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Jun 24, 2019

AIIC Judges' Blog: London

By Caroline Bedford,
Head of DXC Digital Minds

“This is game-changing for underwriters.” These are the words of Jerad Leigh, CEO of start-up Riskbook, last night before he won first place at the ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge semi-finals in London.

The platform is such a simple concept that it makes you sit up and pay attention. It matches reinsurance companies with brokers. When ready, with the click of a button, a broker or underwriter can go on to the marketplace, find all sorts of normal and weird and wonderful risks from around the world and do a deal. And the genius? They only charge the underwriters a small commission if they complete a deal on the platform – brokers get to use it for free.   

The contest they won last night was the London semi-final round of the ACORD InsurTech Innovation Challenge, which was established to bring together insurance innovators from all over the world and across all lines of business. They are part of an initiative to transform the way the insurance industry does business. It is no wonder we at DXC and Digital Minds love the project and sponsored the event, and I was proud to be part of the judging panel.

Following a full day of judging – which was challenging with so many excellent contenders - we also asked Digital Minds delegates and friends to hear pitches from the top three contenders.

First to present was Optimiz, an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven digital claims management platform that connects cargo underwriters to cargo carriers. The aim of the platform is to improve efficiencies within the market, save costs and increase overall client retention. According to Kingsly Kwalar Kongnyuh, CEO and Founder of Optimiz, the platform will reduce carriers’ and claimants’ recovery costs by up to two-thirds while shortening the claims life cycle from an average of three months to a few clicks. He added: “We are not just another start-up with buzzwords… I give you the future of cargo claims.”

Next to present was Riskbook. The digital marketplace which aims to revolutionise the placement process by reducing the admin costs of doing business, attracted the most interest from the audience. The founders gave a clear and precise presentation. “Riskbook scales the broker model,” said CEO Jerad. “And it lets you make strategic decisions in real time.” And with this, there is a clear overlap from their vision to the Lloyd’s of London vision. A no-brainer for this market then!

Finally, we heard from RITA (Reinsurance Technical Accounting Blockchain) who have developed a distributed ledger technology network to exchange technical accounts. The platform aims to builds a common business logic, to decentralise data storage and allow for complex work flows. RITA enables participants to integrate their reinsurance accounting system for easy delivery and receipt of accounting data. “There is minimal effort on the cedent side,” said Bernd Zimmermann, Managing Director of the company, which is in the second test phase and works with some of the biggest names in the market such as Munich Re, Hannover Re and Deutsche Ruck.

I’d like to thank ACORD for putting on such a great day, the judges for taking the time to be involved, and the amazing start-ups for coming along and allowing us to hear their stories. They are all incredible and I look forward to seeing them grow and prosper.

Good luck to Riskbook and the other finalists in Boston later this year!