The surge in growth in China in Internet-based InsurTech has created a form of key infrastructure for the creation of a "new insurance" which is driven by emerging technologies such as big data, cloud computing, AI, the Internet of Things and the blockchain, according to a joint report by ZhongAn ZhongAn FinTech Research Institute and KPMG China, a professional services firm.
The report entitled “InsurTech: Building the Infrastructure for a New Insurance” points out that China’s online insurance market has seen near 20-fold growth during the four-year period from 2013 to 2017, expanding from CNY11.1bn ($1.6bn) to CNY183.5bn ($26.5bn).
China is set to become the most important market for insurance technologies worldwide supported by existing infrastructure and talent, the report adds. China is not only likely to accelerate efforts to becoming an insurance country but is also is expected to lead the development of related technology globally.
The report is based on the findings of a survey of 200 insurance professionals. 98% of the respondents believe that technology is the key infrastructure or support for the future development of the insurance sector.
90% say that big data and artificial intelligence will be the two technologies that have the biggest impact upon the sector, while over half also expect cloud computing, biotech, the blockchain and the Internet of Things to also have a positive impact.
Respondents generally expect InsurTech to have an especially strong impact upon the two areas of sales and product development in China’s insurance sector.
70% believe that InsurTech will have a major impact within the next five years, although 64% of respondents say that current InsurTech investment levels are lower than those required for growth of the sector, with respondents from insurance companies considering this to be an especially urgent issue.
89% of respondents believe that future InsurTech investment levels will exceed those at present, while 82% believe that the model for sourcing technological applications in the insurance sector should involve a combination of independent R&D and external procurement.
The report says that the new insurance ecosystem will lead to optimising business processes, improving cost efficiency of insurance products, strengthening service compatibility, improving risk management, reducing regulatory costs and promoting industry transformation.