Insurtech space presents fresh opportunity for actuaries

In her role as CEO of Insurtech Australia, Rita Yates works closely with actuaries and has firsthand experience of the variety of ways which the profession can strongly benefit the insurance value chain.

Speaking on the Actuaries Institute podcast with Actuaries Digital Chief Editor Angat Sandhu, Rita speaks about the opportunities available to actuaries within the insurtech space, an area which has experienced rapid growth since its introduction into the Australian market in October 2017.

Listen to the podcast, read the transcript, or keep reading for a breakdown of the conversation

Listen to “Insurtech space presents fresh opportunity for actuaries” on Spreaker.

Before jumping into the discussion, Angat asked Rita to clarify what an insurtech is, and to describe the work of Insurtech Australia (IA).

“Firstly, insurtech and the way that we define it really is insurance technology and organisations that work within insurance technology and those capabilities.

“Insurtech Australia as an organisation was established in October 2017 and has a mission to create a world-leading insurtech ecosystem here in Australia,” Rita explained.

Insurtech Australia CEO Rita Yates. Image: Insurance Business Australia.

IA is a not-for-profit, member-based organisation. From having just a handful of startups and scale ups as members upon formation, IA has grown its membership base to beyond 60 insurtech organisations which operate across all aspects of the insurance value chain.

IA has also attracted support form 24 corporate partners from large to medium insurance companies, brokers, consulting firms and legal firms.

The value of actuaries

According to Rita, there is a wealth of opportunities for actuaries to assume senior roles throughout the insurtech industry.

“I have quite a bit of experience working with actuaries in many different ways and it has always been obvious to me, both then and now, the important role that actuaries play along the insurance value chain,” Rita said.

Rita suspected that the actuarial skillset, particularly those with a knowledge of data analytics, will be specifically sought after and will most likely have a greater impact on the insurance value chain in the future.

Rita Yates & Angat Sandhu recording the podcast discussion using Microsoft Teams.


How members are coping with COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a varying impact across IA’s membership base.

“What we have seen is that for some insurtech organisations, they are really thriving at the moment and have found that deals and potential projects that have been on the table for quite some time now are actually getting pushed through more quickly through this period,” Rita explained.

Rita outlined that the insurtechs coping in the current climate have superior back-end capabilities, operational efficiencies, streamlined processes and efficient digital capabilities.

A challenge posed is the lack of investments being made into startups, scale ups and insurtechs across the board, which Rita predicts will be the case for “… the next few months.”

“Obviously, the fact that investment dollars has become a little bit more scarce can potentially have quite a big effect on our ecosystem as a whole, so hopefully that will not be in place for too long,” Rita said.

How you can get involved

There are many ways which actuaries can get involved with IA and the insurtech space, such as subscribing to the Insurtech Australia newsletter and following the Insurtech Australia LinkedIn page.

“Attending our events, people are a great way to increase the understanding of what’s happening in this space, and it also helps expand networks, albeit at the moment all those events are virtual,” Rita said.

To find out more about Insurtech Australia, visit their website.

Read the transcript or listen to the podcast.

CPD: Actuaries Institute Members can claim two CPD points for every podcast listened to.