Since we're focused on FinTech at our company, we love to see that the markets have finally realized that the finance sector is absolutely ripe for disruption. Be it in payments, invoicing, international money transfers, banking software, you name it....the start-ups are popping up. VC's too have seen that this space is hot and are piling in. You simply have to attend a conference such as Finovate to see how much is happening (and it's not all that recent a development).
On the other hand, so little seems to be evolving in the insurance sector. Think of the hassle you have with your own insurance, be it medical, auto, homeowners or a slew of other available policies. A total nightmare in my opinion. I'm sure there are some attempts at disrupting this sector (see Friendsurance) yet they remain few and far between and none really seem to cut too deep.
One should also look beyond the standard insurance space to see where the opportunities lay. Think about health insurance and payments in the medical sector. So much of what happens there can be optimized and automated. It's not sexy but there is a ton of money in play. You only need to get a piece of the pie to be relevant. Further, this segment is switching over ever more to technology, be it via connected devices or tablets.
Getting even more granular, think about the quantified self movement and what kinds of information this will soon generate about individuals. People are worried about Scoble taking a pic of them with his Google Glasses. Wait a while and see how much more exposed you are to your insurance company if you are using quantified self devices measuring everything you do. (This is why I also believe more in an iWatch than Google Glass.)
Can you imagine what happens with insurance if they can prove you exercised too little, ate too much junk and led too stressful a lifestyle. On the other hand, think about how you could reduce your costs by wearing certain devices and proving you are active, eating healthy and able to relax. I just have so many ideas where you could combine health, insurance and payments. Thinking about cars and the blackboxes going into them, imagine how easily you could reduce your car insurance if you could prove that you are a safe driver (I'd be screwed but the general public would benefit from this!) Everything being measurable plays such a key component in the insurance sector where often decisions are based on interpretation of facts verses the actual facts.
Finally, in Germany where everyone is insured up the wazoo, you have a very keen public for any new developments. You can definitely use the local market to first test appetite for something and then take it global. In the insurance space, I truly believe that the German market offers an opportunity here that may actually be ahead of other regions. I remain optimistic that this soon may happen.