New industry association dedicated to foster startups and innovation in Australia’s insurance sector

With insurtech starting to enjoy rapid growth in Australia, Insurtech Australia today announces its formation as a new industry association dedicated to the advancement of insurance innovation and insurtech startups.

Insurtech Australia is being created as a standalone division of Fintech Australia, the association for Australian fintech startups. As a national, not-for-profit organisation, it will focus on representing insurtech startups, insurers, reinsurers and brokers and other insurance related disciplines, such as health, wellbeing, data and analytics, machine learning, IoT and telematics.

Founding members include a cross-section of industry, technology and startup experts, with launch partners including Tank Stream Labs, York Butter Factory, FinTech Australia, and ANZIFF, and foundation partners: QBE, Macquarie Bank, MunichRe, TAS, EY, AUB Group, The Fold Legal and Stone & Chalk and other partners including: Suncorp, IAG, Envest, RAC Insurance and Oliver Wyman with more to be announced at a launch event in Sydney on Thursday 26th October.

Founding insurtech members includes Cover Genius, Swarm, Flamingo, Audeamus Risk, Friendsurance, Evari, Inside Mind and Insured By Us with a key initiative for the coming year to identify and promote other Australian insurtech startups.

According to CBInsights, Insurtech startups attracted around USD $1.69bn in 2016, with only 1% of this coming to Australia. Insurtech Australia wants to help build Australia’s insurance innovation eco-system – bringing together industry and startups to foster new ideas.

Brenton Charnley, Lead & Co-Founder of Insurtech Australia, says a key aim is to see Australian insurtech companies succeed on the global scale and for Australia to become a world leader for insurtech.

“We want to make Australia one of the world’s leading markets for insurance innovation. Insurtech is a rapidly growing sector worldwide, and Australia has the ideas and skills to compete. Insurtech Australia’s mission is to foster a diverse community of insurance, startup and technology leaders to help Australia become a world leader for insurtech. We want to encourage people to work together and to create an ecosystem of supportive partners and networks to help insurtech thrive and grow in Australia,” said Charnley.

Brenton Charnley

The origins of Insurtech Australia can be traced to the increasing demand for meet-ups and related industry events that have attracted hundreds of participants across Sydney, Melbourne and other capital cities across Australia. Insurtech startup members of Fintech Australia will be granted immediate membership of Insurtech Australia, while corporate partners and industry members can join separately.

Danielle Szetho, CEO, Fintech Australia said that the creation of a new peak body for the insurtech sector, was a logical next step.

“Fintech Australia is delighted to be supporting Insurtech Australia. Insurance is a multi-billion dollar industry, with massive potential for new ideas and technologies. By creating a clear focus point for Insurtech policy and bringing together people from the startup and corporate sectors to collaborate, Insurtech Australia will play a vital role in creating the insurance industry of tomorrow,” she said.

Further comments from Insurtech Australia corporate partners and startup members:

Gary Dransfield, Chief Executive Officer Insurance, Suncorp, said Insurtech Australia positions Australia at the forefront of industry disruption and innovation.

“The insurance industry is evolving and as a sector we need to embrace the change and use it as an opportunity to disrupt ourselves. At Suncorp, we’re building a customer marketplace which centres around new partnerships and services to help our customers today and in the future. We’re thrilled to support Insurtech Australia and be part of an ecosystem of partners who share our passion for thinking differently about creating customer value.”

Chris Bayley, Founder of Cover Genius and 2017 Smart50 Awards winner, said that now was the right time for insurance startups and innovators to come together to build an insurtech community:

“It would have been great to have an insurtech community three years ago when we first started Cover Genius (or RentalCover.com as it was then known). At that time, we were one of a handful of insurance startups globally so we would always try and connect with the rest of the community during international travel. Today, there are thousands of insurance innovators taking up the challenge so it’s a bit harder! The value of an active industry-specific community cannot be overstated, and we are excited to be one of the foundation partners for what we hope will provide a platform for collaboration between startups and corporate innovators.”

Mark Searles, Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director of AUB Group, said:

“With greater emphasis on technology, AUB Group sees emerging Insurtech offerings as an enhancement in the evolution of how we improve the client experience and improve the relationship with our partners as they serve their clients. Technology is a key enabler that helps AUB Group support our partners, and helps our partners support their clients to help safeguard a stronger future. Given the increasing relevance of technology in the provision of insurance and risk solutions we are a proud to announce that we are a foundation partner of Insurtech Australia.”