Accelerating Insurance Transformation: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Innovation Relationships

by Michael Fitzgerald, January 26, 2016
Industry Trends
North America


Leading innovators in insurance seek partnerships with Insurtech startups to bring new capabilities and business models to the market.

What should be done to make these partnerships work effectively?

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Establishing successful innovation partnerships is challenging, even in the rare cases when corporate values and cultures align. In the case of insurance, an industry some describe as still in the Stone Age, bridging the value and cultural gaps with hot, newly born digital startups designed to work at Internet speeds can seem impossible. The good news is that some of these partnerships are gaining traction. Practitioners report that deliberate attention to specific transition activities pays off.

This report brings to life what is and isn’t working and shares insights from those working on the leading edge of innovation partnerships. Based on quantitative survey data of industry professionals and qualitative comments from leaders in insurance and technology firms, practical suggestions are offered that will increase partnership success.

Celent partnered with Michael Connor, CEO of the Silicon Valley Accelerator, on this project.

“We wanted to get both perspectives, from startups and from industry incumbents. The result is the first research that combines the viewpoints of these two sides of the new Insurtech ecosystem,” says Mike Fitzgerald, a senior analyst with Celent’s Insurance practice and coauthor of the report.

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

Media Contacts

North America
Michele Pace
Tel: +1 212 345 1366

Europe (London)
Chris Williams
Tel: +44 (0)782 448 3336

Asia (Tokyo)
Yumi Nagaoka
Tel.: +81 3 3500 3023

Table of Contents

Executive Summary



Key Research Questions




Why Is This Important Now?


Making Transformation Work



1. Creating a Common Vision/Plan



2. Overcoming Political/Legacy Barriers



3. Building an Effective Transformation Partnership



4. Bridging/Leveraging Cultural Differences


Final Thoughts


Appendix: Demographics Info


Leveraging Celent’s Expertise



Support for Financial Institutions



Support for Vendors


Related Celent Research


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