Our researchers have explored the gender disparity within Insurtech leadership – the question is, will the results actually shock you? Our Head of Research, Emily Peters, takes a look at some of the stats and 7 of the early stage businesses around the world, leading the change.
Is Amazon entering UK insurance?
With a growing consumer willingness to buy insurance from BigTech, Insurance Times have printed my latest thoughts on Amazon’s possible entrance to the UK car insurance market. Shout if you don’t have a subscription; happy to share on email.
The ever growing importance of data and insight
This week we catch up with an old friend James Harrison who has recently taken up the post of UK Head of Insurance with Dun & Bradstreet. It’s always good to catch up with James and I’m keen to see what he can achieve with the new role.
Right, let’s get into it. There’s a mountain of innovation taking place across insurance this week.
It’s a busy time to track health innovation
There’s no slowing down in the money pouring into healthtech.
Human API raised $20 million to make health data actionable with AI.
Founded in 2013, their platform collects data from over 28,000 sources including wearable devices, hospitals, pharmacies, and laboratories. This information is then shared – with patients’ consent – to trusted medical providers, insurance companies, and businesses.
An example of making their data more actionable is for people using the platform to complete underwriting processes faster and gain access to better insurance coverage.
Another US healthtech, KēlaHealth, which uses a combo of AI and ML to assess a patient's surgical risk, has raised a combined Seed and Series A round of $12.9million.
And in the UK, mental healthtech/femtech/mightstopwithtechlabels, Clementine secures $1m to fuel the growth of their platform and services.
Understandably there’s a whole load of focus on mental health at the mo and these guys have an interesting take on things. Definitely worth checking out.
It’s not all about the big bucks
UK-based Marshmallow has raised $30m in funding on a $310m valuation. Initially focused on auto insurance, the company uses a wide range of analytics and a simplified interface to create a more inclusive business, targeting the underserved. It plans to launch into new lines of insurance, and new geographies, over the next 18 months.
Also, great to see Superscript following their Series A round earlier this year with a further raise of £8.5m in funding. The business insurance startup will use this funding to double their UK team over the next 12-months, and further invest in their proprietary technology.
In the US, a couple that recently came of out of tech accelerators.
Kover.ai, an alumni of Metlife’s Digital Accelerator 2019, has raised $5m. The company’s an interesting one. They offer income protection to the growing sector of gig workers but it’s more how they do this. Through end-to-end automation via blockchain contracts, machine learning and NLP (!), their pitch is reduced operational costs, translates to savings and lower premiums for insurance customers.
Graduating from Y-Combinator in February, MGA Goodcover has raised $7.5m in Series A funding, around 8 months after raising its $2m Seed round. Again, another business to look into further. They’re using ML to accurately price premiums, passing anything unused back to the policyholder. It's a definite twist on the model and one that will be undeniably attractive to customers.
Tech partnerships breathing new life into health
Again, let’s start with health. There’s so much going on.
This week Ping An Insurance reported a 7.74% rise in Q3 net profit - its first quarterly profit increase in a year, and an increase in retail customers of 7% from January – now totalling 214m. It also reported its life and health insurance business, its main profit driver, generated 75.45 million yuan in operating profit, up 9.2% year on year.
With that as a backdrop, it was great to see Bupa Hong Kong launch Bupa4Life. In partnership with Tictrac, Bupa’s new wellness app empowers customers to better understand their health and make positive lifestyle changes.
The app offers online health assessment, encourages goal setting to improve users’ physical and mental health. It also inspires ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle by tracking daily activities, and supports and rewards people with access to credible health content and different wellness events organised by Bupa throughout the year.
I’m looking forward to tracking this one over the coming months.
One of the businesses that is slowly becoming my new reading obsession is Israel’s "Digital X-ray" company Nanox. This week they announced a new deal with medical data and image management firm Ambra Health.
Dig a little deeper and their story is fascinating. If you’ve been reading SøNws for a while you’ll have heard my thoughts on Theranos. This one’s not too different.
Having raised $190m in an August IPO they were hit with a class action lawsuit based on ‘false statements to both the SEC and investors to inflate its stock value’. Worth a read, and worth keeping an eye on.
Shifting over to life and in the Philippines blockchain platform Galileo Platforms, insurer Singlife and e-wallet GCash have come together to better reach the underserved, particularly those affected by the global pandemic.
