The first quarter of 2018 witnessed 66 InsurTech investments, a record number of transactions in a three-month period.

According to Willis Towers Watson’s latest InsurTech report, the number of transactions was up 29 percent from the fourth quarter of 2017 and had increased 74 percent year-over-year from 38 transactions in in the first quarter of 2017.

The amount investors committed in the first three months of the year was also up – rising 16 percent from the last quarter to $724mn.

Compared to the same three-month period in 2017, investments were up 155 percent from $464mn.

Willis said $9bn had been committed to InsurTech since 2012, with the majority of funding coming from a mixture of incumbent (re)insurers and traditional venture capitalist investment.

The research by the broker found incumbent reinsurers are not committing as large of investments as typical venture capitalists, with only one investment over $30mn being made by a traditional (re)insurance player.

Comparatively, venture capitalist plays accounted for six investments in excess of $30mn in the quarter.

“Incumbents seemingly prefer minority stakes and seek start-ups that can attack their pressure points,” Rafal Walkiewicz, CEO, Willis Towers Watson Securities said.

He added that hybrid models encompassing both traditional carriers and venture capital funds would continue to evolve.

“They may be the ultimate answer for InsurTech entrepreneurs looking to balance industry expertise and the traditional VC value-creation mentality,” Walkiewicz said.

“The incumbent market has actually been relatively receptive to taking a serious look at the digital innovation that is going on around us, and those driving it,” Paddy Jago, global chairman of Willis Re said.

“Most of us know that to remain relevant, we need to embrace change. I have always believed that we cannot view change and not change ourselves,” Jago went on.