The Interview: Insurtech Is About Building Good Karma

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Building new insurance products has never been easier and since the pandemic, it’s become essential to have a range of insurance offers online that have consumer appeal. IE spoke to Craig Olivier, Chief Technology Officer at Genasys Technologies, to find out how Genasys helped create a new subscription-based products for renters on behalf of Arma Karma.

IE; Arma Karma has a unique twist in that they donate a percentage of their insurance premiums collected to nominated charities – were there any special features under the bonnet of the website to help make that work?

CO; Not anything special in technical terms. The Genasys platform is GDPR compliant and we’re used to building solutions that are compliant to different regulatory requirements in different markets, so there isn’t any difference as regards a payment being made to a charity. In practice, it’s the same process for separating a commission payment and sending that money somewhere each time there’s a transaction.

IE; Like many digital brokers or MGAs Arma Karma are selling Netflix style insurance on a monthly payment plan. How can brands create truly flexible products in a PAYG market?

CO; Genasys has been setting up on-demand and micro-payment insurance schemes for some years now, in fact it’s the default setting in many parts of the South African market for example. So as far as we’re concerned there’s no real difference setting up a product that can manage payments by the hour, or the day, month etc. You have a policy incept or start data and an end date – or an end hour. We can build something really flexible which allows the consumer to actually pause their cover, and then restart it depending on their needs rather than having to fit in with the more traditional insurance offer in the UK of monthly or annual premiums.

In sectors like food delivery, travel and say riding a bicycle it’s great to offer this flexibility . Let’s say that you own a racing bike, but want garaged theft cover and event insurance for the sportives, or time trials that you are competing in for 10 weekends a year. We can do that type of thing now, because you are effectively switching the extra event cover and the personal injury risk on as it’s needed.

The flexibility that our system allows was a real driver for the team at Arma Karma.

IE; So the opportunity is there now for switchable, PAYG cover in the motor market too? As people adapt to WFH plus occasional commuting then you can tailor the insurance to the actual risk?

CO; Exactly. There is nothing stopping insurance brands building new products that offer a parked level of cover, a leisure driving, multi-driver or some business use on top. What you can do is build pricing in a modular way, so you are adding, or taking away those modular blocks, as the policyholder demand changes.

IE; Arma Karma and other gadget insurance brands often ask for serial numbers of products, like the IMEI numbers on smartphones, frame numbers on bikes etc. I noticed that they have a dropdown menu to help people find these numbers on the site.

CO; The location of numbers can vary on different smartphones, so helping customers to find them easily is always good at that point of quote. Arma Karma wanted to build all that stuff in because insurance should be easy and they’re aiming their products at a generation who have grown up with websites that are easy-to-navigate – mostly!

It’s easy to integrate with tech enabling the customer to upload photos of the gadget, or bicycle, that they want to insure, which then image matches that product and asks thecustomer, `is this your phone?’ or whatever during the process. There are lots of ways to make it easy to get a quote on gadget insurance. Plus, asking policyholders to submit photos of new products with packaging – that may have serial numbers – also helps minimise fraud, since you know this is a genuinely brand new, factory-fresh product.

IE; Do you think in general that more gadget insurance could be sold online at the seller site, as a bolt-on?

CO; For sure, yes. If people are spending over a grand on a bike, or signing up for a smartphone contract that costs over £30 a month then they’re in that buying frame of mind. That’s the time to sell the cover because you- the seller – has the IMEI and other product details right in front of you, so that saves time.

IE; It’s interesting to see companies like Dead Happy offer their `create a legacy’ idea for Life insurance, and Arma Karma’s charity donations too. Do you think this trend will become more common with many insurance brands in the future?

CO; It does seem like the perfect time to add that Karma aspect to your product. In tech terms it’s fairly easy to add that feature, and in marketing terms it helps people to make a difference every time they buy a service. That is a strong idea today and there really isn’t anything stopping mainstream insurers from donating a percentage to Covid relief charities, or help fund the distribution of vaccines to developing countries in this way. The opportunity is there and Genasys can help you build something new for 2021. It can be done in weeks, not months too.

IE; It’s going to be a busy year – thanks for your time Craig

About alastair walker 6125 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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