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TOP 10 INNOVATIVE INSURANCE PRODUCTS OF 2019

6 minutes 9 seconds read

We are witnessing the slow but sure, uberization of insurance. Insurers now more than ever, need big data-driven insights to assess risk, reduce claims, and create value for their customers. The industry is abuzz with a steady influx of new innovative products, deriving value in areas that were previously untapped.

Processes like faster KYC verification and onboarding, automated underwriting, virtual claims adjusting, to name a few have become hot commodities within the last year. With AI-assisted technologies improving functionality, reducing real-time data fraud or meddling; insurers are creating custom-fitted coverages for the end-user.

For example, AI-powered underwriting solutions are already saving up to 97% of the time and resources that were traditionally required, enabling the corporate underwriter to specialize in cases that require deeper thought and analysis.

According to a recent CB Insights report, here’s what’s next for P&C Insurance.

The general insurance industry in India alone is valued at US$ 21B in 2019, growing at 13% CAGR over the next 5 years, and is expected to touch US$ 57B by 2025. Customer’s coverage expectations in the subcontinent have shifted toward desires of flexible insurance products that more closely match their lifestyle needs. These trends across the APAC landscape mirror the changes being witnessed in more advanced insurtech markets across Europe and North America.

Keeping customers primed at the centre of insurance innovation, here’s a look at the top ten most game-changing products in insurance today (in no particular order)

  • Splitsurance: Allianz Suisse used KASKO’s cloud-based insurance lifecycle platform to create and run a new type of insurance product – splitsurance. The offering targets university students in Switzerland, who live in a ‘flatshare’. Customers can get a liability cover, insure up to three high-value items of their choosing and also get discounts if their flatmates decide to join. Users can manage and update their cover autonomously through an after-sales customer portal.  
  • CUVVA: Cuvva provides hourly car insurance. In the mobile app, you simply enter the registration number and approximate value of the car you are borrowing from a friend or family member, choose the time you want to be covered for, take a picture of the car and Cuvva will get you an instant quote. Cuvva integrates with Facebook so that you can see which of your friends have cars to borrow. Cuvva queries various data sources to check driving licence data, the Claims and Underwriting Exchange and automated fraud protection to verify coverage quicker than legacy players can.

  • Digital Risks: DigitalRisks is an insurance specialist built for tech companies, offering a flexible, pay monthly Insurance-as-a-Service model. A founder could start out by protecting their laptop and end up with employer liability insurance and insurance against data breaches as the company grows.

  • Back Me Up: Back Me Up is an offshoot of Ageas. Their unique proposition is to be a parental-like cover for young people and students. For £15, one can insure their three most valuable items (eg: laptop, mobile), that also includes theft loss and worldwide travel insurance, plus there are no annual contracts.

  • Mango: The Mexico-based life and retirement insurance intermediary, allows users to obtain life insurance “in minutes.” They are pioneers in Mexico, who use technology to streamline every interaction you have with your insurance, avoiding unnecessary paperwork and confusing coverages. They have intelligent bots at work to answer insurance related queries, plus their UI is outstanding.

  • Bought By Many: The UK-based startup is a free, members-only service that helps users to find insurance for the not so common things in life. They offer pet, travel, car, bike, shoes, gadgets, home insurance covers and more. Members save an average of 18.6%. The company negotiates discounts directly with insurers for the clients’ unique situations.  

  • Dad Cover: The product is uniquely propositioned for Dads looking to get life insurance and financially protect their families. They’re full-sized professional financial planning firms, working with life insurance specialists.  Using a streamlined service, one can get a free quote after a quick chat with their DadBot, then one of their associated FCA registered advisers will talk you through your needs, answer all your questions and give you proper independent advice on what’s best to help protect your family.

  • Go Girl: GoGirl is a woman-only drivers insurance, that rewards good drivers with lower premiums. The insurance cover also includes a free courtesy car when your car is in for repairs, legal cover, child car seat, personal accident and windscreen cover. The company also insures your handbag and its content if it is stolen from the car. A free quote is available in minutes, and the whole transaction can be completed online.

  • Safety Wing: The “Insurance for Nomads” via SafetyWing is travel insurance that’s creating a safety net for online freelancers and entrepreneurs. The company offers coverage – up to $250k via Tokio Marine HCC – for unexpected illness or injury, including eligible expenses for the hospital, doctor or prescription drugs. They plan to extend their products to medical travel insurance in the near future.

  • Vlot: The Vlot platform provides life risk analysis and coverage solutions that smoothly adjust to your changing life situations. If you meet unexpected changes in your life, such as moving to a new city, getting married, or loss of a job – you can adjust your life risk coverage accordingly and never be over or underinsured. You only pay for what you really need in your current life situation, and control the premiums as and when dynamic changes occur.  

Special mention:

Fizzy: Fizzy is a revolutionary web & mobile insurance cover for flight delays of 2 hours or more. Developed by AXA, with Fizzy you combine the benefits of a startup and the insurance knowledge of a global insurer. They offer a one-shot coverage tailored to your own flight route, with automatic compensation in case of a delay, with no exclusions. You can purchase fizzy in 4 clicks at any time after your flight ticket has been purchased, up to 5 days prior to departure.

As customer tastes continue to evolve, the future looks promising for the state of innovation, while insurers align their offerings in lieu of the demand for newer insurance products.

The marketplace of insurance ideas is already a reflection of the changes customers want to see from their insurance providers, with young insurtechs being instrumental in bridging those unmet need-gaps, and bringing out positively unique insurance coverages for the average consumer.

