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Innovation, Impact and Intellect: What’s So Exciting About Insurtech?

By Vivian Serfaty, VP Strategy and Operations
Published August 9, 2022|Last updated August 11, 2022

Not everyone wakes up in the morning psyched about insurtech. So what makes me really excited to be working in this emerging industry?

Let me start by explaining some terms. In case you are not familiar, “insurtech” can mean a couple of different things. One arena includes tech companies that offer new technology tools, services or capabilities to traditional insurers. Using  data science and other tools, they bring new insight into the way things have been done for many years. Their customers are the mainstream insurance companies. 

Also included in the insurtech space are digital insurance companies like Ahoy! This type of insurtech company is also an insurance provider. They use game changing technology and digital platforms to provide better products and services to the customer. There are several prominent players in the P&C (property and casualty) space, in particular for car and home insurance products.

When I started working in insurtech over 15 years ago it was a brand new industry. Back then there were a lot of tech companies but not many in the insurtech niche. Both the fintech and insurtech industries have seen tremendous growth in recent years.

There is a wide variety of opportunities in insurtech. I first entered the industry while working as a consultant in the financial services industry. My early clients were traditional insurance companies and this was a great learning ground for me. My experience soon led me to a position in an insurtech start-up which provides AI-driven solutions for insurance providers, and later to a company providing services for commercial marine insurance. 

There are three main aspects that drew me to insurtech and which keep me excited and engaged today.

Innovation. The insurance industry has undergone tremendous change in the past decade or two. These changes encompass every element of the business from process to product, how you engage with customers and new risk-reduction strategies. Being a part of creating those changes is really exciting for me.

Impact. Insurance might not be considered to be a very exciting industry but it’s a fundamental part of our society. By some accounts, insurance has been around for over 3,000 years, and the first known insurance contract dates back to the 14th century. The fact that we do something that can really impact a lot of people, that can give them security and confidence, is very rewarding.

Intellectual challenge. The third element that drew me to insurtech is that it’s a very complex industry and never dull. I’ve been working in the insurance space for over 20 years and for me there is an ongoing learning curve. There are still concepts I need to discover and understand. There is a fun element around that, constantly challenging me to learn and to grow professionally.

My biggest challenge as Ahoy!’s VP of strategy and operations is striking the right balance between speed and doing things right. There is an inherent tension between fast and thorough. From an operational perspective I need to ensure we have the right processes in place, that we are doing things correctly moving forward to achieve a level of excellence and a superior customer experience.

I am really excited to be part of Ahoy!’s mission. The insurance space has been disrupted by many insurtechs over the years but marine is one part of the industry where the business is largely unchanged. When I learned there is a company that wants to do something different and make an impact for recreational boaters, I knew the potential is very big. In addition, the fact that there is a company focused on this niche market is inspiring. I also have a strong connection to the sea and I am very passionate about it. 

My love of the sea brings me back to childhood summers spent in Andalusia in the south of Spain, a few hours from my birthplace Madrid. To this day I look forward to joining my father in sailing around the island of Menorca. We set out to explore the nearby calas, the small secluded beaches around the island, together with my kids and our dog Zoe. 

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