Research on Insurance and AI wins “Best Paper Award” 

Alex Zarifis honoured at the 2021 International Conference on Business Information Systems

Dr Alex Zarifis from the Department of MIS and Management, School of Business of the University of Nicosia received the ‘Best Paper Award’ at the 24th International Conference on Business Information Systems (BIS 2021) for his work with Prof. Xusen Cheng on ‘Evaluating the New AI and Data Driven Insurance Business Models for Incumbents and Disruptors: Is there Convergence?’. 

BIS is a reputable international conference on business information systems that focuses on the practical applications of technology. It brings together researchers from computer science, information systems, and business. The 2021 edition was held in Hannover, Germany. 

Identifying the New AI Business Models

AI is bringing fundamental changes to insurance. This research wanted to identify the viable AI driven business models to help give some clarity. Some new insurers are trying new business models enthusiastically and then changing direction sharply, like a speedboat swerving to avoid a collision. The larger insurers, however, are like large cruise ships. They need to be able to see far ahead before they plot their course, and they don’t want to keep changing direction.  

Some traditional insurers are trying to just be more effective with AI, while others reinvent themselves to fully utilize the new capabilities available. Tech-savvy companies from outside the sector like Tesla, are entering and disrupting it. Despite these diverging approaches, there are signs of a convergence towards one, ideal, business model. 

This research focused on one example of a traditional insurer and one new tech-savvy disruptor and evaluated whether their models are converging. There was a high degree of convergence, but some differences are likely to remain even after this transitionary period. 


Watch the conference presentation video here:

Access the paper here:


Zarifis A. & Cheng X. (2021) ‘Evaluating the New AI and Data Driven Insurance Business Models for Incumbents and Disruptors: Is there Convergence?’, 24th International Conference on Business Information Systems (BIS 2021), pp.199-208. Available from: 

Zarifis A. (2021) ‘Artificial Intelligence is creating new business models for existing insurers and new insurers disrupting this sector’, Duke University (Global Financial Markets Center). Available from: