New reports and all things underserved.

View this email in your browser

Welcome back to another fun-filled-Friday of insurance goodness, brought to you this week by me, ‘the other Matt’ (F).

So, what’s been going on in post-chocolate egg insurance land?

LOADS as usual. Let’s dive in.


A matter of Life & Health

First up, is our latest report produced in collaboration with our friends – particularly those at RGA and RGAX:

Designing a More Sustainable Future: ESG in Life & Health Insurance

Why create it? Well, it’s focussed on a big (massive) challenge.

The rate, pace, and scale of change in our world is increasing. And the impact of such systemic change has a profound bearing on the life and health of individuals, their families, and the communities in which they live.

Light-hearted stuff for a Friday evening, eh?

But, with evolving regulation and expectations around ESG, how can Life & Health insurers:

  • Think about them as a tool for strategic growth?
  • Address the gaps – particularly around the ‘S’ in ESG?   

As with any big topic, we felt it best to work with an amazing group to tackle it. This A-Team included: RGA, RGAX, Sabine VanderLinden, George Kesselman, Jean-Stéphane Gourévitch, Tunde Salako, Nonso Opurum and Luca Schnettler.
And without wishing to turn this into an Oscar’s acceptance speech, a huge thank you from myself and the Sønr team for your support, time, and expertise.

You can download the report here.

Please get in touch with your thoughts – we think there’s much more to explore here and we’d love to find a way to collaborate to do just that. The industry will be all the better for it, I’m sure.


Alright stop, collaborate and listen.

On the subject of collaboration, hopefully you’ll have seen us getting involved in similarly meaty themes in the form of Embedded Health and Commercial Sustainability.

Stay tuned for ‘part deux’ of each as we work with Sabine VanderLinden, Lisa Wardlaw and Sebastien Gaudin together with our friends at ITC and a host of amazing startup and insurance talent. More to come.

Speaking of ITC, ITC Asia in Singapore is fast approaching. We’ll be there and would love to meet and chat. And if you’re interested in learning about how you can get involved in our latest report on emerging startup talent in Asia (and around the world) then please give me a shout! Should be awesome. What’s also awesome is a super handy discount code for tickets – use SONR200 to get $200 off current ticket prices.

Right, it’s news time and spoiler alert – we seem to have a distinctly ESG-themed SøNws this week.


Tip of the iceberg?

Not new news, but certainly big news comes in the form of first Munich Re’s and then Zurich’s departure from the Net-Zero Insurance Alliance (NZIA).

Their reasons differ – the former citing that antitrust risks are limiting the scope of its decarbonisation goals, the latter exiting to focus on supporting their client’s decarbonisation goals.

In neither case is there any sense of deviation from net zero goals, but when two of the founding members of a 30-strong group, representing 15% of world premium volume, you’ve got to wonder whether a. more will follow suit and b. what the implications are for the NZIA’s vision.


Saving the planet

First up is climate risk intelligence company, Terrafuse AI and insurance software (and generative AI) provider, Dais Technology, which are joining forces.

The duo will help improve risk management and selection for carriers, MGA’s, and brokers worldwide, by providing advanced climate risk modelling and insights.

Next comes news from deep-learning and AI company, Kettle. They’re the risk modelling analytics and pricing provider for a new Wildfire product launched by Amwins Access and written by PartnerRe.

In CAT-exposed areas, (affordable?) cover is likely to become increasingly hard to find and so the ability to analyse, model and price wildfire risk with increasing fidelity is surely going to become table stakes.
Love the propositions, love the partnership approach and the resulting ability to help tackle such critical issues. But I do wonder about the sustainability of so many similar propositions out there in the market. Or the missed opportunity in not being able to stitch the uniquely awesome bits together…

Finally, it’s pilot time. Swiss Re, Guy Carpenter, and data technology partner, ICEYE have teamed up with NYC government agencies to pilot a parametric flood insurance scheme for the city’s low-income families.
The program provides up to $1.1m in emergency funding following a major flood event and qualifying households could receive up to $15k under the 12-month pilot. Sounds fantastic.

We’ve been seeing growing interest from government agencies and NGOs in parametric solutions to provide resilience to vulnerable communities. Whether it’s a roaring success or not, given the future impact of population migration to urban areas, the learnings that come from it are going to be important.


From overexposed to underserved 

With growing protection gaps and consumer desire (demands?) for personalisation to be more than superficial, comes news from what might be considered traditionally ‘underserved’ markets. But they just so happen to be massive in these cases.

