Progressive Insurance has risen from modest beginnings since being founded in 1937. After its 1986 IPO, it has delivered 20.5% CAGR vs 9.9% by S&P 500. Personal auto insurance (with specialty lines of watercraft, RVs, motorcycles) remains the biggest revenue source. Already highly ranked on the Fortune 500, it kept delivering consistent results over last few years. Among its many firsts, it pioneered selling directly over the internet in the late nineties. Subsequently, Progressive has catapulted from #15 to #3 in North American private auto insurance.

Usage-Based Insurance is an important element of Progressive’s strategy. Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chair Jain…


Pricing is no longer the cost-plus game in insurance it used to be. Insurers wrestle with demands of better and more agile pricing to stay competitive amid technology fueled market dynamics. Price-comparison websites have empowered consumers to compare products and decide best choices for their unique needs. Consumers are also more amenable to novel propositions based on evolving coverage types, which require new, dynamic pricing structures.

To design innovative pricing models such as usage-based, carriers rely on advances like big data analytics (BDA) and IoT. This is a departure from traditional customer segmentation driven from limited number of easily identifiable…


Digital ecosystems, orchestrated by powerful platform businesses and crisscrossing traditional industry sectors, are estimated to top 30% of global economic activity by 2025. While Amazon, Google, Alibaba, Tencent are early pioneers, others are shaping up across strata, in B2B as well as B2C. They thrive by efficiently matching supply with demand while solving deep entrenched problems, such as protection gaps.

Leveraging real-time insights on user preferences, embedded finance — a step-up from reselling services — uncovers revenue opportunities at lower incremental costs. …


The cryptocurrency industry has been on a roll, peaking at a market capitalization of $2.2 trillion this April. Motivated by its growing popularity, major corporate investors evinced an interest. Tesla acquired $1.5 billion of bitcoin (BTC) in January 2021 while MicroStrategy stockpiled $2.2 billion of BTC. Insurers slow to enter the crypto world, are warily assessing risks ranging from cyber-attacks on exchanges and users to price volatility. Despite being a growing, multi-trillion dollar industry, crypto assets remain 96% uninsured. But as crypto moves away from a HNW user base, insurers are making moves.

The surging valuation of bitcoin and other…


In a historic 2012 ImageNet competition, a team led by Geoff Hinton debuted a new network architecture whose performance outshone all previous efforts at computer-based image recognition. With that, the era of deep learning was born, with computer vision as its original use case. Since then, computer vision capabilities have raced ahead.

In layman terms, computer vision (CV) is the automation of human sight. The ability to automate sight opens up market opportunities across the economy, including insurance which relies on visual assessment of assets: to price and underwrite policies or to determine degree of damage after an accident. Computers…


In the first half of 2021, European insurtech start-ups surpassed the 2020 total capital invested by more than a billion dollars, nearing $1.9 billion at end of May. The continent saw a few mega-deals, such as health insurer Alan’s €185 million Series D and fraud-detection software provider Shift Technology’s $220 million round. Other insurtechs to enter unicorn territory were pet insurer Bought by Many and gig economy focused London-based Zego. In June, Tractable announced $60m Series D making it the fifth European insurtech to hit unicorn status. …


Back in 2007, when the concept of a pre-configured, fully integrated framework for transformation was largely unheard of, Infosys Technologies had launched Finacle Bank-in-a-Box (BIAB), a fully web-enabled application and process stack in a ready to deploy state for three regions — Europe, Middle East and South East Asia. Bank Sohar in Oman had successfully implemented this core banking and treasury solution in a record 56 days. Standard codes like ISO Country/Currency, SWIFT BIC Codes, UCPDC Codes were available in the BIAB and included 300+ process Maps.

In the recent past, insurance-in-a-box (IAAB) has gained traction and we witness developments…


In Part 1, underwriter workbenches were described as platforms to support underwriters in making complex decisions at speed and with confidence. Workbenches come equipped with relevant insights about clients and the risk being underwritten, along with a modern user interface to enable frictionless data flow.

Historically, underwriting has been a nuanced aspect of insurance, seldom straightforward and hence important to get right. Pricing a policy to offer good customer value without compromising on profitability, makes or breaks an insurance business. With automated underwriting, efficiency of carriers’ decision making in risk selection and policy pricing, improved significantly. Owing to the extent…


During last year’s lockdowns, a 35-year-old New Orleans resident went online, and in the time it took to finish his freshly brewed coffee, he secured a $750,000 life insurance policy. Until recently, the same policy took over a month, requiring a battery of medical tests. The life policy was purchased from a new age life insurtech, which relies on algorithms and augments quote information with data from such sources as prescription drug databases, DMV records to gain required information to underwrite.

In a not too distant future, underwriting as we know it today would have shaken up most personal and…


The count of captive insurance companies globally is estimated to be over 7000, domiciled in 70+ jurisdictions. Captives have been established by nearly 70% of Fortune 500 companies in the USA. The high captive proliferation among large corporations in advanced markets in now spreading to Asia and Latin America. Globally, 46% of companies are reported to be exploring a new captive. In APAC and Latin America, that share is higher at 57%. …

Rintu Patnaik

Tech Executive| Insurtech, Digihealth| Entrepreneur| Data Science Pro| Weekly Columnist

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