like Cover Whale base premiums on driving behavior data for commercial trucking clients. These inverted models give businesses more control while improving insurers’ loss ratios.
AI and Data Analytics. Across the value chain, insurtechs are harnessing big data and AI to enhance legacy functions. Advanced computer vision powers solutions from Voxel and CompScience to prevent losses and fraud. Platforms like CogniSure, DigitalOwl, and Second Sight utilize automation and machine learning to extract insights from documents and systems, causing underwriting, claims, and agent workflows to be more accurate and efficient.
Emphasis on Customer Experience. An improved customer experience underpins many insurtech innovations. Glovebox centralizes policy management for users, while Armadillo simplifies home warranty claims. Leap increases access to rental guarantees for those facing stringent application barriers. These startups tackle pain points to foster engagement and loyalty. With personalized portals and seamless integration, embedded insurance also offers policyholders targeted, hassle-free coverage.
Highlighting ten insurtechs from the Forward50 Americas report
Cover Whale. This commercial trucking insurer uses IoT systems to offer usage-based policies, improving loss ratios by 50%. Their platform combines telematics data with video analytics to provide coaching and rewards for safe driving behaviors. Agents can easily integrate their white-label portal to offer tailored coverage and risk mitigation tools to fleet and owner-operator clients.
Converge. As an MGA, Converge developed a full-stack solution for customized cyber insurance by integrating security software with parametric policies. Their platform assesses vulnerabilities and matches SMEs to coverage levels and premiums aligned to actual exposure. With capacity trading through APIs, agents can seamlessly add Converge’s aptly priced policies to round out portfolios.
Elpha Secure. Catering to underinsured small and mid-sized businesses, Elpha Secure bundles robust cyber protection with streamlined applications. By leveraging automation and analytics, their platform instantly scans digital infrastructure to quantify threats and qualify prospects. Elpha enables agents to efficiently place much-needed data breach, ransomware, and liability coverage.
Glovebox. Recognizing that clients struggle to manage multi-carrier policies, Glovebox consolidates essential plan information into one intuitive portal. Beyond simplifying self-service, they provide valuable data insights to strengthen customer relationships for agencies and brokerages. Integrations with top carriers establish a centralized hub to track billing, changes, and documents.
Insurate. This MGA tackled inefficiencies in the workers’ comp market by employing advanced data science with predictive models that accurately priced risk for challenging trades with high loss ratios. With its advanced analytics, Insurate carved out an underserved specialty niche – delivering quotes in under 30 seconds.
Joyn. Joyn made efficient underwriting possible across a defined scope of commercial lines that includes General Liability and BOP coverage. Submissions ingest and automatically populate missing details so underwriters can swiftly tailor terms. Built for the unique needs of E&S Brokers, MGAs, and carriers, Joyn’s platform streamlines the exchange to retain niche business.
Obsidian. With seasoned insurance leadership at its helm, Obsidian forged an MGU to backstop programs across Specialty P&C and A&H lines. Custom solutions and reinsurance structures provide managers with a capacity that is adaptable to growth. Agents can take advantage of their expanding portfolio supported by proprietary technology, data, and actuarial capabilities.
Shepherd. Shepherd takes a novel approach, rewarding construction firms that invest in technologies that mitigate safety hazards and liability claims. Their platform integrates with leading solutions like Samsara and Autodesk to benchmark risk profiles. This underwriting advantage lets Shepherd insure complex projects precisely and competitively based on tech adoption.
Roots Automation. This insurtech dared to anthropomorphize AI with “digital coworkers” named Roxanne and Stuart. Deployed enterprise-wide, the assistants are pre-trained on domain documents and tasks to work in tandem with human claims and underwriting teams. By automating repetitive, manual workflows, the augmented staff unlocks their capacity to drive growth and client success.
Second Sight. Second Sight empowers brokers to place superior cyber coverage by arming them with portfolio analytics on aggregated security postures. Mapped digital risks help right-size policies for individual clients while balancing exposures across books of business. By steering placements based on quantifiable threat levels, premiums sync up to cyber vulnerabilities.
These highlighted insurtechs represent a sampling of the innovative companies profiled in the Forward50 Americas report, which are claimed to be positively disrupting the insurance industry. While not exhaustive, the trends and solutions outlined in the Report aim to provide agents with greater awareness of the technologies and business models that may shape the P&C landscape in the years ahead.
Each featured company seeks to fill service gaps in areas such as capacity, efficiency, risk mitigation, and user experience. For legacy companies, these and similar startups may present opportunities to accelerate modernization efforts, maintain competitive edges, and enable frictionless integrations into existing tech stacks and workflows through flexible partnerships.
Agents may benefit from closely tracking the advancement of these emergent insurtech segments as some move from early funding stages into successful business models. The solutions spotlighted may provide agents and underwriters with innovative tools to meet escalating client expectations and risk exposures in a rapidly digitizing world.
The Report is available from InsureTech Connect and Sønr
To download the full report courtesy of InsureTech Connect and Sønr, simply click on the report title: Forward50 Americas.
About InsureTech Connect
InsureTech Connect LLC created and operates ITC Vegas, the world’s largest gathering of insurance innovation.
According to InsureTech Connect, ITC Vegas combines unbeatable networking with what’s new and next, ensuring your time will be spent meeting more people, sourcing more solutions, and creating valuable partnerships.
“Here, you can discover solutions to your biggest challenges, gain access to unique and meaningful education, and meet the insurance industry’s best and brightest. Join the insurance event that doesn’t just bring the insurtech industry together – it moves the entire industry forward.
The future of insurance is here – at ITC Vegas. If you aren’t here, you are missing out on the conversations that are propelling the industry forward.”
Sønr helps insurance companies innovate better.
As corporate innovation matures and insurance companies recognize the need to look beyond the narrow lens of traditional ‘insurtechs,’ Sønr is perfectly placed to provide the insight and support to enhance any transformation and innovation program.
Sønr works with ~50 insurers around the world – including Allianz, Generali, RGA, Liberty Mutual, Travelers, Munich Re, and Tokio Marine, helping our clients discover, accelerate, and de-risk new products, services, and businesses.
Sønr combines a SaaS market intelligence platform – tracking 3M+ companies globally, with a team of researchers, analysts, and consultants who translate intelligence on emerging innovation into trends and opportunities.
Behind Sønr is a team of entrepreneurs, industry practitioners, and consultants who have built, run, and exited some of the largest companies in the world.