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InsurTech Connect Asia 2024 – key takeaways

6/7/2024 Michał Kalisiński


This week, I attended two conferences that were held at the same place and time (separated by one floor in the Marina Bay Sands Conference Center in Singapore). I’ll write about SuperAI a bit later; for now, I’ll share some of my takeaways from InsurTech Connect Asia 2024.

The conference was somewhat smaller than I expected, both in terms of the number of participants and exhibitors. However, it was quite strong in terms of content (for instance, I was surprised by the impact of undiagnosed high blood pressure cases in smokers on the underwriting process in the USA, or the debate on insurance in the metaverse). When the marketing talk ended and the discussion panels began, it was quite engaging to listen to. Of course, the debates followed a pre-established script, but we all know we’re playing this game 🙂

AI everywhere

A buzzword, a catch-all term. Most people, when asked “but off the record, what do you actually use AI for,” wink and say “you know, we’re more testing, checking effectiveness…”. Some, when pressed further, admit they confused AI with statistics. Few truly understand what AI is and what it isn’t. Many see it more as an opportunity than a threat – and that’s my view as well. I’m a bit worried about the scenario where AI „has to” be implemented everywhere because it sells, which might lead to disappointment with this technology in certain areas. We’ll see.

Data in the spotlight

The problem with acquiring, cleaning, processing, and ultimately using data properly. The insurance industry has been grappling with this for as long as I can remember, and it doesn’t seem likely to change. Some say AI will help change this; I believe it could also go the other way: AI itself won’t significantly improve the quality of data (especially source data), and AI algorithms receiving low-quality data will produce even worse outcomes. This brings us back to what I wrote above – applying AI “by force” might lead to disappointment with the technology.

Bright and dark sides of legal regulations

Regulations in the European Union vs. what I see in Asia are two different worlds. This is a more complex topic to summarize in two sentences, and there are two sides to the same coin. Of course, what we see in Europe is a more regulated market; on the other hand, I heard about the challenges faced here in Singapore and neighboring countries due to the lack of regulations or the lack of digitization in various areas. And of course, this impacts claims, risk management, underwriting… And of course, data (so we return to the discussion on data and AI).

P.S. No matter how modern they try to present themselves, behind the scenes everyone talks about: legacy systems. Oh, that’s where our work goes!

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