FastTrack to innovation – Q&A with Kieran Linger of Lloyd’s Lab

Published on Thu, 25/08/2022 - 12:29

Lloyd’s Lab associate Kieran Linger talks to Airmic News about fostering innovation in insurance and risk before his presentation at the fastTrack Forum on 16 September.

On 16 September, Airmic will hold its latest fastTrack Forum “The Profession of Opportunity” in the auditorium of the Willis Building on Lime Street, opposite Lloyd’s.

The event, which counts as five hours of CPD, will take a deep dive into the hot topics of career progression, the future-fit professional, personal resilience, innovation, and diversity, equity and inclusion.

Among the speakers, Kieran Linger, associate at Lloyd’s Lab, the Lloyd’s insurance market’s in-house incubator for insurance technology start-ups.

Linger will address Airmic members on the topic of innovation in insurance and risk.

He spoke to Airmic News ahead of the event to explain more about the role of Lloyd’s Lab and provide a preface to what he will say at the event.

Airmic News: What’s the mission of Lloyd’s Lab, how many start-ups are in the current cohort and how does the platform/scheme work?

Kieran Linger, Lloyd’s Lab: “The mission of the Lloyd’s Lab is fairly straightforward: to drive innovation within the London market. I am sure it is no secret that insurance is behind other financial services in terms of innovation and technology, and our job is to close that gap. We do this through a variety of streams, with our showcase being our Accelerator programme.

“The programme is 10 weeks long, but for us, begins much earlier with the reviewing and scoring of each application, followed by long and shortlisting, and a selection of teams then pitching to industry experts. We normally take around 5% of total applications; however, this is getting smaller as more and more have been applying to each cohort.

“Once the approximately ten teams are selected, they work closely with their mentors (underwriters, brokers, innovation experts) alongside the Lab team who consult, facilitate and aid in any way they can. The programme culminates with our Demo Day, where each team presents what they have done and learnt during their time in the Lloyd’s Lab. Once teams leave the Lab, they join our alumni network, where we have certain events for them alongside the opportunity to continue working within the Lab.”

AN: In successive cohorts, have the focuses of start-ups changed?

KL: “The focus of those that apply to the programme hasn’t changed leaps and bounds since it started. The urge for quick insurance through parametric cover is still just as popular as it was when the Lab began, but perhaps we are seeing a slight crowding out on this space, especially when it comes to weather-related cover.

“Additionally, we are seeing huge increases in blockchain-based cover alongside general crypto products. We are market-led being in Lloyd’s, so the success of crypto in the market is dependent on the appetite. Every year, we see new products to assist the operational aspect of insurance, whether that be products to aid underwriters, claims platforms, ESG-based solutions or new ways of capturing data.”

AN: Is there a particular example of innovation that Lloyd’s Lab has played a part in that you would want to cite as a success story?

“One success story that came through the Lab would be Parsyl. Parsyl places sensors into shipping containers that monitor temperature, humidity, etc. Its sensors were vital in the supply of COVID vaccines to developing countries, and to play a part in that is something the Lab is very proud of.

“Another one I can’t leave out would have to be Gaia, which makes IVF treatments more accessible, affordable and individual. It offers tailored insurance for those embarking on their IVF journey with the opportunity to be reimbursed/offered mental health support if things don’t work out.”