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ITC Highlights: Government Intervention on Cyber, InsurTech ‘Hype’

Thousands of insurance professionals converged in Las Vegas for InsureTech Connect 2021 (ITC) to discuss cyber market stabilization, cybercrime and more.
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itc highlights: government intervention on cyber, insurtech ‘hype’

Last week, thousands of insurance professionals converged in Las Vegas for InsureTech Connect 2021 (ITC). The event drew roughly 6,000 attendees and 300 vendors to the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino for three days of workshops, networking and elevator pitches centered around the theme: “The future of insurance is here."

“I am so excited to be here with you today," said Jay Weintraub, co-founder and CEO of ITC, during the event's opening remarks. “I think we all agree; the magic happens when we are together in person."

Weintraub's welcome was followed by a Chairman's Circle conversation where Caribou Honig, ITC co-founder and chairman, discussed automotive safety technology and insurance with Mario Maiorana, chief engineer at General Motors, and Andrew Rose, president of OnStar Insurance at General Motors.

The following day, Chris Krebs, former director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, took the headlines as he argued that the U.S. government must take action to help reduce cyber risk and stabilize the insurance market.

“Government, as a collective entity, is very likely the single largest purchaser of everything in the world," Krebs said. “It's that power of the purse that is really going to transform security expectations in software. The same product Microsoft sells to [consumers] they sell to the commercial side. There is a cascading effect. When the government decides to intervene in a market like this it is good for security outcomes."

Krebs also noted that cybercrime is never going to go away. At best, the risks around it can be better managed than they are at present, he explained. “No organization, no person, is a security island. We have to do this together. Everyone has to be part of the security organization," Krebs said. “There will always be an intelligent adversary that is shooting holes in our product and looking for access."

On the final day of the conference, Evan Greenberg, chairman and CEO of Chubb, backed Krebs' remarks. “The [cyber] tools today are crude. They're not that effective," Greenberg said. “In working with the government, [there is] the notion of how we can improve those tools, the standards individual companies embrace [and] the ability to discern the effectiveness of how they are using these tools."

Standing in front of InsurTech startups and entrepreneurs from around the world, Greenberg chose that moment to double-down on the carrier proposition in comparison to InsurTech's—and the conference's mission—to transform the industry. “It's just hype," he said.

“Technology is changing the insurance industry in a serious way, because it is providing tools and capabilities to improve all functions and activities, from the initial notion of connection, to customer experience, to the process of underwriting and risk taking, to the rest that occurs in a value chain all the way to client," Greenberg said.

“Insurance is the art and science of taking risk. Fundamentally that's the business," he said. “Everything else is for the pleasure of, and to support, that."

Will Jones is IA editor-in-chief.

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Monday, October 25, 2021
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