One of the great ironies of the insurance industry is that it was among the first to embrace hardcore analytics and yet is today known for its reluctance to adopt technological innovations, thanks in part to regulations that few tech innovators have been willing to tackle.

But that's all changing.

The startups transforming the insurance space right now are demonstrating that data science is useful far beyond its traditional industry application of enhancing risk analysis and predictive modeling. One of their most exciting targets is commercial underwriting.

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