Tech Champion

The below shortlist has been recognised by Insurance Times as innovators in their field. Here’s why they feel they deserve to be the Tech Champion of 2017:

Nick Corrie, Trak Global Group

It is 2017, and Trak Global Group  (TGG) is the UK’s number one supplier of telematics products, designed and developed by Trak at their headquarters in Crewe.  The company is ranked seven in the world, and according to founder and CEO Nick Corrie, has ambitions to become the global number one during the next few years.

After Corrie launched Trak’s first telematics device for the rental market in 2010, he could only have dreamed that within seven years, the Group would have 250,000+ touchpoints extending across the whole telematics arena, from fleets, insurance companies, vehicle manufacturers to individual drivers.

The technology enables TGG customers to benefit from the Group’s core competencies: capturing and analysing vehicle and driving data to improve efficiency, reducing costs and minimising risks in vehicles they own, lease to others or insure.

Trak Global’s latest development includes the first generation of app-based telematics devices, which Corrie believes will hugely increase the addressable market for this technology, including fleets, the gig economy and older drivers everywhere.

Corrie also launched Carrot, the young driver insurer, in 2012 both as a test bed to prove to insurers that TGG’s telematics was technology they needed, and as a standalone broker. Carrot rewards young drivers for driving safely and responsibly and now has nearly 50,000 customers.

Looking ahead he says: “We want to move our live connections into the millions and increase our EBIT tenfold through £50m by the early 2020s. We think we can be the UK’s first telematics ‘Unicorn.’”

Paolo Cuomo, The Boston Consulting Group

Paolo Cuomo, The Boston Consulting Group Paolo has been at the heart of the technology-in-insurance movement since he entered the London Market in 2009, joining Beazley to tackle questions around data, technology and innovation long before it was trendy to do so. Many a passionate panel debate – whether at TINtech, in the Old Library, or at some soulless hotel – soon established him as someone who would listen to the traditions of the Market but then ask “ok, but what next?”

In 2015, having searched every coffee house and pub in EC3 for a technology discussion, he co-founded InsTech London and let the world know that if they wanted to talk ‘tech in insurance’ there was finally somewhere to do it. Thriving in the chaos of those nascent days when no-one could even agree how to spell insurtech, Paolo engaged the community via social media, chats, lunch and learns and conference discussions. He encouraged the closet tech-believers to openly ask the question: “what can technology-enabled change do for my business?”

The insurtech wave was growing and Paolo helped curate the discussion, building on his COO role at a Managing Agency, his day-to-day engagement with Charles Taylor InsureTech, and his involvement with a range of London Market committees.

Now at The Boston Consulting Group, Paolo’s first-hand knowledge of the insurtech space combined with BCG’s world-leading thinking and research around strategy, innovation, and digital in insurance, creates a potent brew, equally relevant to global carriers and brokers as it is to niche MGAs, start-ups and investors.

2017 is the year that the Market is no longer asking ‘Why?’ when it comes to tech-enabled transformation. It’s now asking ‘What?’ and ‘How quickly?’. Paolo’s vision, tenacity, and ability to get people to believe has played a significant part throughout the last eight years.

Craig Foster, HomeServe Labs

Craig Foster, Homerserve LabsCraig is the Managing Director of HomeServe Labs, a smart home technology developer that designs original products and services that make consumer’s lives easier. The company invented and launched the LeakBot IoT smart water leak detector that has gained traction with a number of major insurers across the UK and Europe.

Three years ago Craig could see that IoT technologies would forever change both the home assistance and home insurance industries.  From within HomeServe (the international home assistance company) Craig secured some initial funding to set up an innovation lab to attempt to shape this future. In the summer of 2016, HomeServe Labs launched LeakBot – a breakthrough smart water leak detector designed specifically for the home insurance industry.

Craig realised that the insurance industry was waking up to the potential of IoT, and he also discovered that escape of water claims were one of the biggest problems in the P&C industry.  He also dug deeper and the team figured out that the leaks that really cause claims are often small and hidden from view.  Craig’s team invented Thermi-Q technology – the sensor array and algorithm that powers LeakBot.  It means that a low-cost single unit can be clipped to a pipe in five minutes by a homeowner and that device can detect even a small leak anywhere on the mains water.  For the first time an IOT device really solved a specific problem for the P&C industry.

LeakBot has won multiple awards (including Breakthrough in IOT in the Insurance Times 2016 awards) and HomeServe Labs is an early innovator in the emerging InsureTech IoT market.  LeakBot is already being offered to the customers of Aviva, RSA and Legal & General in the UK, and Achmea and Interpolis in Holland.

