From Salt Lake City, Utah to Basel, Switzerland to Paris, France—and into the Google Cloud.
When Carrier Management reached out to industry veteran David Bradford to find out what traditional carriers, reinsurers and InsurTechs are doing to make the concept of embedding insurance in non-insurance commercial products and services a reality, we had no idea how far we would travel on his guided tour that unfolds in the following pages. Nor could we imagine the breadth of problems that they are solving—from fixing small business pain points to cybersecurity concerns.
In our prior magazine, Darcy Shapiro, chief operating officer for the Americas for Cover Genius, described the benefits of embedded insurance that Cover Genius and other InsurTechs and their partners in retail, online travel, logistics, mobility, proptech and fintech are already experiencing—among them high customer satisfaction and greater data access for product innovation and customization.
With recent surveys revealing that 60 percent of consumers prefer to buy risk protection from their favorite online retailers, and 70 percent of digital bank customers saying they’re very or extremely interested in receiving insurance offers from the banks based on their transactional data, “embedded insurance is the way of the future for optimizing the insurance sales journey,” Shapiro reported.
Picking up right where Shapiro left off, James Hall, co-founder of Salty in Salt Lake City, tells Bradford, “I think the future of insurance is embedded insurance, which is why we attempted to create this category of insurance.” Creating the category started with sales of auto insurance and other wheels coverages that originate in vehicle dealerships, Hall explains in Bradford’s interview titled “The Story of Salty: From Oxford U. to ‘Embedded Insurance.'”
At Baloise Group in Basel, Switzerland, Sibylle Fischer, director of Strategic Venturing and Startup Scouting, told Bradford about a version of wheels insurance—but the wheels are mobile campers that owners and vacationers take turns using via a sharing platform that embeds insurance. And in the home ecosystem, the insurance group owns a digital home moving services platform that offers insurance together with relocation services.
Even more novel use cases Bradford uncovered are Hokodo’s trade-credit-as-a-service offering and Munich Re’s partnership with Google Cloud and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty using the concept of embedding insurance to offer Google Cloud customers expansive cyber coverage while providing underwriters access to robust behind-the-firewall data.
Where to next?
“While pure-play D2C InsurTechs will play a role going forward, we’ll also see the world’s largest technology companies start to occupy the insurance space that they command in other areas, confirming Marc Andreesen’s seminal thesis that software eats the world. Akin to their efforts to conveniently embed finance and payments into omnichannel experiences, the digital giants will embed insurance into underlying activities, where the offers are strengthened by datasets that ensure relevance. For a handful of innovative companies, that new future is already here,” Shapiro told us in her second-quarter magazine article.
More recently, during a CB Insights Tech Market virtual event, “Digitizing P&C Insurance,” CB Insights Principal Mike Fitzgerald put together trends emerging with IoT (Internet of Things) technology and embedded insurance, warning traditional insurers to be on the lookout for Amazon and Tesla, and even industrial giants like Siemens, ABB and GE moving into their territory. (Read more in the article, “IoT Players ‘Greasing the Skids’ to Boost Growth of Sensor Tech.”)
Bradford and Fitzgerald teamed up late last year to present Carrier Management’s “Virtual Roundtable on Innovation,” first introducing the idea that insurance-as-a-service—a.k.a., embedded insurance—was a trend to watch in 2021.