New reinsurer partnerships. Startups target retirement savings. This week in insurance tech.
Judging by our analysis of earnings call transcripts, there’s one tech buzzword out there that corporate execs are talking up more than the rest and that’s AI.
This week, it looks like Argo Group became the first insurer to mention cryptocurrencies on an earnings call. This was in reference to venture investments the specialty insurance underwriter has made in tech-enabled markets:
“New tech enabled markets such as Cyber, Ecommerce, Crypto who is sharing gate economies are developing quickly and changing the way people and businesses transact…Our latest investment in a cryptocurrency payment processor allows us to potentially partner with a leader in this space, monitor how insurance in cryptocurrency continues to evolve and helps us assess opportunities to engage.”
Startups target retirement accounts
Though 401(k)s only account for $5.28 trillion of assets (nearly 20% of total retirement savings in 2017), they have grown dramatically, up from 2% of total retirement savings in 2007. While 4 out of 5 workers are employed by companies that offer a 401(k) plan, only 41% of workers actually contribute.
In addition to the challenge of getting more employees to invest in 401(k)s when they’re available, smaller companies also struggle to provide these plans to their workers. This can be the result of high costs and administrative challenges.
More startups are recognizing this gap and raising investment. We look at startups going after the retirement savings market here (some of whom have received backing from insurer CVCs).
Update on State Farm’s HiRoad
Interesting article this week on the tech behind HiRoad. Recall HiRoad is a State Farm subsidiary offering digital direct car insurance as well as discounts based on good driving tracked by its smartphone app.
As of now, HiRoad is only available in Rhode Island, where State Farm does not have any captive agents. HiRoad currently has <100 installs in the Google Play store, after the first version of the app went live last November.
Still, the move signals how insurers are bracing for changes coming to the personal auto market (see our article last week on car subscriptions).