German reproductive health platform, Clue has announced a $7.6m raise. Currently offering period tracking, conception and pregnancy support the funds will be used to expand product line-up, scale its digital family planning offering and fuel its R&D efforts (obvs). Congrats.

Oh, and if you’re in the market to invest you can do so via Crowdcube.

Mate Fertility is, shockingly, a fertility startup seeking to bring high quality fertility support to underserved communities. This is in response to the somewhat shocking stats around access to fertility treatment in the US, with a reported 82% of recipients of care being Caucasian, heterosexual married women living in 1 of 10 big cities, making more than $100,000 a year. Gulp.

They’re due to close a Series A funding round in May having already raised $4.2m of $5m, primarily from institutional investors. Sounds like there’s a bit of a gap to fill as they’re planning to close out the round via crowdfunding. The best of luck to the team.
Zocalo Health, a US-based virtual healthcare service for Latino patients, is collaborating with Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company (MCCPDC) to expand its members’ access to lower-cost prescription medication.
The deal will help the company to expand further, having been a participant in the 2022 AWS Healthcare Accelerator.
On to Wellth now, with the digital health startup announcing a $20m in Series B funding. They work with insurers, providers and employers offering customers small financial rewards to incentivise health-related tasks.
Last but by no means least is news of Insurance Australia Group’s investment in US-based Planck. Their platform is designed to help insurance companies streamline their underwriting processes, reduce manual errors, and improve efficiency.

SMEs are such a big market that perhaps they’re not viewed as underserved, but the complexity and specificity of requirements means they can be hard to personalise. Using just a business name and address, Planck’s AI technology evaluates millions of data points in real-time from a host of sources to inform underwriting.

We’ve got to know the team at Planck over the past few months so big high-fives to them, but also at IAG too. The investment will support Planck’s expansion into the Australian and New Zealand commercial insurance market and embed the company’s technology in IAG’s brands.



There’s been a host of interest in Cyber of late. And given the heady mix of growing protection gaps, rising costs and falling availability of cover it’s not really surprising. So, here’s two of the biggest names in the sector hitting the headlines – both in the SME space.

Cowbell has launched its UK operations, with ex-CFC Underwriting’s Simon Hughes taking the post of GM. The company has recently grown its risk pool internationally to 35m SMEs, which helps it to pre-assess risk and deliver coverage quickly without undermining accuracy of underwriting.
Next up is At-Bay. They’ve added their Admitted Cyber product to the Sayata marketplace. The Admitted Cyber product is targeted at small businesses, an underserved part of the economy in a move that will make it easier for brokers to quote and bind cyber insurance for SMEs in the US.


Last orders please!

Probably a fitting title given my proximity to something cold and refreshing, so what else can we share by way of a quick roundup?
Parsyl, a data-powered insurer of essential supply chains, has announced the launch of its new Essential Consortium at Lloyd’s of London. The multi-year arrangement will initially bring $20m in new capacity to the perishable cargo market and will leverage Parsyl’s data-driven insurance solutions and unique expertise in temperature sensitive and ambient goods. No doubt this is good news given the pressure on supply chains.

All-electric commercial vehicle manufacture and services provider, Volta Trucks has partnered with Qover and Helvetia International Automotive to provide its customers with an all-electric fleet insurance.

Volta Trucks’ customers will be offered tailored motor insurance, through Qover and Helvetia, with bespoke, adjustable cover levels based on each fleet-use case. Flexibility and personalisation for what I assume are extremely costly vehicles compared to their ICE counterparts. Nice.

Right, that’s it. Friday is calling and I’m sure there’s a nappy that needs changing.

Thanks again for tuning in.

Drop me a line if you’re heading to ITC Asia.

Let me know if you’re interested in exploring ways to evolve our latest report.

But mostly have an amazing weekend.

Matt (F)

SøNws is brought to you by Sønr

Sønr is the world-leading market intelligence platform created specifically for the insurance sector. It provides you with the knowledge and tools to stay relevant, compete and plan for the future.

Try out a 14-day trial of Sønr to access intelligence on market trends, competitor playbooks and disruptive tech companies globally. Plus collaboration tools to help you track and manage innovation activity across your organisation.




Copyright © 2023 Sønr Global. All rights reserved.

If you enjoyed this email, please forward to a friend and suggest they subscribe. If you didn’t, feel free to unsubscribe from this list or let me know what you’d rather read about.





Subscribe to SøNws

Join 10,000s of others and keep ahead of insurance innovation news and activity from around the world: