New group aims to make Ireland Europe’s insurtech hub

21 Jul 2021

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InsTech.ie will bring together insurance firms, start-ups and third-level institutions to drive innovation in insurance.

In a bid to make Ireland a European hub for the growing insurtech sector, 12 major Irish insurance providers have joined hands today (21 July) to launch a new organisation.

InsTech.ie is a not-for-profit body that aims to unite insurance firms, start-ups and third-level institutions to promote innovation in the insurance sector.

Some of InsTech.ie’s first members include representatives from insurance firms AA Ireland, AXA, Allianz, Irish Life and Unum, as well as legal firm William Fry. The group aims to add more organisations in the coming months.

According to Insurance Ireland, Ireland is one of Europe’s top six insurance markets with the Irish insurance sector serving 25m policy holders in 110 countries.

InsTech.ie co-founder Gerry Hassett said that despite this market position and strong cross-border focus, there is a concern that Ireland’s insurance sector is lagging behind in innovation.

“InsTech.ie will help to foster talent locally and help us attract leading start-ups to Ireland to further bolster the sector and benefit the insurance industry. Our founder members will work closely with new market entrants to develop pilots and test proofs of concept,” Hassett said.

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Domestically, insurance is a major contributor to the Irish economy, paying €13bn in claims annually and managing €112bn in long-term savings.

Minister of State in the Department of Finance Sean Fleming, TD, said of InsTech.ie: “This is a great opportunity for Ireland to foster an innovation culture, to create new solutions, improve customer service and drive process efficiency.

“Ireland will benefit from this organisation in the future with the potential attraction of international insurtechs to Ireland.”

Earlier this year, a study concluded that Ireland has all the core ingredients to become an insurtech hub in Europe if backed by local players.

The study, conducted by Deloitte’s fintech ecosystem team in Edinburgh, was commissioned by InsTech.ie to advise the team on international best practice. The body said that the strong levels of interest from leading insurers are an endorsement of this plan.

Now open for membership, InsTech.ie has begun its search for a full-time CEO.

Vish Gain is a journalist and copywriter with Silicon Republic

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