Royals, partners, travel galore. And sausage rolls.

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Hello again and welcome to another SøNws, brought to you this week by me – Matt F.
And after a largely processed pork product and tea (beer)-fuelled bank holiday weekend (God bless the King), there’s nothing like a four day week to burn off those excess calories.

So, let’s look at the veritable Smorgasbord of activity in the world of insurance.

And a right old mix we have for you too.
Life in the old(ish) dog yet.
No, not a cheap shot at our newly crowned King, but reflections on the insurtech market. After a challenging 2022, we started the year with much speculation about the future of the sector.

Nay-sayers were claiming it was doomed. Eternal optimists were confident it would bounce back.

Then just to make life really complicated SVB collapsed, and strategies, Board papers and pitch decks needed overhauling to include the letters A and I…

As is often the case, the reality was ‘slightly’ more nuanced. So, it’s with great interest that we start to see the publication of Q1 results – notably another excellent read from the team at Gallagher re. To really (and I mean REALLY) butcher it:

  • Funding is up QoQ
  • Mega rounds remain scarce
  • Early-stage investments remain popular (albeit fewer but larger investments QoQ)

Definitely worth sitting down with a coffee and taking a look through, so check it out here.

From armchair to action
There’s immense value to be had from kicking back and consuming these reports and their analysis. But what about understanding the implications for your business and turning that into value?

Well, that’s where Sønr can help. Whether that’s figuring out how trends might play out, scouting for new capability providers or comparing their relative benefits (and more), we can help.

What’s more there is a team on the end of the line ready to answer your queries, as opposed to leaving you to figure it all out for yourself.

How good is that?

We’re helping some of the most forward-thinking businesses so, if you have a problem and no-one else can help, and you can find them, maybe you should call (email) the Sønr team

Where’s my passport?
But if you’d prefer to meet in person the Sønr team is going to be on the road in the next few weeks.

With a newly minted partnership with the ITC crew, I’ll be in Singapore for ITC Asia in just a couple of weeks. More to share on plans, but I/we are VERY excited–and not just about chilli crab.

A new report launch, panel sessions, chances to meet the brightest and best in the Asia insurance scene as well as meeting old friends and new, I genuinely can’t wait.

If you’re going and fancy grabbing a coffee then please drop me a line–I’d love to chat.

And if you haven’t yet bought a ticket but want to go then you can use the code SONR200 for a cheeky little discount too.

Then it’s off to the other side of the world for ITI in New York for the usual excitement and insurtech goodness again with panel sessions galore (thanks guys).

Then, finally we’re rounding out June with the final part of the ITC sandwich, ITC DIA Europe.

And there’s a tonne of good stuff going on here too. Another in our series of reports to share, a commercial sustainability event as part of the kick off with Sabine VanderLinden (and some big name partners) and more. But more on that later.

And now, the news.
Right, what else is going on? Plenty, although after some head scratching for an appropriate thematic grouping I’ve settled on: ‘well, I thought it was interesting.’
And that, ladies and gents, is why I get paid the big bucks.

Jokes aside, probably the single biggest category of news that caught my eye over the past fortnight is the partnership activity, so let’s start there.

The Sky’s the limit
Kind of refreshing to talk about brands other than MAGMA when it comes to insurance market entry. And this time it’s Sky UK with the launch of Sky Protect – a home insurance product incorporating smart tech.

Underwritten by Zurich, Sky Protect provides comprehensive home insurance, as well as £250 worth of smart home tech, with no upfront costs.

The smart home tech products include a video doorbell, indoor camera, leak detectors, motion sensor and contact sensors, controlled via app (obvs).

If you think about the fundamental components of the business case, this seems a total no-brainer, but great to see both teams making it happen. Especially with an extensive free hardware list, which gets me thinking about ROI.

Surely, it’s a longer-term strategic play for both Sky and Zurich brands in terms of technology enabling deeper relationships with customers.
From distribution and product evolution
Digital motor insurer Clearcover has teamed up with Experian to deliver an embedded insurance solution.

In this case, consumers will receive final bindable quotes when they shop via Experian’s auto insurance comparison shopping service.

Again, there’s a distribution play here for Clearcover, but also the ongoing evolution of Experian’s strategy to enhance their financial services offering(s) beyond credit scoring.

A ray of sunshine
From motor to weather now comes climate risk coverage platform, Arbol and blockchain consortium The Institutes RiskStream Collaborative.