Whilst the Philippines might feel a world away for many of us, especially in lockdown, there's definitely some good learnings in this one when exploring offerings of the future.
Another life partnership - Ladder has joined forces with Bermuda-based reinsurer PartnerRe. The move comes shortly after Ladder announced it had expanded its partnership with Hannover Re in the US.
Looking to partner? Think global, not local Tokio Marine got a few headlines this week with its announcement to take part in the reinsurance program of Lemonade, as the beginning of a new strategic partnership with the US insurtech. The two will collaborate on technologies and design that deliver 'superior CX and UI', use of third-party data for underwriting, and prompt claims payments.
And Tractable, which opened a new office in Japan this year and having already secured a partnership with Tokio Marine, this week announced its partnership with MS&AD.
Keeping with the Asian market and Amazon-backed Acko has partnered with cloud-based CRM company Kapture CRM to streamline its customer support process. It aims to automate its ticketing system, visualise customer service workflows, and make data-driven decisions.
Last couple from the US and Intuit QuickBooks continues the build of its Small Business Platform. It recently partnered with Next Insurance to offer liability and workers' compensation, and this week with small business insurer Coterie.
Finally Cover Genius has extended its partnership activity. Already working with eBay and Wayfair, it has now partnered with Descartes to offer ecommerce shipping insurance solutions to customers across the US.
Banking. Insurance. The blurring of lines
Talking partnerships would never be complete without a couple of banks getting in on the insurance action.
This week we’ve got AXA and ING, who have been working together since 2018, launching a new digital bancassurance product. It comprises of liability, home contents and building insurance, has 80% fewer questions, and provides flexible, needs-based coverage that can be cancelled at any time.
Martha’s Vineyard Bank has partnered with Insuritas to set up a digital insurance agency within the bank.
And Alliance Bank Malaysia has partnered with Zurich Malaysia to launch Z-Alliance Cyber Protect, a 'first of its kind' cyber insurance product to protect Malaysians from financial losses due to digital identity theft, extortion and fraud. Another reminder that tech innovation isn't just what we see on our doorstep.
Building trust in Asia
More Ping An news, and one of its brands, Ping An Doctor Home, has launched an industry-first ‘Online Comprehensive Medical Care’ – directly addressing the pain points of ‘trust’ between doctors and patients.
It provides users and doctors with complete protection throughout the consultation journey, including medical accountability and medicine quality, and covers seven security guarantees including doctor qualification, quality of diagnosis and treatment, and medicine safety. All very interesting.
More big news in Asia, with Tencent reportedly applying for a reinsurance license in China. The company already has partnerships with Swiss Re to research AI within the reinsurance space, and it launched insurance platform WeSure in 2017, which reported 55m users at the end of 2019.
The Future of Insurance, Europe
Further to my shoutout in the last SøNws, we’re helping the Reuters team raise the profile of their upcoming event – Nov 24th and 25th 2020.
As it kinda has to be these days, it’s an online event bringing together the top decision makers across insurance, across Europe. There are 2 days of CEO and C-level discussions, addressing the trends and challenges that are transforming our rapidly evolving industry.
Get yourself signed up to hear from the CEOs of Lloyds, Zurich, Legal & General, Convex, SCOR, Ageas, Beazley, GDV, Net Insurance, Willis Towers Watson and more.
Not one to miss.
Problem / Solution / Implementation
Recently I had an interesting conversation with a friend at Zurich who talked about how much of the innovation activity that gets reported is focussed on solutions, not problems.
And as such, many businesses try to fit solutions they see in the market, into their business without truly understanding either the problems they’re trying to solve or opportunities available to them.
That stuck with me vividly, in part because Sønr, the platform we’ve built, is so valuable for those companies who know what they need already. They simply login and can access a world of intelligence on how the market is changing and who is shaping that change.
What we don’t have is any way, in platform at least, of collating problems, ideas etc. Equally I know there are a bunch of platforms already out there doing this.
I’ve put a shout out already on LinkedIn, but I would love to hear from anyone using an idea management platform and learn about how it has been rolled out, the value they get, what they do with the information once they’ve spotted an opportunity etc.
If you’d be up for a 15-20 minute call, let me know. I’d really appreciate it.
Right, that’s me. I’m done. Having spent the weekends of lockdown #1 building my son a climbing frame, my wife has now asked for an Après Ski bar in the garden.
She’s either very impressed with my carpentry skills or trying to keep me out the house. Definitely one of those.
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