6 Startups Sign on for Global Insurance Accelerator’s 2017 Cohort

6 Startups Sign on for Global Insurance Accelerator’s 2017 Cohort


  1. Find Bob uses machine learning and gamification in its growth, transition and succession planning tool for financial advisors and insurance agents.
  2. InsuranceMenu developers of a platform for local insurance agents incorporating more automation and real-time rate calculations into the benefits application process
  3. MotionsCloud is working on mobile and artificial intelligence applications that work within the insurance claims process
  4. RE-sure is a blockchain-enabled, app-driven, insurance product designed for the on-demand economy
  5. Sentrys is a data-protection platform for all members of the auto insurance value chain, from consumers to vehicle manufacturers and insurance companies
  6. ViewSpection is developing a smartphone-centered data exchange platform that guides policyholders through an inspection of their property for remote agent and underwriter evaluation

John Hancock and NextCapital Announce Enterprise Digital Advice Partnership

John Hancock and NextCapital Announce Enterprise Digital Advice Partnership

Recap: John Hancock Retirement Plan Services will integrate NextCapital’s digital 401(k) platform and begin offering its automated retirement plans and IRA rollovers over the next 12 months.  DOL-motivated as robo-advisory is expected to play a key role for advice in best interest of clients.


NextCapital’s robo-platform allows retirement plan participants to have portfolio tracking, planning, savings advice and portfolio management online. The financial advice will be automated, but live help will be available to service the accounts, said Peter Gordon, chief executive of John Hancock Retirement Plan Services, which is part of John Hancock Financial, a division of Manulife Financial Corp.

  • Custom user experience and ongoing engagement
  • Proprietary or third-party investment methodology
  • Self-service and advisor-assisted service models
  • Multi-channel supporting 401(k), IRA, and retail brokerage accounts
  • Integrations with 401(k) recordkeeping systems and retail custodians



Recap: Rise in acceptance of robo services creates challenge for financial services industry: strike a balance between humans and robots


  • Seven in 10 consumers around the world would welcome robo-advisory services
  • Consumers are now open to robo-advice to help determine which bank account to open (71 percent), which insurance coverage to purchase (74 percent), and how to plan for retirement (68 percent).
  • Nearly one-third would switch to Google, Amazon or Facebook for banking services (31 percent), insurance services (29 percent) and financial advisory services (38 percent).
  • Nearly the same percentage of global consumers would also consider switching to a supermarket or retailer for their banking (31 percent) and insurance (30 percent) services.
  • The survey found nearly two-thirds of consumers are interested in personalized insurance (64 percent) and banking (63 percent) advice based on their individual circumstances, and when asked about wealth management advice, that increases to 73 percent.

The Survey:

  • Accenture surveyed 32,715 respondents across 18 countries and regions including the US, Canada, Benelux, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Nordic countries, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, Chile Australia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. Respondents were consumers of banking, insurance and wealth management services; they were required to have a bank account and an insurance policy and were asked if they used an Independent Financial Advisor, Wealth Manager or Asset Manager, with total financial advisory responses totaling 9,987. Respondents covered multiple generations and income levels. The survey was conducted during May and June 2016.

WSJ: China’s Risky Insurance

China’s Risky Insurance

Recap: Insurance conglomerates are using funds to empire-build and gain influence. Regulators cracked down on insurance companies selling high-return policies that funded risky investments

Don’t forget: The Anbang Insurance Group purchased the Waldorf Astoria in 2014 (it’s par for insurance companies to purchase real estate though typically not landmark hotels) and converted the hotel into condos (not normal)

Insurance in China:

  • Chinese officials spent the past year scolding insurers for taking on too much risk, but the insurers were making money and had enough clout to stave off rule changes
  • Finance conglomerate Baoneng Group used its insurance arm to finance a hostile bid for China Vanke, one of the country’s biggest and best-run developers.
  • The authorities banned Evergrande Life from investing in stocks and suspended Baoneng’s sales of universal life policies
  • A raft of new rules followed, including restrictions on ownership stakes in insurers and limits on risky investments.

WaPo: Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement

WaPo: Millennials may need to double how much they save for retirement

Recap: The personal finance website NerdWallet recently estimated that millennials need to save 22 percent of their paychecks to have enough cash in retirement if stock market gains are weaker going forward.


  • A roundup of the figures shows that strategists project the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index will gain 4 percent on average in 2017 — the lowest expected annual gain for the stock market since 2005
  • If those gloomier outlooks hold true, workers saving for retirement today may not get as much from their portfolios in the long term as previous generations did

Forbes: How A Global Insurance Brand Turns Customer Insights Into Long Term Success

How A Global Insurance Brand Turns Customer Insights Into Long Term Success

Recap: It’s AXA.

  • Instituted a system of insight called two-way customer feedback. This system gives us access to customer feedback very quickly at nearly all touch points, ultimately driving how we improve our customer experience
  • One of the first Insurance companies in the US to provide customer reviews on our website, across most product lines. The reviews provide both transparency to our customers as well as feedback on areas where we might improve
  • With respect to collecting customer insights, AXA works with third parties which help us understand the feedback without revealing our customer’s personal information
  • Speed: AXA redesigned some key annuity products after the financial crisis so they would be more resilient in a variety of market conditions, such as prolonged low interest rates
  • Complementary Product Development: AXA created the Employee Benefits Business in 2015 for small- and medium-sized companies with 20 to 500 workers. Our research showed this to be an adjacent, but underserved, market

Accenture: Smart digital strategies enable insurers to double their earnings

Smart digital strategies enable insurers to double their earnings

Stats Recap:

  • Accenture estimates that insurers, by combining offensive and defensive digital strategies to disrupt key markets, could boost their earnings by 80 percent within the next four years
  • Digitizing their operations they could raise their earnings by an additional 30 percent by 2020
  • Deploying digital technology to improve the customer experience could push up earnings, in four years, by another 20 percent