ITC Vegas 2021: The Long-Awaited Return of Offline Events

ITC Vegas is one of the most prominent insurance events in the United States. The conference, which takes place annually in Las Vegas, offers a sneak peek into fresh innovations in the insurance industry. This year, Peter Rakowsky, Director of Client Solutions at DataArt, and Slava Buga, Vice President of Insurance Practice at DataArt, attended the event to discuss how the insurance industry’s agenda has changed since the pandemic began, how the major players are addressing challenges, and how to network with masks on.
3 min read
11/04/21
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By Peter Rakowsky
Global Innovation Manager
All articles
By Slava Buga
Vice President, Finance Practice
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ITC Vegas 2021: The Long-Awaited Return of Offline Events

Predictably, fewer people attended this year’s event, despite a thaw in anti-COVID measures in the United States. The pandemic became the leitmotif of the entire event, and many panels were devoted to talks about adapting the insurance industry to the new reality. Even though participants had to wear masks during the conference, the organizers managed to create a networking application that let participants schedule meetings and chat with interesting people over a cup of coffee in an area where they could meet mask free. In general, a friendly and open atmosphere prevailed among those present at the event, due in part to a feeling of relief after a long break from in-person gatherings.

Topics of Panel Discussions

The panels were varied and fascinating. Most of them focused on digital transformation and changes in the insurance industry as a result of the pandemic. A separate micro-trend was the topic of younger generations’ behavior in relation to insurance, a topic that has long been of concern to industry leaders.

Another on-trend topic was team augmentation and staffing. Back in 2019 and 2020, insurers were often distrustful of team augmentation, due to security concerns. Now, though, the resource-strapped industry is eager to talk about it. Some participants said that it currently takes up to 20 weeks to find the right engineer and that candidates’ qualifications are often insufficient. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, it has become more difficult to find resources onshore, so insurance companies have resorted to outsourcing companies, which has become a more efficient model in terms of resources.

Technological Trends Discussed at ITC Vegas

Among the technological trends discussed at the event, the sessions dedicated to auto insurance, especially driverless cars insurance, stood out. Several panels and discussions were devoted to this topic, leading us to conclude that this type of insurance will develop rapidly in the coming years.

Another hot topic was data and open APIs, and especially successful panels were organized by Socotra, which touched upon KYC, AI/ML for customer retention, and anomaly detection. The panels organized by Bold Penguin were also impressive. They dealt mainly with commercial insurance, insurance marketplaces, and how the InsurTech space can shape the future of insurance.

The rest of the panels were devoted to topics that traditionally concern the insurance industry, namely customer experience (UX/UI), data analytics and visualization, and cybersecurity. There was a lot of talk about customer experience, mostly focused on making the insurance process more convenient for users. Speakers emphasized the need to make quoting easy on mobile apps, introduce the ability to compare different policies, bundle different types of insurance together, and develop a new generation of insurance mobile applications where customers can buy insurance services directly through the app.

FinTech

Conclusion

Overall, the organizers did a tremendous job preparing the event. The venue accommodated more than 5,000 people, making it easy to move around the different sections. Some organizers, such as Guidewire and Sapiens, even put together cocktail meetings in the evenings to encourage informal meetings, which was a great addition to the event and a useful opportunity to strike up conversation with colleagues. ITC 2021 was a strong indicator that things are slowly getting back to normal, and that it is time to prepare for new challenges.

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