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In our latest episode of the Insurance 2.0 series, we have our first guest from over the ditch - Rita Yates, CEO of InsurTech Australia. We discuss barriers to insurtech and insurer partnership and ways to overcome such barriers.

- Hi, so today we have Rita, CEO of Insurtech Australia with us. Thank you Rita, for joining us today.

- Pleasure.

- Okay so, in your role at Insurtech Australia and previously at Stone and Chalk, I imagine you have a better overview of the Insurtech and insurer landscape than most people. So what do you believe are the main barriers to Insurtech and insurer partnerships?

- Yeah great question, and you know interestingly we see the same barriers time and time again, whether it's in the Insuretech space or previously where I worked before in the Fintech space, and one of those key barriers is the speed differential that Insuretechs or startups, scale-up organizations compared to incumbent organizations experience. And obviously Insuretechs can work at a very fast pace and expect that from their partners, but unfortunately incumbent insurance organizations tend to work at a different pace, which is a matter of their size and a bunch of their legacy systems that are still in play.

- So what's been done or needs to be done in order to break down these sorts of barriers, do you think?

- Look, I think that a lot of them are starting to be broken down now, there's certainly an acknowledgement of the barriers that are there across incumbents and Insuretech organizations. So there is the acknowledgement that there just is a speed differential and that's the way it's going to be and if those two organizations can meet somewhere in the middle, it's going to be obviously beneficial to an ongoing partnership. I think certainly incumbent organizations can still be a little bit more experimental and a bit more adventurous when it comes to looking at Insuretech propositions, how they can potentially benefit that organization, and then actually putting a pilot in place to actually trial how it would actually be in practice.

- So that flows actually quite nicely onto my next question. So, say that the insurance executive, who's in an insurance company and they may be digitally mature or innovation focused and they want to spead this process up, but they are struggling to affect the change. Do you have any advice for them?

- Yeah, it's a tough one. Because we see that quite a lot, that there are individuals within these organizations that really want things to happen. They have the right approach and they have the understanding to make it happen but there's many barriers around them that actually stop them being successful. The big piece to it is obviously cultural change across many aspects of the organization. So you know, bringing younger people into the mix and getting them exposed to the benefits of working with the Insuretechs potentially. And also building champions across the business and trying to secure that high level sponsorship by being very clear about what those innovation initiatives are trying to achieve within the business and potentially what pain points in the organization they're trying to solve. So, the cultural piece is a big one and you know, I guess my take on it is that it will happen ultimately, but it's going to take a little bit of time.

- Yeah, yeah. So it's fantastic that we have an organization like Insuretech Australia to help with, you know, going to new markets but also enabling collaboration and try to get over some of these barriers that do exist. So, that's all from me thank you so much for your time today, Rita.

- No worries, thanks Bindy.

- An interesting piece of advice in there, for sure.

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