In this first special feature of 2020, Insurance Edge looks at partnerships across the insurance sector. From insurtech start-ups teaming up with big GI players, to software developers working with breakdown or claims specialists to smooth the process, there’s lots to gain from partnerships.
2020 is looking like a great year for new projects, ideas and truly global opportunities. Let’s get to work.
CHOOSE YOUR PARTNER WISELY
It sounds obvious, but there’s a stack of things to consider when teaming up with another company. Which key staff are going to work together and will there be a struggle for dominance in meetings and workflow? How about IP, who protects that knowledge, and monitors confidential data? How do you weigh the benefits against the costs? Sometimes, teaming up with others is 100% necessary, because you’re trying to build something that fits in with industry-wide problems, and best practice when it comes to resolving them.
In 2019 Allianz partnered up with Wrisk, an insurtech specialist, so the brand could offer point-of-sale car insurance via dealerships. Given that much of the new car market is now leasing, not buying, this is a perfect way to `bolt-on’ insurance along with the monthly payment, so the customer can see if the whole package is truly affordable.
Last year big name Zurich launched Toggle, Klinc, CoverWallet and Snapsheet as micro-brands online, and put more money into its Innovation centres around the world. But more interestingly, Zurich set about transforming its culture at every level, bringing ideas people to the fore across its global empire.
One Zurich initiative that smaller companies really piled into was the 2018-19 Innovation World Championships. For small companies, this was very much a Dragon’s Den type exercise, and even they didn’t make the final eight, the experience of pitching, developing new ideas and building contacts must have felt like reaching the Premiership.
What does all this tell us? The answer is that ideas, not data, are the real goldmine in the Roaring 20s. Data can be automated, sifted and crunched any which way by AI. But truly original, Eureka moment ideas, are another thing entirely. So if your company has a great insurance idea, now is the time to find the perfect partner.
FRAUD IS ONE AREA WHERE TEAMWORK IS MANDATORY
Catching fraudsters always requires co-operation, because no single company is targeted, it’s never that simple. Multiple fraud attempts, a history of suspicious claims in motor, travel or home products etc can all involve say five or six brokers and underwriters. So this sector is ideal for joint ventures and genuine partnerhsips when it comes to developing new anti-fraud products;
Nick Jackson, partnerships director at Insurtech CDL:
“Advances in technology are allowing industry players to join forces and form new partnerships to tackle current challenges facing the industry, including significantly improving fraud detection.
“Data is invaluable for stopping fraud before it happens and avoiding associated cancellations and bad debt. Real time insight into unusual patterns of online behaviour, such as consumers making frequent changes to key risk factors when requesting multiple online quotes, can help identify when additional post-sale verification is needed, as well as highlighting potential instances of fronting and ghost broking.
“CDL’s Hummingbird Syndicate is bringing together insurance brands to share real-time insights garnered using its high speed data intelligence solution, with participants reporting real benefits, including dramatic reductions in cost-to-service. It also allows smaller brokers to access a bigger pool of data, putting them on a level playing field with their larger counterparts.”
INSURTECHS NEED TO PROVE THEIR CONCEPTS
Nikolaus Seuhr from Kasko (pictured) thinks that insurtechs and insurers alike will be looking for workable, potentailly profitable ideas in 2020, rather than simply chucking money at the nearest huddle of beanie hats in We Work;
“Although young, the InsurTech market is maturing at speed, so the focus for partnerships will shift in 2020 from promised technology, towards proof of previous successful delivery, reducing the potential risk for the incumbents, allowing established services to further grow off the back of successes in and prior to 2019.
Large scale re-platforming and migration from legacy to enterprise policy admin systems like Guidewire, will, for the most part, continue to be pushed back and delayed. With the ever-increasing requirement for customisation, companies will be unwilling to switch old profitable customers to new products to reduce migration complexity.
Because of this, we will see more consultancies bolstering their services through new offerings built by InsurTech enablers like KASKO, managing to solve growth problems cost-effectively, buying the time they think they need to re-platform in the background and then to connect to existing and new distribution partners via the plumbing already provided by players like KASKO
InsurTechs and consultancies will start creating a new proposition of business process outsourcing directly, competing with large IT-vendors by allowing insurers to run-off and restart parts of their business.”
FINDING THE RIGHT PARTNER
One of the best places to start from a broker point of view, is the Broker Insights website. This platform is a kind of Match.com for brokers, start-ups, insurers, software companies and more. The site was set up to encourage collaboration between insurer partners and broker partners.
It builds broker choice, visibility and earnings and helps our insurer platform partners to optimise their sales distribution performance. If a broker has spotted a growing niche in the market, like say luxury Swiss watch insurance, electric bikes or food retailers & restaurants facing legal action from angry vegans, then they can sound out big insurers and underwriters before taking the plunge and writing paper.
Find out more here;