Last week, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and Silicon Valley-based accelerator Plug and Play announced a partnership focused on driving meaningful, high-value technologies and developments for the insurance industry. The goal is to improve the industry for both insurers and their customers by leveraging SOA’s actuarial expertise and Plug and Play participants' innovative ideas.

Here’s what the two organizations had to say on the partnership:

"As an organization, the SOA is committed to providing our members with innovative opportunities to elevate their skills and showcase their rigor in this rapidly changing industry," said Andy Rallis, FSA, MAAA, president of the SOA. "We are thrilled to work with Plug and Play to connect our members with tech start-ups to share best practices and help spur ideas for the benefit of the insurance industry, regulators and consumers at-large."

"Actuaries bring the financial and technical expertise that our InsurTech start-ups need in order to create reliable and trustworthy InsurTech products for the insurance industry and consumers," said Saeed Amidi, founder and CEO of Plug and Play. "The efforts of SOA members, regulators, and other industry professionals combined with tech-savvy entrepreneurship will lead to innovative technologies now and in the future."

This insurtech partnership involves actuaries validating and reviewing the technology and modeling software developed by insurtech startups, providing valuable industry insight for Plug and Play’s entrepreneurs. For SOA members, it means an inside look on the newest developments, innovations, technologies, and ideas before they hit the market. This relationship is fostered through a number of engagements, including immersion sessions, mentorship programs, and events specifically designed for the insurtech/SOA audience.

"Actuaries, start-ups and regulators can all benefit from a knowledge exchange to better understand the opportunities and challenges within InsurTech," said North Dakota Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread, current chair of the Innovation and Technology Task Force for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). "By sharing insights and expertise, we can work together to ensure the development of fair and financially-sound insurance products to better serve consumers." 

This fantastic partnership has several wonderful implications for the industry, many of which are outlined above. It also demonstrates the value of fostering relationships and partnerships between long-standing insurance incumbents, regulatory authorities and newcomers to the industry. Creating meaningful dialogue and sharing of ideas unlocks value and efficiency that otherwise might never have been discovered, and can help find and address issues before they become significant.

More than anything, these partnerships are vital in the move to move the insurance industry in a more customer centric direction. By leveraging SOA’s deep industry experience and Plug and Play’s access to first rate insurtech ideas and technologies, this partnership helps move the industry as a whole towards building better services, products, and experiences for customers.

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