Markel is increasing its commitment to the insurance innovation community known as “Insurtech” through partnerships, mentoring and participation in related conferences. Insurtech is a term used to describe new segments of technology that are disrupting the insurance industry, e.g. online insurance applications, agent automation tools, risk development systems, smartphone apps, consumer activity wearables, telematics, claim acceleration tools, online customer service, automated compliance processing and more.
Recent engagements by Markel in the Global Insurance Accelerator in Des Moines, IA and Plug and Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, CA are providing access to the latest insurance innovation, technologies and ideas. The accelerators host boot-camps and courses for insurance related startup companies. As a partner, Markel commits staff and company expertise to help mentor startups through the early stages of business growth.
"We are excited to build relationships with some of the most exciting Insurtech startups entering the industry," said Trent Cooksley, Director of Strategy and Marketing at Markel Specialty. "Not only will we offer direct mentoring as startups go through and graduate from the accelerators, but we also have a vested interest in their longer-term success that may truly innovate how we all do business.”
In addition to accelerators, Markel also participates in Insurtech conferences. At the recent Insurtech Connect 2016 in Las Vegas, Trent Cooksley spoke on a panel discussing “Leveraging the Accelerator Model in the traditional insurance industry.”
As more insurance related technology startups emerge, innovation and opportunities to transform insurance is becoming a hot topic of discussion throughout the industry and at Markel. In 2015, more than $2.6 billion in venture capital was invested in Insurtech companies.