Posts Tagged

InsurTech

Sleep tech company Shleep in August 2019 raised €1.4M to further develop its digital B2B sleep coaching platform. The VCs include Global Founders Capital, and Health Innovations. Shleep’s clients include The Huffington Post, Deloitte and Spotify. Shleep is the first science-based sleep coaching platform for companies, created by Dr. Els van der Helm and Jöran Albers, and their team of sleep PhDs, health experts and software engineers. According to

Allianz in February 2019 announced it had increased the size of its Insurtech venture capital fund Allianz X to €1 billion. Allianz Group’s initial investment in Allianz X was €430 million in 2016. The funds will be used to make more direct investments in digital companies that are strategically relevant for Allianz. To date, Allianz X has made more than 15 direct investments. For example, Allianz X invested $96.6

Global Benefits Vision: What is your role in your company and what is your background? Chris Burns: I am a Partner at EBCG LLC. We are a national and global employee benefits consulting firm. For over 25 years, our team of consultants has helped companies unlock hidden value in their programs. With 5 offices across the U.S., we work with both large and mid-sized companies. We are also a member of the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), which allows us to assist our clients in over 100 countries around the world.

InsurTech Oscar Health in February 2019 named Sid Sankaran CFO, reporting to CEO Mario Schlosser. He succeeds Brian West. Sankaran joins from American International Group (AIG) where he was CFO and earlier, chief risk officer. Prior to AIG, he worked for consulting firm Oliver Wyman as a partner in the Finance and Risk practice in Toronto, Canada; and Mercer Risk, Finance & Insurance Consulting and MMC Enterprise Risk. He

Zurich UK in January 2019 announced it was backing London, UK-based travel insurance startup Pluto. Pluto targets Millennials, an under-insured segment when it comes to travel insurance, with up to 60% of them traveling without insurance. The underwriting engine blocks people over the age of 46. Zurich provides underwriting and claims management; Pluto brings mobile-oriented software that gives clients a standard insurance quote in around one minute, or three

Grab, a Singapore-based competitor to Uber present also in the Philippines and in Malaysia, in January 2019 announced it would sell insurance through its smartphone app. Grab will open up its ride-hailing app as a platform for direct distribution of insurance policies. The new capability is provided by Chinese partner ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance. The first insurance carrier to join the program is Chubb, with a loss of income

Global Benefits Vision: What is your role in your company and what is your background? Chris Burns: I am a Partner at EBCG LLC. We are a national and global employee benefits consulting firm. For over 25 years, our team of consultants has helped companies unlock hidden value in their programs. With 5 offices across the U.S., we work with both large and mid-sized companies. We are also a member of the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN), which allows us to assist our clients in over 100 countries around the world.

Global Benefits Vision: Thanks for joining us today, Marco – it’s good to have you back. What is your definition of insurtech? Marco Giacomelli: Insurtech is a specialized evolution or byproduct of fintech, which is a combination of the words “finance” and “technology.” As a practical definition, we can say that insurtech is sets of strategic initiatives, specific tools, and processes designed to achieve savings and efficiencies in all insurance processes.

French insurer Apicil in December 2018 launched an EUR 10 million insurtech fund along with private equity firm Odysseus Alternative Ventures (OAV). The fund will invest in European startups “seeking to develop new technologies, new business models and new forms of delivery for the insurance sector”. APICIL Group is France’s 4th largest provider of occupational health, life, and retirement plans. OAV is the private equity and venture capital arm

IPMI provider Generali Global Health (GGH) in October 2018 enhanced its Global Choice iPMI product by adding the My Digital Doctor app. Using a smart phone or tablet, beneficiaries now can schedule video and phone consultations with a global, multilingual team of doctors 24 hours a day. Through the new app, GGH members are able to discuss all aspects of primary care; manage ongoing conditions with a doctor and

Willis Towers Watson (WTW) in October 2018 announced it would expand its existing partnership with InsurTech platform Plug and Play. WTW will now have access to all of Plug and Play’s InsurTech international platforms, which include Beijing, Munich, New York, Silicon Valley, Singapore and Tokyo. WTW and Plug and Play also partner on innovation platforms dealing with health and wellness, as well as on transforming management structures, company culture

Generali Employee Benefits (GEB) in September 2018 announced the launch of CIAO, a mobile health app designed to help clients promote healthy behaviors within their organizations, encourage employees to improve their overall health and address lifestyle-related illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, stress, and heart disease. The CIAO app has been developed in partnership with UK-based health tech firm Tictrac. Through research and a deep understanding of consumer behavior and

Next Insurance, a Palo Alto, California-based digital insurance company that focuses on small businesses, in August 2018 became a licensed insurance carrier, shedding its brokerage business model. As a carrier, Next Insurance is able to write policies independently, resulting in better control over underwriting, pricing, and policy wording. The company now works directly with U.S. state insurance regulators to introduce innovations in the small business insurance market, including on-demand

