Alpe d’Huez is a legendary climb, world-renown by cyclists. A relentless 8.5 miles with 21 hairpin bends and 8.1 percent gradient, it’s been a stage that can make or break the Tour de France for riders. But, it’s not included in every Tour. This epic climb only comes once in awhile. And, what’s important about it is the decisiveness of Alpe d’Huez in determining the overall leaders. Historically, the winner of the entire Tour has often been in the yellow leader jersey following the Alpe d'Huez stage. Meaning, how riders compete on this one stage is critical in determining the outcome of the entire race.
What Alpe d’Huez is to cyclists, InsurTech is to insurers
Like Alpe d’Huez, InsurTech is an epic climb. How you decide to compete now sets the stage for both your long-term success and short-term gains. Insurers, MGAs, brokers—and solutions providers alike—are all being faced with a very large bump in the road (more like a mountain), making it more critical than ever to “see over the horizon,” as Jon Bidwell, former Chubb Chief Innovation Officer and now SVP and Underwriting Transformation Leader at QBE North America, put it. However, to see beyond the horizon, you must first climb to the top.
The only way to compete is with technology that evens the playing field
Over the past 110-plus years, the Tour de France has gone from 40-pound, fixed-gear road bikes (and no helmets!), to sub 15-pound, carbon bikes and electronic drivetrains. Innovation, technology, and engineering has evolved the sport of cycling. Think about it: If the 22 teams that compete in the Tour didn’t progress with some equality in the equipment they employ, as well as collaborative sportsmanship, there would be a very large gap on the playing field. It would be abundantly clear who’s still pedaling 40-pound bikes up Alpe d’Huez.
The same is true of insurance technology. What worked in the past, will not work in the future. Insurance technology and innovation is undoubtedly moving at race pace. And, what’s “good enough” for now, will likely be a 40-pound bike in five years from now.
How far up the mountain are you?
At this point in the InsurTech race, it’s important to take stock of how your transformation strategy is progressing: How far up the mountain are you? What partners have you chosen to accelerate your climb? What projects are being prioritized that will move the needle in the short-term—as well as the long-term?
The good news is, you don’t have to go it alone and you don’t have to wait months or years to reap a return on investment from some InsurTech solutions, such as data and analytics. InsurTech isn’t just about blockchain, AI, or machine learning, it’s also about solutions that help solve the real problems insurers face every day. And, data and analytics is a core area where insurers can drive immediate bottom line results.
So get on the bike and keep climbing. Find partners to accelerate your transformation strategies, and execute on projects that will move the needle now—yet in 2018. With the right partner, or in true Tour de France fashion, “domestique,” you can create a slipstream that accelerates the InsurTech climb. And, it won’t be long before you’re screaming down the backside trying to catch the next horizon.