InsTech London Podcast
Insurers’ innovations: still just digital lipstick on a legacy pig? (41)

Insurers’ innovations: still just digital lipstick on a legacy pig? (41)

August 18, 2019

Paolo catches up with Matthew and Robin to check in on the summer's activity in tech, data and analytics. Are insurers finally making meaningful moves to being digital, or is it still mostly digital lipstick on a legacy pig?

The three InsTech London Partners talk about what's been grabbing their attention in August including Convex, Floodflash and Google Cloud and preview what's coming up next for InsTech London's autumn season.

Find out more at






The Describe Data team on Lloyd’s Lab & their D & O analytics tool (40)

The Describe Data team on Lloyd’s Lab & their D & O analytics tool (40)

August 11, 2019

Finding a new area of risk to model is a great way to get attention as an insurtech start-up, particularly when the founders have a deep history in insurance, analytics and technology. 

In this episode Matthew talks to the founders of Describe Data - Michael Crawford, Gerard de Vere and Mick Cooney about their experience of being on the Lloyd's Lab cohort 2. After day two Michael already realised that "it was going to be amazing". When we spoke they were coming up to the end of their time in the lab and they weren't disappointed by what they had been through. 

They built a prototype in 3 weeks for a product to help underwriters assess their D & O (Directors' and Officers' liability) risk. During their time at the lab they had 10 - 15 companies from Lloyd's engaging with them and finish the cohort with a strong pipeline of opportunities. 

The Describe Data team are usually based in Dublin, but travel to London frequently. Gerald De Vere is a founder member of Insurtech Ireland, which like InsTech London is a member of the Global InsurTech Alliance (GITA).

More information on our events and everything else we are up to at InsTech London at  



Google Cloud, Genasys, Xtract and Hitachi. Insurtech as Service: Part Two. (39)

Google Cloud, Genasys, Xtract and Hitachi. Insurtech as Service: Part Two. (39)

August 4, 2019

So what is Insurtech as a service? In these highlights from the second half of our 8th July event recorded in front of a packed room Matthew talks to Stewart Reeder of Hitachi (13:45) and three more of their partners, Damion Thompson Insurance Lead at Google Cloud,  Michael Flanagan, CEO and founder of Xtract (17:15), Craig Olivier, VP of tech stuff at Genasys (22.10).

We continue our discussion (from podcast 38) about how Hitachi identify which companies to work with and put in front of their insurance clients and how they assess them as fit for purpose to ensure ease of integration, and value add for their Insurtech partners.

Google sees a lot of data. The Google Cloud team don’t have access to that data, but they do see trends. 15% of the search terms each year are entirely new, and customers are becoming more and more inquisitive and impatient. Damion talks about Google Cloud’s start up programme and other ways of getting involved with them. More information can be found here or contact Damion directly via Linkedin.

Xtract is radically improving the FNOL (First Notification of Loss) process for quick reporting and rigorous assessment of the loss using telematics to enable the claims handler to get notified of a loss within 5 seconds of it happening. Michael and Stewart reveal how the two companies met and why and how they are working together.

Craig Olivier talks about what Genasys has done to be successful whilst operating in the competitive space of policy admin systems,  the benefit of having a REST API to enable full integration with Insurtech across the value chain and the work they are doing with Hitachi.  And how did they set up a third party claim solution in two days?

Thanks to Hitachi for sponsoring the evening. The first half of the event with more of Hitachi’s partners, as well as Munich Re and Kasko can be heard on episode 38

Full information on this and all our event, including a write up of the companies speaking, a full transcript and photos of the evening can be found on the event page on our website

Hitachi, Munich Re Digital Partners, Kasko, Shepherd and QBE. Insurtech as a Service: Part One.  (38)

Hitachi, Munich Re Digital Partners, Kasko, Shepherd and QBE. Insurtech as a Service: Part One. (38)

July 28, 2019

Another fast moving series of chats with more leaders from insurance, technology and data. In this episode, the first half of our 8th July evening at The SteelYard, Robin investigates how Hitachi (2:00), the 7th largest technology group in the world, is making it easier for established insurers to work with the emerging providers of data for trains, buildings and a whole lot more. Serif Otterburn, Business Development Manager, and Insurance Subject Matter Expert  “Everything Hitachi builds, from trains to medical equipment, requires insurance. A lot of insurers use historical data to calculate risk, but Hitachi is using its expertise in IoT to assist insurers to develop newer better risk models". Joining Robin and Serif are Chris Gill from QBE (7:50) and Stephen Chadwick from Shepherd (16:00).

Munich Re Digital Partners (22:00) are well known for supporting a whole range of new MGAs and technology companies with capacity and sometimes investment. We get a peek behind the kimono at how they are getting on. In the words of Mark Dennis, European CEO "We’ve met with about a thousand InsurTech start-ups in the last three years. To date, we have about twenty live and wish ultimately to work with about fifty. Our job is to provide the scalability to get them to market as quickly as possible as InsurTech services.

Kasko (34:20) was on stage at InsTech London 4 years ago at one of our earliest events, CEO Nick Sühr returns to talk about the work they are doing today with over 15 insurers providing plug-and-play ready solutions, enabling insurers to turn insurance products from idea or paper to digital in a few weeks.

The second half of this event follows in episode 39 with more from Hitachi and their partners.