The two have joined forces to create a DLT-based product with the usual benefits of transparency, streamlining data flow and speed of payout. Nice.

A pint of milk, a chocolate bar, and non-life cover
And from the US to Asia comes news from Singaporean insurtech Igloo. They’ve partnered with global convenience store, Circle K to improve the accessibility of its non-life products in Southeast Asia.

With over 400 stores, it’s the first time that insurance products will be available in stores in Asia.

Aside from the current retail footprint, convenience stores are driving growth in the supermarket sector by 7-10% in the region. So, if the product and its positioning are right, the future growth opportunities look promising too.

When Penguins do digital transformation
Bold Penguin, a digital platform designed to simplify commercial insurance, has agreed to enter a partnership with digital transformation company Sutherland.

Both companies hope the deal will accelerate digital transformation in customer acquisition and new business and underwriting for the commercial insurance sector.

Sutherland’s AI-based underwriting ecosystem will integrate with Bold Penguin’s analytics capabilities. Thanks to the partnership, time taken to quote and bind commercial insurance should reduce, as will the cost.
The future of life insurance
We recently published a report with the good folk at RGA (and a host of awesome contributors) titled: Designing a More Sustainable Future: ESG in Life & Health Insurance.

Shameless plug aside, one of the key themes was a shift from periodic response to policies which follow customers through their lives and adapt to their situations.

So it’s with interest that Swiss Re, along with Federal Life Insurance Company, has partnered with Reframe Financial to offer ‘Reframe LifeStage’ – a new insurance product aimed at millennial and Gen X employees.

Reframe LifeStage provides families with a first-of-its-kind hybrid policy that features Indexed Universal Life insurance.

The intention is for the policy to grow in value over time as customer needs change. Small businesses are expected to benefit heavily because the product has no minimum group size requirements.

And if you haven’t checked out the report then click here for a free copy. You won’t even be asked to submit any details 😊.

Surprise surprise
Hard to imagine a week of partnership news without mentioning our friends at Bolttech. This time they’ve partnered with Malaysian retail company AEON.

This time it’s to create a protection programme ‘AEON SAFEGUARD’. The new product combines device insurance and support services for all mobile devices and home appliances purchased at all 35 AEON stores nationwide.

It offers protection for up to two years, and device support services include device trade-in service for used smartphones and tablets.

Of course there’s more going on than partnerships alone, so let’s check out the best of the rest.

The final frontier. 
We head to space first with satellite-based insurance company Value.Space who raised €2.1m in an over-subscribed Seed round to help accelerate the growth of its satellite-gathered data risk profiling technology.

The company provides services capable of detecting millimetre scale anomalies in large infrastructure projects, helping to identify climate change related risks in large construction projects and in ageing infrastructure.

The new money will be used to expand the product offering and help the company to win an increased market share. I’m sure the use cases (and market) for such high-fidelity propositions will just continue to grow and grow. A big congrats to the team!

Going shopping
Digital MGA for car, home and life insurances, Insurify is reported to be seeking out acquisition targets after it raised $22m.

This most recent fundraise came off the back of banking $100m in its Series-B round. CEO Snejina Zacharia was quoted as saying they’re planning more acquisitions after it purchased price comparison website to expand and diversify their product offering.

Seems to be a pretty clear strategy and we’ve already seen a healthy dose of consolidation in the market, and we see it set to continue for some time yet.

Missing consonants but adding value
Often the headlines are grabbed by the cutting-edge use cases. But in an industry with such a scale of back-office functions there’s a TONNE of value to be realised.

That’s where DGTAL, a Swiss-based insurtech comes in with their platform that helps reveal new insights from unstructured data in claims management.

They have signed a three-year long deal with international insurance and reinsurance group, DARAG, in an arrangement covering legacy portfolios with open claims as well as future acquisitions.

Protecting property portfolios
GA Technologies, a real estate platform operation company, and Finatext, a cloud infrastructure and data analysis business, have launched an embedded property insurance product called: RENOSY.

Underwritten by our friends at Tokio Marine it’s the first such arrangement in the Japanese real estate and insurance industries. Expectations are that the partnership will result in further collaborations.

Let’s hope so!
Ok, that’s it. Promise.

With a bit of luck it’s been an interesting read and given you plenty to chat to your friends and family with at the bar/over the dinner table… ?

Either way thanks for your time and have a great weekend.

Matt (F)

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