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InsurTech did not appear overnight. When it comes to collecting and analyzing data to assess risks and calculate exposures and premium payments, insurance companies are the consummate experts. InsurTech is the natural result in two recent developments in the industry.

The first development involves the increased availability of data. It is said that the volume of available data in recent years has doubled every two or three years. Perhaps even more importantly, the available data now has various different sources. While in the past insurance companies had to rely mostly on the answers they received in response to specific questionnaires and on statistical data, the technical developments in recent years have allowed for much broader sources of data. Social media and other third parties are now providing data independent of customers. Wikipedia and other open-source data also allow for a much more efficient gathering of information. Finally, customers are providing data through their own devices, be it at home, in the car, by mobile phone, etc.

The second development is that analyzing this data has become much more efficient. Big Data analytics (i.e.collecting, storing and analyzing Big Data volumes from internal and external sources) is key.

The volume of data as such is not decisive, rather the ability to analyse and draw conclusions. New technologies, such as the use of algorithms and artificial intelligence, provide efficient tools for this.

In particular, the second mentioned aspect creates disruption. Incumbent insurers are confronted with the fact that either they need to invest in acquiring the respective technical capabilities or they need to liaise with third-party providers. In addition, they are faced with new competition by new companies targeting specific markets. While many of the new providers are focusing on certain aspects of the insurance value chain, there are also new full-fledged insurance companies.

Baker McKenzie has produced a paper discussing the above developments, including data privacy/GDPR issues, the legal framework of InsurTech and embracing new technologies. In the paper, our experts focus on these issues within the following jurisdictions, wherever they are relevant:

  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Singapore
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Author

Prof. Dr. Joachim Frick, LL.M./J.S.D., returned to Baker McKenzie Zurich in 1997 after practicing with Baker McKenzie in Taipei and Chicago. He became a partner in 2001. His main areas of practice are dispute resolution, corporate law and insurance. Prof. Frick represents clients as a party counsel in litigation and arbitration proceedings with special emphasis on corporate, insurance, aviation and M&A disputes. He heads the insurance practice of the Zurich office and co-heads the European Financial Services & Insurance Group as a steering committee member. He advises Swiss and international insurance and reinsurance clients in litigious and non-litigious insurance matters and was named one of the leading insurance lawyers in Switzerland by Who is Who' Legal and the IBA's Who is Who of Business Lawyers. Joachim Frick is a professor of law at Zurich University (Titularprofessor) and regularly teaches and publishes in the areas of private international law, arbitration and insurance. He is a member and regular speaker in various professional organizations concerning arbitration and insurance laws. He is a graduate of Zurich University (Dr. iur. 1992) and Yale Law School (LL.M. 1996, J.S.D. 2000).

Author

Iris Barsan joined Baker McKenzie in October 2019 after practicing as a lawyer in a Franco-German law firm. Prior to that, Iris worked for several years in the legal department of the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority and as a financial lawyer in a French banking group (insurance and investment banking). Iris holds a doctorate in French and German law, an LL.M. from the University of Cologne and is a former student of the ENA (Willy Brandt promotion). In addition to her practice as a lawyer, Iris is an assistant professor at the University of Paris XII. She teaches company law (French, European and comparative), European business law, financial regulation and personal data and new technologies law.