Reinventing insurance for the digital generation

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16 January 2016 | About us

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Reinventing insurance for the digital generation
With Digital Partners (DP) Munich Re established a new global venture at a time digitalisation is beginning to change the face of the insurance industry. As a start-up itself, DP strives to win the confidence of and subsequently to partner with disruptors who are changing the way insurance is experienced by customers – following the market at all times, staying flexible by all means.
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Building a generation of insurance companies that really engage customers

“Digital disruption has the potential to reshape markets faster than perhaps any force in history. As a consequence we established DP as an enabler for insurtech businesses who are changing the way insurance works, or making insurance fit for the new sharing, gig, & mobile economy”, DP’s Chief Executive Andrew Rear gets to the heart of his business. “That includes those looking to engage customers online, through mobile or social media, and those who are developing new approaches to insurance products which are a better fit to the way people live their lives in today’s world.” 

DP has a global mandate and operates across all retail and small company business classes. “We operate as a single global team focused on product development and technology. We work closely with our partners in Munich Re who offer us expertise and support services” states Rear.

Digital Partners
Founded: May 2016
Offices: London, Cincinnati, Palo Alto
Management: Andrew Rear, Chief Executive & Mark Dennis, COO
Headcount: 17 (as of November 1, 2016)
DP’s client service: know-how support and financial engagement

Digital insurance start-ups and digital verticals are foremost creative technology companies, not necessarily equipped with a profound knowledge in insurance matters. They are making use of new technology and a better understanding of consumer expectations to increase efficiency in the insurance industry. To get easier entry to an industry known for its complex regulation and heavy capital requirements, as well as greater access to resources for scaling and expanding across borders, they strive to partner with well established, globally working insurers. 

There are four elements to DP’s capabilities: product development (cover design, pricing), international insurance capacity, technology and venture capital funding. Different aspects attract different partners, but there are three elements that resonate the most: DP’s global capabilities, willingness to experiment in product design, and the ability of their technology which provides automated interfaces to communicate directly to partner systems, allowing policy servicing and access to the range of DP services including data analytics. 

Rear is realistic that many start-ups eventually do not succeed: “Even if eight out of ten start-ups may fail in the end, the insurtechs are changing the industry. They are pure innovation engines, concentrating on specific parts of the value chain, optimising them inventively. Some will succeed spectacularly, others will leave behind interesting ideas on which others can capitalize.” 

Our expanding universe

As a young company, DP’s vision is to develop an ecosystem that allows disruptive insurance start-ups to flourish – to build profitable partnerships together and overall to enhance the insurance industry’s customer engagement. In 2016 we already established partnerships with …

  • Blink Innovation Ltd. – First real time resolution flight interruption insurance
    Blink Innovation Ltd is a start-up insuretech company that provides real time resolution flight interruption insurance solutions. They are partnering with travel distribution partners looking for innovative new insurance solutions to drive ancillary revenue. Blink flight interruption insurance tracks, proactively alerts and rebooks your flight at no cost if cancelled/delayed. As there is no claims process, the issue can be resolved in real time. They are leveraging big data, data analytics and great customer experience to provide innovative solutions to consumers.

    Their biggest challenge, where we come into play: Fast delivery of a product with no pricing data

  • Bought By Many – Better insurance offers through collective buying power

    Bought By Many has developed a proposition enabling individuals with specific insurance needs to get better insurance offers from existing providers through collective buying power. Examples include pet insurance for rare breeds and travel insurance for people with medical conditions. By analysing hundreds of millions of rows of search data and responding to specific customer needs, the company has attracted a loyal membership of over 250,000 users and is enjoying year-on-year revenue growth of over 100%. In early 2017, the company plans the launch of a new range of Bought By Many-branded insurance products that will leverage its mobile-first technology platform. The products have been co-created using customer feedback, including almost 40,000 comments made on social media. 

    Their biggest challenge, where we come into play: Bought By Many are trying to redefine the way insurers interact with customers. To facilitate this we have provided bespoke technology and products


  • Next Insurance – Innovative online insurance solutions for small businesses
    Next Insurance provides online insurance for commercial small businesses in the U.S. Together with Munich Re Next Insurance launched a product targeting commercial photographers, who will be able to buy, renew and maintain policies online. Photographers can pay for insurance on a monthly subscription basis in all 50 states and any time of day or night. Insurance packages available are simple to select and tailored based on deep understanding of the industry as well as discussion with photographers, so that usual exceptions like liability and off-premise use of cameras is covered as well. These packages are just as tailored to the industry needs as the personal trainer packages already available through Next Insurance. 

    Their biggest challenge, where we come into play: Developing a product and underwriting approach which fits a pure online distribution model


  • Simplesurance – Innovate the digital channel
    Simplesurance develops and distributes innovative cross-selling software solutions that create an interface between the traditional insurance industry and physical retail. They provide online retailers and traditional retail outlets a way to extend the level of service they provide to customers, as well as increase their own profit margins by offering insurance or extended warranties on their own products. In addition to this the company’s own retail portals offer consumers the possibility to directly insure purchased products completely paperless with only a few clicks. 

    Their biggest challenge, where we come into play: The speed of product development and multi-country products

  • Slice Labs –insurance for the sharing economy
    On-demand workers, such as those that work for ride share app companies, are typically uninsured or underinsured. New York based Slice Labs Inc. is preparing for an upcoming US product launch that will provide on-demand, pay-per-use insurance for the on-demand economy. An investment by Munich Re, enables Slice to offer these solutions not only in its first market but also to quickly expand them to markets around the world. 

    Their biggest challenge, where we come into play: The product is completely new, requiring covers taken from both personal and commercial lines

  • So-sure – a new way to do insurance
    London-based So-sure is developing a peer-to-peer insurance they call Social Insurance. With social insurance, you have the opportunity to introduce your friends and benefit when they and you look after your items: the less you and your friends claim, the less you pay. So-sure’s revolutionary approach to insurance is starting with mobile phones. 

    Their biggest challenge, where we come into play: The social insurance concept is new, requiring a different approach to pricing the risk. 

  • Trōv – On demand insurance for single items
    One of the leaders in the insurtech space, California based Trōv provides single item coverage (for loss, theft, accidental damage, etc.). Trōv’s app enables people to easily insure just the things they care about, for whatever duration they want, entirely from the convenience of their smartphone. Typically the items will be personal electronics but can extend to many other categories including sporting equipment, jewelry and valuables. The first of its kind: The US is by far the largest opportunity for this new product. 

    Their biggest challenge, where we come into play: The product, underwriting and pricing are experimental and needed to support the Trōv customer experience

  • Wrisk app – Customised and holistic insurance proposition to the connected generation
    App-based provider Wrisk aims to deliver insurance direct through smart phones, not through the postbox. It is looking to offer a person-centric highly flexible service that provides motor, travel and home cover all in one place. Wrisk has entered into an agreement with Munich Re's global DP business unit that will see Munich Re companies become the exclusive carrier for Wrisk's business underwritten in UK, Europe and USA. DP will also provide the organisation with access to some of their underwriting platform services. 

    The biggest challenge, where we come into play: Helping Wrisk develop their new transparent approach to underwriting, building on an individual’s ‘risk score’.


More on this topic:

Digital Future of Reinsurance – Interview with Andrew Rear
Fintech for Good – Andrew Rear 

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Andrew Rear, Chief Executive Digital Partners, Munich Re
Mark Dennis, Chief Operating Officer Digital Partners, Munich Re
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