Q&A with Coya. Zhong An IPO takes shape. This week in insurance tech.
In June, New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria T. Vullo sent a letter to about 160 life insurers asking for details about their use of new data sources and algorithmic underwriting.
That hasn’t stopped venture investors from continuing to invest in new startups in life insurance. Earlier this week, Bestow, a yet-to-launch startup backed by NEA, announced partnerships with Munich Re America and North American Company for Life and Health Insurance to launch a direct-to-consumer life insurance product.
Other recent announcements include Ladder Life, currently available in California, which announced $300M in coverage written (or 600 to 1200 policies at a $500K or $250K average) as well Fabric, which expanded into California. The New York-based startup offers accidental death policies online with the option to upgrade to a term life policy.
Here’s a look at several of the life insurance startups who have partnered with (re)insurers in the US. Notably, entities affiliated with Swiss Re, Hannover Re, Munich Re and RGA have all invested and/or or partnered with the four.
Meanwhile, Haven Life, MassMutual’s online term life insurance brand, announced it is now available in 50 states. Haven offers up to $1M in coverage but is also available through sites such as Quotacy and SmartAsset. In July, MassMutual quietly launched the pilot of its new MassMutual Direct product in July offering term life online up to $2M in 42 states. Recall MassMutual’s venture arm is also an investor in online life insurance brokerage PolicyGenius.
Another startup to raise seed funding in the life insurance space recently is Tomorrow Ideas, which offers a mobile app for users to create free wills and trusts and also operates as a life insurance broker.
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Three questions with Coya CEO Andrew Shaw
Last week, Coya announced a $10M seed round led by Valar Ventures to launch a new digital P&C carrier in Germany. We caught up with Coya CEO Andrew Shaw, previously CIO at Kreditech, to get more of an understanding around what Coya is planning.
On product offerings
The license we’ve applied for is property & casualty and we will be doing everything except auto under private lines. We will target typical entry-level policies focused around the household to start and then adding other lines of business.
On applying for a BaFin license
It is the hardest route to go because BaFin, the German regulator, is extremely protective and has a deep look at the participants in the market. But if you go through a regulator like them, it’s then a lot easier to scale across the EU with the EU passporting and that’s a big opportunity.
On fintech in Europe
There’s definitely a second wave of fintech coming through. I remember when we started Kreditech and talked to the banks, they laughed us. Now when you approach these things, everyone takes you seriously from day one because it is serious. There is a recognition that fintech is taking place.