For more details on the companies speaking at the event, and transcripts from all our recent events go to the dedicated event page 

See the last 2 years history of InsTech London events and profiles with many of our speakers and sign up for our newsletter at

Graham Elliott CEO & Founder Azur Underwriting (37)

Graham Elliott CEO & Founder Azur Underwriting (37)

July 21, 2019

Graham Elliott describes Azur as a "Managing Digital Agency" (MDA). He founded the business in 2015, providing High Net Worth insurance for clients of UK brokers, in partnership with AIG.

Matthew Grant and Graham talk about the challenges of becoming a full digital insurer and other topics such as offering quotes based on only 5 questions, sources of data and the role of brokers.  

You can learn more about Azur at

And find out what we are up to at InsTech London at

Robin reflects on DIA. Dan White of Ninety Consulting on innovation and company value (36)

Robin reflects on DIA. Dan White of Ninety Consulting on innovation and company value (36)

July 15, 2019

A double bill this week. Matthew talks to Robin about his experience of visiting the DIA Amsterdam conference this year with the highlights, lowlights and his meeting with the rising stars from insurtech in Japan.

Dan White, Managing Partner at Ninety Consulting talks to us about some of the themes emerging from their white paper "Examining the direct relationship between insurance innovation and company value"

We discuss topics such as why do insurers appear to compare so badly with other industries when it comes to innovation spend - is that real or just differences in the data? Which is better, lots of small innovation or a few large projects? And a lot more.

We are pleased to have Ninety Consulting as one of InsTech London's gold sponsors in 2019.

Follow us at InsTech.London for all past and future events. Sign up here to get our views on what is happening in insurance, technology and all things related via the Instech London newsletter.


Sean Ringsted, Chief Digital Officer, Chubb (35)

Sean Ringsted, Chief Digital Officer, Chubb (35)

July 8, 2019

In this episode Matthew Grant chats to Sean Ringsted about how Chubb is introducing innovation across the company and he gives some tips to help anyone starting up a new business aimed at selling to insurers. 

Sean is Executive Vice President for Chubb Group reporting directly into CEO Evan Greenberg. Sean leads Chubb’s digital efforts aimed at transforming the company into a digitally integrated organization.  Sean has 25 years of experience in the insurance industry.  He was appointed Chief Digital Officer in 2017 and has served as the company’s Chief Risk Officer since 2008, prior to ACE’s acquisition of Chubb in 2016. 

Chubb provides insurance in property and casualty, accident and health, reinsurance, and life insurance. The company has a presence in 54 countries and territories as well as Lloyd's and is the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurer. Chubb is a corporate member of Instech London.

Matthew and Sean discuss what it means to innovate in a large company, how Sean keeps up to date with the latest information, the role of Linkedin, and the future of IOT for insurance. 

Check us out at Instech London to see our range of past of future events and get access to a transcript for this interview.


Keeping your algorithm safe, legal and morally acceptable (34)

Keeping your algorithm safe, legal and morally acceptable (34)

July 2, 2019

With all the talk of the use of AI and algorithms in insurance innovation we thought we'd better check out some of the potential pitfalls and challenges that need to be considered with using algorithms in financial services. Robin discusses what to do, and what to avoid with Nicholas Berry and Peter McBurney from Norton Fulbright Rose and Wan Heath from Barnett Waddingham. Who'd have thought regulation could be quite so much fun...

Learn more about InsTech London at

33. More algorithms that really work from ChAI, e2Value and We Predict

33. More algorithms that really work from ChAI, e2Value and We Predict

June 24, 2019

More fun from our Algorithm and AI event at the Steelyard on 3rd June in this, our selected highlights from the second half of the evening. We covered the first half in episode 31. Now its Robin Merttens turn up on stage talking to three of the leaders from new and growing companies servicing the insurance market telling us how they are making it real in the world of algorithms.

Silvi Wompa, Chief Underwriting Officer,  ChAI (1:30)

ChAI is releasing an insurance product to mitigate price risk for buyers and sellers of commodities by forecasting prices using both traditional and alternative data (including satellite, maritime and political risk data) in combination with Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques.

Todd Rissel, CEO and Founder, e2Value (11:24)

e2Value offers products to assist with property asset valuation. Its tools can be used for collateral asset valuation, risk management, and predictive modeling. e2Value is the SaaS provider delivering valuations for residential, commercial, and farm and ranch properties in the US and Canada.

James Davies, CEO and Founder,  We Predict (18:00)

Munich Re backed We Predict use predictive analytics and its proprietary dataset Deepview to help vehicle
manufacturers make better purchasing and engineering decisions, and to insure their associated risks. 

Learn more about what we are up to at InsTech London, including details of our all our events from last two years and information on our next events at

And if you enjoyed this podcast, we've 32 more already released waiting for you...

32. Inter-operability and catastrophe modelling. Dickie Whitaker CEO of Oasis LMF

32. Inter-operability and catastrophe modelling. Dickie Whitaker CEO of Oasis LMF

June 18, 2019

Dickie is CEO and co-founder of the open source catastrophe modelling platform Oasis. After a career in reinsurance broking, Dickie has spent the last 8 years creating a way to help insurers get access to emerging, niche and academic data & models. Today Oasis LMF is used by many of the London market re/insurers to price and manage global catastrophe risk. Matthew and Dickie discuss the history of the company, catastrophes and other themes relevant to all data and technology companies such as interoperability, fund raising and recruiting the best people.

Find out more about data, technology, insurtech and much more at

Oasis LMF is at