05 Feb 2021 22:42 IST

Insurtech finds competitive advantage in adversity

Increasing demand for digital innovators and data scientists to to run cutting-edge technology smoothly

Insurance is a futuristic industry, one that takes care of people in case destiny deals a hard blow. When we think about the world today, forlorn with many risks, we realise how important an industry it is. Risks can come in any form — health, economic, social, and material. As it is not always possible for us to put a stop to accidental uncertainty, the world of insurance comes to our rescue with policies that protect all our material and personal assets.

The insurance sector has steadily innovated and adapted to the digital boom. Since it goes hand in hand with the finance sector, the technological advancements in both are similar. The digital toolbox that one needs to excel in this sector comes from a strong foundation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

A CB Insights report has shown us the future of insurtech and how it will create millions of job opportunities in the near future. A pool of skilled engineers and technological experts need to be at hand when the demand presents itself. Opting for a career in insurtech is bound to be a great one for STEM students if they prepare early.

Opportunities aplenty

For engineers, the world is their oyster. They are innovators and builders of economy with scientific tools that align with the digital future of the modern world. Insurance companies are steadily transforming themselves from the traditional to digital. Technology is steadily taking over outdated physical ledgers; contracts are digital now, people buy their policy online at the click of a mouse or a tap on their smartphones, and data collection for KYC purposes has also become cloud-based. Keeping physical files to handle the trail of immense paperwork, which is a characteristic feature of the insurance sector, is slowly becoming compact and digital.

At such a pace, the sector, which is always looking to improve itself, is frequently in need of digital innovators, data analysts, data scientists and AI specialists, who can take care of the huge framework needed to run cutting-edge technology smoothly. This is where software engineers, IT graduates and statisticians can make an impact.

The purpose of insurtech is to democratise the industry so that customers and companies can both find it easier to invest and payout. The concept of pushy agents and middlemen is what prevents people from thinking about buying insurance now. With insurtech revolutionising the industry, tech-savvy millennials are steadily moving towards the insurance sector with their investment plans. Insurtech is likely to generate a number of portfolios in the coming times for STEM students.  

Blockchain experts

Blockchain developers are one of the highest-paid professionals in the finance and insurance sector. With contracts becoming smart and paperwork becoming cloud-based, theirs is the technology that banks and insurance companies need the most.

App experts

The world is slowly going to operate with the touch of a button. We use the phone for most types of payments now. Multitude of fintech start-ups are mushrooming and need experts to handle their app technology. Looking at banks that have mobile apps to facilitate all kinds of payment, an opportunity always beckons programmers and coders who can make it secure and user-friendly, diversifying performance.

Data analysts and scientists

Any sector’s success depends on the collection and storage of data that can be analysed and studied to chart out a growth plan. It is more pertinent in the insurance industry, where the companies are always looking out to bring out new policies that people will opt for. Data scientists and analysts are best suited to go through the many terabytes of data with the help of technology for quick and nimble work.

Cybersecurity experts

When a lot of your finances have gone virtual, and insurance frauds seem rampant, the industry will always need cybersecurity experts to ensure that payments are secure, customer data is protected, and the faith rises in operations.

Tech trainers

Nationalised banks that offer insurance policies have been one of the slowest at adapting to the digital future. Now that they have, there will always be a dearth of people who can train the existing workforce in the new technological trends and upskill them to meet the rising consumer demands.

Independent consultants

The different start-ups that are spreading all over the country mostly go for independent tech consultants who will be able to guide them in a professional way. Independent consultation has its own perks, where a STEM student can always make inroads.

Micro-insurance and insurtech

As sectors like micro-insurance evolve, policy lenders face new challenges. As this type of insurance targets low-income groups and provides them coverage against specific risks, the government has, in the recent years, stressed a lot on this section of society, encouraging insurers to provide them with health, property and crop insurance. Large companies like GTM are also slowly picking up on this sector and digitising their mammoth database. This is where innovators and AI specialists can lend a helping hand and build careers.

Let us look at companies like OLA and Uber. These are completely tech and app-based, with the smallest of operations, starting from booking a cab, to the computation of the fare to the payment, done on the smartphone. The amalgamation of maps, distance, time, fare needs the right kind of technology to seal it together. They are completely dependent on IT graduates and engineers to keep their boats sailing.

Digital transactions are on the rise, and the future of finance and insurance lies completely on the cloud. This is the time for STEM students to grab the opportunity to upskill themselves in data analysis and coding, both very important aspects of the IT world that is to be. If one must stay relevant, a reskilling is the need of the hour as opportunities are endless and the world is becoming a bigger canvas to play with.

(The writer is Chief Business Officer, Manipal Global Academy of BFSI.)