Lloyd's Lab

Lessons from 3 years and over 80 InsurTechs

By Ed Gaze

Ed heads up the Lloyd's Lab, the home of InsurTech and innovation at Lloyd's of London.

As I sit here in the Lloyd's building, I'm reflecting on over three years of working with InsurTechs and the Lloyd's market - all the new solutions we've helped launch, the new relationships which have been made, and the change in culture and attitudes. I was new to insurance when we started – and I never expected to become such an insurance geek!

Let's take a look at some of the most interesting developments

The InsurTech ecosystem

Here at Lloyd's we see a very interesting dynamic of competition and collaboration. Our syndicates are competing day to day, but often the best way to launch a new product is by collaborating across the marketplace, and of course, with brokers and customers.

The InsurTechs have been really keen to share learnings, ideas, and collaborate with each other. A rising tide lifts all ships, after all.

In the Lloyd's Lab we've seen many of these collaborative relationships develop - for example, in the new world of Crypto insurance we had Superscript (here to create D&O cover for crypto companies), working with Merkle Science (here to help us understand crypto companies better).

Culture changes

In the first month of the Lloyd's Lab I met many a sceptical stakeholder. There was an unnecessary focus on the spelling of InsurTech (definitely no "e"), on the Lab being there to disintermediate (it isn't!), and a general vibe that, despite its rich history of innovation, the Lloyd's market was too hard to change.

These initial misgivings have proven to be all wrong. There’s an enduring buzz and energy around innovation in the Lloyd’s Lab, and more syndicates are signing up to join the Lloyd's Product Launchpad, even brand-new ones.

In 2021 we started having brokers mentor the teams too. This allowed more joined-up discussions, and I think it will lead to much better outcomes in the long run.

Patience is a virtue

Despite the above - it'll take a bit more work to get things moving more quickly.

Stakeholders need to be cognizant that new products take time to get to market. For example, Gaia joined the Lloyd's Lab in April 2021, but it wasn't until February 2022 that their product was launched with the backing of Beazley and Chaucer. This was a particularly innovative product though - a first for couples going through IVF treatment, guaranteeing them their money back if they didn't have a baby at the end of it.

Even longer, Tautona AI, a claims automation start-up based in South Africa, joined the Lab in 2019. They were developing their solution with a few key stakeholders from then until early 2022, when they finally announced a commercial deal. These kinds of solution are tricky (often because the risks are complex) and out-of-the-box fixes often don't meet the mark.

Measuring success

How do we know if we're doing a great job? The onus is on us to ensure that the Lloyd’s Lab is always delivering for the market by helping to engender a culture of innovation.

This has been a tough one to measure though, after all, innovation is about experiments which start small and grow over time. How big will the parametric cloud-down, or IVF insurance markets be in five years’ time? It wouldn’t be right to judge them by year one premium.

Perhaps we could look at examples such as FloodFlash. I've been with them this week and hearing about how they called a customer to pay their claim before they knew they were flooded! That was a Lloyd's aspiration from Blueprint 1. I understand that after success in the UK they have completed another funding round and a US roll out is now underway.

Overall, one thing that has been clear – the support we’ve got from the market. They keep turning up, mentoring our teams and bringing their colleagues. Three years in and the momentum is only growing!

Ed heads up the Lloyd's Lab, the home of InsurTech and innovation at Lloyd's of London. This first step into the world of financial services follows a decade at KPMG and EY, where he was a consultant specialising in data, analytics, and tech. Prior to that he was a design and manufacturing engineer in the defence industry.

Ed’s role at Lloyd's is to break down barriers to innovation and to help create the insurance market of the future. Key to his role is finding leading InsurTechs from around the world, facilitating partnerships, and creating a culture of innovation in the market.