Launch of the Open InsuranceWorking Group in Italy

Written by Fouad Husseini, founder at the open insurance think tank.

For me it is exciting to witness the growing interest in the open insurance initiative which has always been a community driven project. The initiative has been transformed into an influential think tank creating a global environment for players from different domains to work together and define the shape of interoperability and compatibility.

The scale that the initiative has been growing at has been phenomenal and so has its output. There has never been this level of cooperation on an insurance related technology project with the potential to impact and improve the industry.

To support this growth and create an even larger innovation ecosystem requires developing regional open insurance working groups. Almost three years ago when I wrote the first OPIN whitepaper, I had developed the concept of Working Groups (WG) as an integral part of an open and inclusive community.

So, it gives me great pleasure to announce the launch of the Open Insurance Working Group in Italy in partnership with G2. As an open innovation enabler and a startup accelerator, G2 will be in a position to support OPIN’s programs, provide specialist knowledge, and add considerable value to the ecosystem.

Likewise, OPIN will support the activities of the Italy Working Group with its research, publications and by leveraging its network of global members.

On February 1st, OPIN published its blueprint for an open and freely available insurance standard. The document defines the scope of Data and Open API Standards and provides a roadmap for continuous development. We encourage everyone to include OPIN’s global standard in their corporate conversations and product roadmaps.

For us, 2021 is quickly shaping up to be a defining year for the open insurance think-tank with almost eight projects either in full swing or are ready to be launched.

The list of projects covers mobility, cyber liability, and data model alignment through cross industry alliances.

OPIN’s strength stems from the community of almost 300 companies that make up its membership. We bring to together market-movers and innovators of all sizes to cooperate in solving the challenges of interoperability and compatibility.

We have the biggest names in insurance and a diverse set of mid-sized and small companies from across the value chain all at the same table, contributing and committed to success.

We are keen to attract more players from many different ecosystems and we would be happy to onboard players in Banking, HealthTech, RegTech, Mobility, PropTech and also hardware manufacturers.

Within the OPIN community, almost no day goes by without the all too common discussion on emerging platforms and Ecosystems.

Evolving consumer expectations and increasingly mobile and interconnected services are being enabled by APIs, and digital identity technologies.

In ecosystems, incumbents will tap new technologies, data sources, services, distribution channels and lots more without the multiplication of complex and costly individual relationships.

In reality however, our research reveals that only 6% of the world’s largest insurers have invested in developer portals. Which highlights a common strategy of deploying point-to-point integration to address specific needs with new solutions.

But we know insurers are eager to explore and experiment. That is why, over the past months, we have seen growing interest in an open insurance standard that is agnostic of technology, trust, and identity providers and one that is feasible for all actors in the insurance industry to adopt.

To restate by now the obvious, collaboration is a central pillar of everything that we do.

With G2 we share a common vision of enabling interoperability and compatibility with diverse ecosystems.

This approach will work because it helps the working group foster a culture of exploration while staying closely aligned with the mission and current objectives of the initiative.

The working group is expected to contribute to the understanding and development of open platforms and ecosystems, it will develop innovative, collaborative, InsurTech labs to focus on the needs of the community in Italy.

It will also orchestrate debate on proposals made and specifications developed by the Open Insurance Initiative and lead dialogue on smart regulation.

Together, we plan to explore opportunities of several emerging ecosystems that are relevant and attractive to the insurance market.

There is huge interest within the community in exploring the mobility ecosystem of connected vehicles and evolving modes of use and ownership.

PropTech is also a quickly maturing significant ecosystem revolving around the concepts of smart homes, AI assisted home search, mortgages and financing.

The health ecosystem has seen billions of dollars in investments to transform telemedicine, recreation, and wellness.

For the first time, G2 with the help of its working group members will produce an open insurance playground deploying OPIN’s data and API standards. This will mean developer friendly and open APIs to enable inward and outward ecosystem participation.

This playground will aim to define the guidelines for security, privacy, best practices and real-world experience for third-parties aiming to embed insurance solutions. It will add an important piece of functionality and a reference implementation of our standards.

In its roll out, the playground will select and develop some priority APIs as part of the ecosystem use cases identified by the Italy WG.

At this stage, the roster of technical partners includes the Berlin-based company Tesobe, a leader in the development of an innovative open standard and tools in the banking sector most notably the Open Bank Project. The second partner is D4Next, a new company developing a digital native insurance platform based on leading edge technologies that furthers the concept of open ecosystem.

Members of the Italy Working Group will be able to participate in the playground and we encourage system architecture, API experts, cybersecurity specialists, data scientists, intellectual property and legal experts, and other highly competent individuals to join the working group today.

We will continue to work tirelessly to expand the reach of the initiative to other regions of the world in partnership with innovation hubs and business accelerators.

Founder at The Open Insurance Initiative. Author of “The Insurance Field Book”. An insurance transformation strategist.