June 20, 2018
When analyzing insurer-InsurTech partnerships, we looked at a total of 95 partnerships established by 25 incumbents with several InsurTech startups and categorized those partnerships across major areas of operations.
While the number of integrations, scale, and areas of operations where those integrations are being tested today vary, integrations/technology adoptions are becoming common in every region. In our recent dive into these partnerships, we focused on the US; in this article, we take a look at some interesting integrations happening in Europe across major areas of operations.
Overall, digital distribution was the most active area of collaborative innovation, with 20 strategic partnerships between incumbents and InsurTech players. French AXA, Alibaba, and Ant Financial Services, for example, are jointly exploring opportunities to distribute AXA’s insurance products and services through Alibaba’s global ecommerce ecosystem, benefitting the businesses and consumers that transact via Alibaba’s marketplaces. The companies are also working together to co-innovate and to develop value-added products and services for customers around the world as well as to mutually support each other in developing and exploring new markets and segments.
An interesting case is what European insurers are doing with Shift Technology. MetLife shared that Shift Technology helped a European coalition of insurers analyze 13 million claims. The technology identified 3,000 new cases of potential fraud, including a large, organized crime scheme that impacted nearly all of the coalition’s members. The scam had siphoned millions of Euros from the group’s insurance company members over the span of many years, according to a Shift Technology case study.
AXA, which was mentioned earlier, is also involved in a partnership in another area: in 2016, AXA launched an on-demand insurance cover through the free mobile app Trov, with the insurance it provides underwritten by AXA Insurance. Using the Trov app, consumers can upload items to their cloud-based inventory and purchase individual insurance, underwritten by AXA, for those items at the touch of a button. With its automated process, Trov allows individuals to protect the things they want covered, for the period that suits them.
Munich Re also has a couple of similar partnerships: for one, Munich Re partnered with Blink Innovation for the launch of real-time resolution flight interruption insurance. Another one is in the area of smart underwriting.
Generali Group is also exploring opportunities to offer a new product through a partnership, which is the case with personalized renters and home insurance offered by Willowi via Generali Group.
On the border of smart underwriting and customer experience is the partnership between Hannover Re (the US entity in this case) and Ladder, to couple Ladder’s smart life insurance offering with Hannover Re’s risk management and automated underwriting solutions. The result is a seamless, transparent life insurance experience.
Risk Management is one of the most critical areas where continuous advancement in technologies used for accurate risk assessment and predictive modeling are vital for business survival more than anything. Praedicat, for example, has been working with Allianz SE to allow the insurer better predict the key catastrophe liability risks of the future. By combining Praedicat’s predictive modeling approach with AGCS’ underwriting processes and extensive liability risk portfolio analysis, the companies aim to identify the next generation of catastrophe liability risks for business customers far earlier than under current methods. Praedicat’s modeling engine uses machine learning technology to scan large volumes of data from peer-reviewed science publications and profile the likelihood that products or substances will generate litigation risks over their lifecycle.
Allianz has another interesting partnership in this area: at the end of 2017, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE (AGCS), Allianz Group’s specialist carrier for the corporate insurance business, teamed up with Silicon Valley-based cyber risk analytics and modeling firm Cyence to boost its global cyber risk analysis capabilities. By combining Cyence’s cyber analytics platform with AGCS’ underwriting processes, the insurer will be able to analyze cyber exposures at company level for large businesses, creating a detailed understanding of their cyber risks and quickly allowing it to tailor coverage to fit specific customer profiles. In a second initiative, AGCS plans to integrate Cyence’s cyber risk analytics into new digital distribution platforms that enable low-touch, automated underwriting of cyber policies for medium-size companies. Both companies are also joining forces to develop a new predictive modeling tool for cyber-driven business interruption risks.
Zurich, for example, has entered into a multi-year collaboration agreement with European InsurTech firm Digital Insurance Group (DIG) wherein DIG will use its technology stack to support Zurich Insurance in developing innovative mobile solutions that are continually optimized using deep customer data analytics.
Another European insurer, Zurich Insurance, announced an exclusive UK partnership with Cocoon to bring customers increased peace of mind with an all-in-one home security system. Cocoon uses Subsound technology to listen for infrasound – subtle, inaudible vibrations in the air caused by movement. Unlike audible sound, infrasound travels across rooms and multiple floors. Because of this, one Cocoon can look after the whole home – whether it’s a noisy inner-city flat or a secluded country home. Using ML, Cocoon is continually learning the unique sound signature of a home. Cocoon uses this knowledge to send alerts only when there are unusual patterns in what it detects, whether that’s a cracked pipe or a break-in. Cocoon alerts the owner with HD video so they can choose how to respond.
Another insurer, Generali Group, partnered with Nest, a part of Alphabet and the architect of the thoughtful home, to create a unique offering for home insurance customers in Europe, representing a further step in Generali’s innovation in domotics. Through the partnership with Nest, Generali’s home insurance customers will be able to reduce the chance of harm to their family and home. Nest Protect detects both smoke and carbon monoxide, sends alerts to customers’ phones, and provides information in words and colors. The household insurance will cover the property in case of damage. Generali also has a telematics-related R&D partnership with Progressive.