Metromile in Japan. Google's Nest looks to seniors. This week in insurance tech.
Premium rate reductions have restrained growth in Japan’s auto insurance market — the biggest revenue source for the country’s P&C companies — putting profits under pressure.
Major Japanese insurers also expect higher loss ratios for the voluntary auto insurance business, given aging drivers and higher repair costs for vehicles with advanced safety systems.
With that in mind, we’ve recently seen more Japanese insurers turning to tech startups (through investment or partnerships) to assist with growth and efficiency. Last week, Tokio Marine, Japan’s largest P&C group, co-led a $90M investment into pay-per-mile insurer Metromile.
Comparing press releases with other full-stack startups, Metromile appears to now be more focused on enabling, rather than disrupting, incumbents. In addition to its investment, Tokio Marine will also partner with Metromile with the aim of launching same-day insurance payouts for auto claims in Japan as soon as 2020. More here, here, and here.
Metromile’s other strategic investor, Canada’s Intact Financial, also announced an investment in self-driving car startup Voyage. Voyage, which operates a dozen self-driving cars in a Florida retirement community, entered into a data-sharing agreement in which Voyage will send data it collects from its cars to Intact to assess.
Check out our most recent presentation on recent happenings in mobility here.
InsureTech Connect 2018
On October 2nd and 3rd, the third annual InsureTech Connect event kicks off at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. ITC will bring together more than 6,000 attendees and speakers including top insurers, reinsurers, and regulators. Speakers include Lloyd’s CEO Inga Beale, Credit Karma CEO Kenneth Lin, and Hamilton CEO Pina Albo.
Our newsletter readers can save $200 off tickets by using this link.
Startups look to commercial insurance data
We’ve been using our earnings call search engine to surface topics of interest. Last week, an interesting Q&A arose on the topic of scale and data, which we’ve highlighted below:
As more P&C insurers look to strengthen their operating models and better identify profit pools for growth in the face of both secular and cyclical trends affecting the industry, a number of startups have cropped up to provide software solutions aimed at accelerating commercial insurance performance.
While several companies are gleaning information from external sources to help pre-fill applications or provide analytics, extracting and unlocking the full value of unstructured information remains a monumental task.
Last week, Groundspeed Analytics raised $30M from Oak HC/FT with the thesis that structuring the mix of loss data, policy & contract information, and exposure data can be solve valuable transactional and analytical use cases in commercial insurance.
Though we’ve seen commercial agreements struck with industry-agnostic vendors in data capture, Groundspeed is solely focused on the P&C market. The 2.5-year-old company works with brokers and carriers by first providing a free data test and then entering into a trial basis for a portion of the annual volume it expects to structure. Clients include Aon.
New players in senior monitoring
In June, health tech company iBeat announced a strategic investment from Scor Life & Health Ventures and Transamerica Ventures. iBeat works with life insurers and reinsurers carriers to offer eligible policyholders a cellular smart watch that monitors changes in heart rate and circulation and looks for any potentially life threatening behavior.
Other startups are looking to take on senior health monitoring in a non-wearable approach. Totemic Labs, for example, is aiming to build a wearable-free emergency response system for seniors making use of wireless signals and sensor fusion.
Now, Google’s Nest division might be entering the fray. According to CNBC, Nest has approached senior living facilities and aging experts with a pitch of incorporating Nest’s devices to track bathroom visits or notifying those who move around a lot in excessive heat that they might be at risk for dehydration.
As more life insurers and reinsurers look to offer additional services to policyholders, it’ll be interesting to see how the mix of products aimed specifically at a single use case reconcile with broader product offerings that are tacking on relevant use cases.