Sabine VanderLinden, Startupbootcamp InsurTech

Sabine VanderLinden, Startupbootcamp InsurTech Sabine VanderLinden is the Managing Director of Startupbootcamp InsurTech, Europe’s leading early-stage and independent accelerator for insurance technology start-ups as well as Rainmaking’s corporate innovation and growth venture focused at the insurance and InsurTech spaces.
At Startupbootcamp, VanderLinden cultivates the expertise of a large group of leading insurers, investors and mentors to bring the innovation of cohorts of promising start-ups across multiple geographies to market within a three month-period. At Rainmaking Innovation, she leads corporate innovation within the Insurance space to shape solutions to support insurers, brokers and other insurance providers address core challenges and design innovation and execution initiatives that work.
Sabine is one of the few influencers, who identified InsurTech as a growth market in late-2014 and made InsurTech the defacto term to acknowledge the digital shift brought about by new ventures entering the insurance and technology space.

Considered one of the few leading women in InsurTech, VanderLinden ranks among the top 50 InsurTech influencers across a number of insurance influencer lists. She brings 20 years of senior positions and extensive operational and growth strategy expertise gleaned from her corporate innovation and start-up acceleration activities working with global firms including IBM, FICO, Pegasystems and SSP and 100s of well-known financial services institutions for which she developed unique growth strategies. She brings unique InsurTech expertise to these stakeholders enabling them to interpret the trends that affect their business.

She writes on the topics of InsurTech innovation and digital transformation to challenge current market practices and established views on value creation. She is an international keynote speaker at conferences and one of the three co-editors of the InsurTECH book, which will be published by Wiley in January 2018.

You can find out more about key initiatives at:

John Warburton, Konsileo

John Warburton, KonsileoJohn founded Konsileo, a commercial insurance broking startup, with tech veteran Peter Henderson in 2015. John’s insight behind Konsileo is that there is a wealth of opportunity to use technology to: help businesses manage risk; transform the efficiency of the broking process; and to build a self-managing broking organisation. John is a regular commentator on insurance technology issues, particularly broking technology, notably in the recent “Future of Commercial Insurance Broking” report for the CII.

John Warburton has participated in the evolution of the insurance business model for over 20 years.  A common thread has been the application of technology to support and enhance, rather than replace, people in insurance. He started in 1993 in Commercial Union (now Aviva) in Leicester where he had an extensive apprenticeship in underwriting, sales and operations. He then worked in Hong Kong and Beijing before returning to the UK to run a personal lines affinity business. In 1999 he started a “dot com” selling travel insurance online.

Following an MBA at London Business School, John became a consultant at Accenture where he worked in a number of markets applying technology to support underwriters. He joined Allianz in 2004 and fulfilled a number of senior roles in the UK business. John moved to Munich in 2011 as the Director of Marketing responsible for driving Allianz’s global Digital Business initiatives, reporting to the global CMO. He left Allianz in 2015 to start Konsileo, where he continues to be driven by a deep respect for the expertise of insurance professionals and a desire to use technology to augment rather than replace them.

David Williams, AXA

David Williams, AXAWhilst a ‘Dyed in the Wool’ Insurance man, David has always been involved in Technology, from implementing AXA’s ‘New’ Mainframe in 1990 (We are still using it!) to demonstrating a nascent internet to Brokers using a 19.2k Dial Up Modem. Things moved on, David led the launch of probably the first UK Motor Claims App almost 10 years ago and now leads AXA’s work on ‘Driverless Cars’. He is involved with five Government funded Consortia and Chairs the ABI’s Autonomous Vehicle Group. He has spoken on the legal & insurance implications of connected & autonomous vehicles across Europe, as well as consulting with and being quoted by the Government on launch of the Vehicle Technology Bill.

An outspoken advocate of Technology and the overdue disruption it will bring to the Insurance Industry he is also a prolific Tweeter on the subject. A regular feature at conferences and webinars his Big Data comparisons to Teenage Sex (Everyone is talking about it but few are doing it, and those that are, aren’t doing it very well) has seen extensive reuse in other people presentations. Within AXA as Technical Director his responsibilities include Dynamic Underwriting & Pricing where they experiment with AI & Machine learning, as well as seeking to replace expensive licence based software tools with free open source equivalents. He also picks up ‘anything that doesn’t quite fit anywhere else’ which involves him in all sorts of interesting Tech ventures!