Global insurance symposium kicks off in Iowa
May 3, 2016 by Lyle Adriano
Des Moines, Iowa played host to this year’s Global Insurance Symposium, which began Tuesday.
The multi-day event brings together insurance professionals and industry experts, as well as insurance-tech startups and investors—two relatively new crowds to participate this year—so that they can discuss business.
“It’s really an opportunity for the entire ecosystem to collaborate and learn,” said Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart.
On average, the attendance count for the last two symposiums was 300; more participants are expected this year.
During the last symposium, the topics of insider industry and regulatory issues were discussed.
Due to the popularity of Des Moines’ Global Insurance Accelerator last year—wherein promising insurance startups had 6 minutes each to pitch the concept of their companies to insurance professionals present—organizers added a second discussion track focused on the theme “innovation in insurance.”
“This is the issue that the industry has got to figure out: what do the consumers want at the end of the day, what kind of experience do the consumers want that will actually be an engaging experience and an experience that they’ll say ‘I’ll go through that and buy the insurance that I need,'” remarked Denim founder and symposium panel moderator Gregory Bailey.
Building upon the Insurance Accelerator concept, the event is also hosting a regional ACORD Insurance Innovation Challenge wherein nearly 18 startups must convince the industry experts present of the potential of their companies.
The state of Iowa is home to 226 insurance companies, with 25,000 insurance-related employees in the Des Moines area alone, reported the Des Moines Register. The state’s insurance industry was responsible for about 6.6% of Iowa’s GDP in 2013.