(Note: The products highlighted here are not rank-based and are not indicative of the ‘best’ insurtech products available today. For more analysis on Insurtech products such as those from Lemonade, Trov etc. – which are not included here, read our blog on the Adoption of Chatbots across Insurance.)

webinar: AI for data-driven Insurers

Join our Webinar — AI for Data-driven Insurers: Challenges, Opportunities & the Way Forward hosted by our CEO, Parag Sharma as he addresses Insurance business leaders and decision-makers on April 14, 2020.

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Implementing a Clean Architecture with Nest.JS

4 minutes read

This article is for enthusiasts who strive to write clean, scalable, and more importantly refactorable code. It will give an idea about how Nest.JS can help us write clean code and what underlying architecture it uses.

Implementing a clean architecture with Nest.JS will require us to first comprehend what this framework is and how it works.

What is Nest.JS?

Nest or Nest.JS is a framework for building efficient, scalable Node.js applications (server-side) built with TypeScript. It uses Express or Fastify and allows a level of abstraction to enable developers to use an ample amount of modules (third-party) within their code.

Let’s dig deeper into what is this clean architecture all about. 

Well, you all might have used or at least heard of MVC architecture. MVC stands for Model, View, Controller. The idea behind this is to separate our project structure into 3 different sections.

1. Model: It will contain the Object file which maps with Relation/Documents in the DB.

2. Controller: It is the request handler and is responsible for the business logic implementation and all the data manipulation.

3. View: This part will contain files that are concerned with the displaying of the data, either HTML files or some templating engine files.

To create a model, we need some kind of ORM/ODM tool/module/library to build it with. For instance, if you directly use the module, let’s say ‘sequelize’, and then use the same to implement login in your controller and make your core business logic dependent upon the ‘sequelize’. Now, down the line, let’s say after 10 years, there is a better tool in the market that you want to use, but as soon as you replace sequelize with it, you will have to change lots of lines of code to prevent it from breaking. Also, you’ll have to test all the features once again to check if it’s deployed successfully or not which may waste valuable time and resource as well. To overcome this challenge, we can use the last principle of SOLID which is the Dependency Inversion Principle, and a technique called dependency injection to avoid such a mess.

Still confused? Let me explain in detail.

So, what Dependency Inversion Principle says in simple words is, you create your core business logic and then build dependency around it. In other words, free your core logic and business rules from any kind of dependency and modify the outer layers in such a way that they are dependent on your core logic instead of your logic dependent on this. That’s what clean architecture is. It takes out the dependency from your core business logic and builds the system around it in such a way that they seem to be dependent on it rather than it being dependent on them.

Let’s try to understand this with the below diagram.

Source: Clean Architecture Cone 

You can see that we have divided our architecture into 4 layers:

1. Entities: At its core, entities are the models(Enterprise rules) that define your enterprise rules and tell what the application is about. This layer will hardly change over time and is usually abstract and not accessible directly. For eg., every application has a ‘user’. What all fields the user should store, their types, and relations with other entities will comprise an Entity.

2. Use cases: It tells us how can we implement the enterprise rules. Let’s take the example of the user again. Now we know what data to be operated upon, the use case tells us how to operate upon this data, like the user will have a password that needs to be encrypted, the user needs to be created, and the password can be changed at any given point of time, etc.

3. Controllers/Gateways: These are channels that help us to implement the use cases using external tools and libraries using dependency injection.

4. External Tools: All the tools and libraries we use to build our logic will come under this layer eg. ORM, Emailer, Encryption, etc.

The tools we use will be depending upon how we channel them to use cases and in turn, use cases will depend upon the entities which is the core of our business. This way we have inverted the dependency from outwards to inwards. That’s what the Dependency Inversion Principal of SOLID implies.

Okay, by now, you got the gist of Nest.JS and understood how clean architecture works. Now the question arises, how these two are related?  

Let’s try to understand what are the 3 building blocks of Nest.JS and what each of them does.

  1. Modules: Nest.JS is structured in such a way that we can treat each feature as a module. For eg., anything which is linked with the User such as models, controllers, DTOs, interfaces, etc., can be separated as a module. A module has a controller and a bunch of providers which are injectible functionalities like services, orm, emailer, etc.
  1. Controllers: Controllers in Nest.JS are interfaces between the network and your logic. They are used to handle requests and return responses to the client side of the application (for example, call to the API).
  1. Providers (Services): Providers are injectable services/functionalities which we can inject into controllers and other providers to provide flexibility and extra functionality. They abstract any form of complexity and logic.

To summarize,

  • We have controllers that act as interfaces (3rd layer of clean architecture)
  • We have providers which can be injected to provide functionality (4th layer of clean architecture: DB, Devices, etc.)
  • We can also create services and repositories to define our use case (2nd Layer)
  • We can define our entities using DB providers (1st Layer)

Conclusion:

Nest.JS is a powerful Node.JS framework and the most well-known typescript available today. Now that you’ve got the lowdown on this framework, you must be wondering if we can use it to build a project structure with a clean architecture. Well, the answer is -Yes! Absolutely. How? I’ll explain in the next series of this article. 

Till then, Stay tuned!

About the Author:

Junaid Bhat is currently working as a Tech Lead in Mantra Labs. He is a tech enthusiast striving to become a better engineer every day by following industry standards and aligned towards a more structured approach to problem-solving. 


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