U.S. insurance carrier Travelers in August 2018 acquired a reported 60% stake in Canadian insurtech broker Zensurance. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Zensurance offers online commercial lines broker services and will continue to work independently. Founded in 2016, Zensurance creates segmented insurance packages for each industry. It says it has more than 2,500 clients in Canada and works with over 40 insurers. Zensurance CEO Danish Yusuf and CTO Sultan Mehrabi keep

Allianz Partners in August 2018 announced the establishment of three new innovation centers focusing on travel, health and assistance. The automotive innovation center was launched in 2014. Allianz Partners is Allianz’s B2B2C provider of assistance, international health & life, automotive, and travel insurance products. They combine insurance, service and technology. They are distributed through partners or via direct and digital channels under four commercial brands: Allianz Assistance, Allianz Care,

T&D Holdings, a Japanese listed life insurance holding company, and Swiss digital health platform company dacadoo in July 2018 announced that they will cooperate in the development of digital life insurance products for Japan. Dacadoo develops and operates a digital Health Engagement Platform to motivate users to achieve and maintain healthy lifestyle habits. Additionally, dacadoo offers a risk engine for underwriting. T&D Holdings owns three life insurers: Taiyo Life

Google parent Alphabet in August 2018 invested  $375 million in InsurTech Oscar Health, giving Alphabet a 10 percent share in Oscar. Google employee and former CEO Salar Kamangar joins the board of directors. Google had previously invested in Oscar through its Capital G investment fund and Verily health and life sciences research unit. An earlier $165 million round in March 2018 valued the company at around $3 billion; the

British insurtech firm Bought By Many in July 2018 raised £15 million (approximately USD 20 million) when insurance broker Marsh announced it was investing in the peer-to-peer insurtech startup firm. Bought by Many’s concept is bringing together groups of insurance buyers via its online platform and getting better terms and/or perks from insurance carriers for these blocks of clients. To date, the website offers standardized coverage for individuals, sole

Next Insurance in July 2018 raised $83 million in new financing, money it said will fuel its continued U.S. expansion as a full-service digital insurance carrier focused on the small business market. A California-based startup, Next Insurance debuted in 2016 as a digital insurance agency for small to midsize businesses. The new financing will allow Next to add more lines of insurance. The firm changed its agency status in

Health insurance start-up Oscar Health in June 2018 announced it would sell Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) health insurance policies in six new markets as of 2019, adding three U.S. states – Florida, Arizona, and Michigan as well as three large metropolitan areas in Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. Oscar offers individual products as well as a small group health plan targeted at small businesses of up to 100 employees, “Oscar

European digital health insurance company Alan in April 2018 announced it has raised €23 million in Series A funding. Alan has two characteristics that sets it apart from most other insurtechs. First and foremost, it is a real, licensed insurance carrier that actually writes risks and mutualizes them. It is not acting as a broker or a services integrator or a business process outsourcer, like most insurtechs do. Second,

U.S. health insurance start-up Oscar Health in March 2018 raised $165 million in a funding round led by Founders Fund to finance its expansion plans in four to five cities a year. This funding round was led by Brian Singerman and Founders Fund and includes 8VC, Verily Life Sciences, Fidelity, General Catalyst, Capital G, Khosla Ventures, Thrive Capital, and others. Oscar Health claims it has generated an underwriting profit

Thomsons, the company behind the online benefits platform Darwin and a member of Mercer, in December 2017 released its Global Employee Benefits Watch Report 2017/8 entitled “The next wave of globalization and digitization.” The report focuses on the pace and scale of change in the global benefits market and especially the importance of the adoption of a technology infrastructure which is “three times more likely to see a reduction

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s report, Technology and Pensions, was released in December 2017, providing an overview of how technology (FinTech) is being used to improve pension design and delivery and how regulators are managing these changes. The report comes after a discussion on the challenges that regulators face to support FinTech from a roundtable held at the G20/OECD Task Force on Financial Consumer Protection meeting held

The Organization for Economic Development (OECD), in December 2017 released a new report, Robo-Advice for Pensions, which looks at the rising trend of technological innovation in finance, specifically the robo-advice model. This model has been proposed as one potential solution for helping individuals manage pensions and invest for retirement. Essentially, ‘robo-advisors’ propose to make investing more affordable and accessible for consumers by relying on user-friendly digital platforms, algorithms, and

Zenefits, the embattled San Francisco-based HR software company, has jettisoned its Broker-of-Record (BOR) business after Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler ordered the company to cease free distribution of its HR software, and has partnered with OneDigital Health and Benefits as first benefits brokerage partner. Zenefits, founded in 2014 by Parker Conrad, offered software that promised to streamline HR tasks for small businesses. While this was lauded at the time

Swiss Life in October 2017 entered into a long-term partnership with Swiss business software provider for small businesses, bexio. Swiss Life becomes one of the largest shareholders of bexio and Swiss Life Switzerland CEO Markus Leibundgut joins the Board of Directors. The start-up already has over 10 000 customers and employs a staff of 50 in Switzerland. Bexio focuses on small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and offers web-based services – including