InsurTech investment worldwide continued at high levels during the second quarter of 2019, marking the fourth consecutive quarter during which total new funding commitments exceeded $1.2 billion, according to the new Quarterly InsurTech Briefing from Willis Towers Watson, a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company (NASDAQ:WLTW).
69 deals with a total value of $1.41 billion were announced in Q2, 2019. The value of investments in property/casualty-focused firms rose by 283% compared to Q2, 2018, and Life & Health deals by 259%. The number of strategic investments by (re)insurers hit a record high of 36.
The continued predominance of later-stage, typically larger investments, pushed down overall transaction volume by more than a fifth, as the number of early-stage investments dipped to its lowest point since Q3, 2017, indicating increased maturity in the InsurTech sector. Seed and Series A funding into Global InsurTech start-ups attracted $147 million in Q2. Of that total, 59% of target ventures focussed on insurance distribution; separately 54% was invested in insurTechs from outside the US or UK.”
Dr Andrew Johnston, Global Head of InsurTech at Willis Re, says: “Technology as a strategic vertical is now commonplace in nearly every single insurer and reinsurer across the globe, but the technology from the incoming InsurTech pastures may not be quite as green or as impacting as many incumbents had hoped – or at least anticipated. Whilst we remain resolute in our position about the value created by some InsurTechs, we are also maintaining our position of realistic pragmatism.”
The latest Briefing focuses on tools to support price quotation, binding, and policy issuance. Q2 features Simply Business, a UK distribution platform for third-party small business and landlord insurances; the US InsurTech Bindable, which facilitates efficient distribution through affinity groups of buyers; Germany’s massUp, which provides insurers with a platform for the sale of microinsurance; and Confused.com, a leading UK price comparison web site.
The Briefing also includes a discussion with John Chambers, Director of Innovation and Corporate Development at AEGIS London and pioneer of their Opal quote & bind system; an article about BrovadaOne, which provides real-time policy and data processing; thought leadership from Ben Nicholls, Global leader of Willis Re’s Alternative Distribution Operations; and an examination of PolicyBazaar, India’s largest insurance aggregator, which has recently raised $152 million in additional funding.
Ben Nicholls, Global leader of Willis Re’s Alternative Distribution Operations, says: “There is no reason why commercial insurance sectors around the world, across most classes of business, cannot be supported more ubiquitously by readier access to appropriate Quote, Bind, Issue platforms. But only a few speciality insurers have begun to use technologically sound systems extensively. The evolution is relatively slow, but we are now meeting a number of InsurTech businesses that seem genuinely to have cracked it.”