Abacai Holdings is a new insurtech that was set up by former Aviva chief executive Mark Wilson, has £50m ($69m) to invest, and is prioritising the potential role of AI in motor insurance. GlobalData survey data suggests there is a lot of anticipation around the future of AI across all industries and that it has great potential. Abacai Holdings has Munich Re as a strategic partner.

GlobalData’s 2020 Emerging Technology Trends Survey found that the pandemic had a positive impact on insurers’ perception of AI. 58.4% of firms became more positive to AI during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 54.3% of firms in the insurance industry believe AI will play a significant role in helping them survive the COVID-19 crisis. This suggests that COVID-19 has shone a spotlight on AI within the insurance industry, and many firms recognize the importance the technology brings during difficult periods.

Furthermore, insurance firms overwhelmingly believe that AI will support new business in the coming years. 47.9% think it will be critical to new business development, and 39.4% believe AI will play a secondary role. Insurers that do not use AI to innovate their products and processes risk being overtaken by competitors.

This highlights that Abacai is looking to invest in a sensible area for the future. AI can enable insurers to analyse a huge amount of data quickly and efficiently, while the strength of its analytics will define whether Abacai can offer optimum premiums for customers. AI can also be essential in claims management, where quick pay-outs are a must for customer satisfaction. Furthermore, it can also help identify fraudulent patterns and behaviours and therefore reduce unnecessary pay-outs.

Abacai clearly has strong backing and experience in the form of Munich Re as well as a former Aviva chief exec. It has significant sums to invest and has identified a key area of growth within insurance, according to GlobalData’s survey data, so it is a start-up to watch in the insurance industry.