Rita Yates speaks at the 2020 ANZIIF Insurtech Conference

5 May 2020
  • Claims
  • General Insurance
  • Insurance Broking
  • Risk Management
  • Life Health and Retirement Income

For Insurtech Australia CEO Rita Yates, accelerating the growth of start-ups and connecting them with corporates for mutual benefit is the ultimate goal of her work.

She told ANZIIF’s 2020 Insurtech Conference that start-ups have solutions for the problems industry incumbents face and can also bring commercial outcomes.

‘For the most part, fintech and insurtech start-ups are looking to partner with incumbents rather than to disrupt them,’ Yates says.

‘This is even more apparent in the insurance industry where as many as 85 per cent of start-ups are looking to work with insurers rather than provide a full stack alternative insurance option.

‘There are huge opportunities for incumbents to leverage the value that start-ups can bring in areas such as new products, claims, back office processes, customer service and underwriting efficiencies.’

Start-up lead

Rita Yates started her career as a physiotherapist, but quickly joined the personal injury insurance world. 

She spent five years at Allianz laying the groundwork for her understanding of insurance.

After a variety of related roles in other industries, she joined Fintech incubator Stone & Chalk while it was still in its infancy.

Yates, who is also Stone & Chalk’s Head of Corporate Partnerships, says working in Asia-Pacific’s largest Fintech hub has been an incredible experience.

Much of her role is focused on the many large Australian and global corporate partnerships Stone & Chalk holds. 

In addition, she acts as its insurtech lead. 

Huge potential

‘Shortly after starting at Stone & Chalk, I recognised that insurtech was booming overseas, while for the most part, it was fairly nascent in Australia, despite showing huge potential,’ Yates says.

Over the last few years, Stone & Chalk has run multiple industry roundtables and two insurtech accelerator programs.

‘We’ve seen a rise in the number of insurtechs and start-ups working in adjacent industries starting to apply their tech to insurance solutions.

‘It has been exciting to be part of this development.’

Yates was involved with the team that set up the insurtech industry advocate and support group Insurtech Australia. 

Prgress and growth

As its CEO, she says it has been fulfilling to see the progress and growth of the insurtech community in Australia.

‘I still see there is a long way to go and so much more potential,’ she says.

‘I believe the size of the market in Australia and the structure of our insurance industry makes us such a great proposition for the further development of global insurance technology.’

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