Digital insurance ecosystems. This week in insurance tech.
One of the rewarding parts of putting this newsletter together is being able to take a global perspective in tracking developments in the insurance industry. And as we look ahead toward 2018, it’s been fascinating to see some of the “unusual suspects” now hoping to enter the insurance business as boundaries between different sectors are revamped.
Rakuten’s latest Investor Day presentation on its insurance business is an interesting early case study here. After acquiring Airio Life Insurance in 2008, Japan’s largest e-commerce site now has close to 867,000 policies in force.
With that in mind, consider that:
In France, Blablacar, which counts close to 50 million drivers and passengers on its long-distance ridesharing app, is reportedly exploring the launch of an insurance brokerage that would “sell packages tailored to ride-sharing.”
In India, e-commerce giant Flipkart, which crossed 100 million registered users in 2016, has filed documents to act as a corporate agent to sell life and general insurance.
The latter comes as digital insurance efforts in India continue to evolve. In 2008, online insurance comparison portal PolicyBazaar was founded. This September, two new online general insurers, Acko and Digit, receivedlicenses and the potential entrance of Flipkart and Paytm Payments Bank in the future opens up new models of distribution.
While all of these examples are still to be determined, they highlight that the impact of digitization is not relegated to a certain model or a fad that can be swept aside by time.
Car subscriptions: so hot right now
The hottest announcement coming out of the L.A. Auto Show last week was all-inclusive car subscription programs. These included Care by Volvo, a flat insurance fee in partnership with Liberty Mutual, and Cadillac Book, a subscription service with insurance administrated by Chubb’s ESIS.
Shortly after our last newsletter on wealth management and insurance, John Hancock quietly debuted Twine, a financial planning mobile app for couples. While some are dubious of the app’s .6% annual program fee, it’s interesting to see the product launch come out of John Hancock Digital.
The division was born out of Hancock’s acquisition of Guide Financial in 2015, one of a spate of wealth management startup acquisitions over the last couple years, and is based in San Francisco.