Insurtech companies across the globe have created an abundance of innovative solutions and services that span the insurance value chain. However, the challenge for both insurers and insurtechs is how to find the best match.

That’s why Hannover Re has launched an innovation pool called “hr | equarium,” which aims to connect insurance clients with insurtech partners.

Launched at the end of February, hr | equarium provides insurtechs and other innovative players with an open, free-of-charge platform that allows them to pitch their solutions directly online, said Patrick Kosmuetzky, senior actuary at Hannover Re, in emailed statements.

“Open platforms are the best approach as both parties benefit in transparent way,” he said, noting that the platform, which started with around 30 partners, currently has more than 60 registered partners.

Insurers face the challenge of finding the best-fit insurtech innovators across the globe, while innovators find it challenging to get through to insurance decision makers in an industry that differs widely from country to country, Kosmuetzky explained.

“Insurtechs need direct access to the established players to benefit from their local market knowledge and to keep their marketing costs as low as possible,” he said.

“Global reinsurers can be the ideal provider of such an open platform,” Kosmuetzky went on to say. “They have a broad client-base among primary insurers, a global network of local offices and wide-ranging industry expertise.”

In addition, a focused reinsurer has less of a channel conflict, because it does not compete directly with the primary insurers that connect through such an open platform with insurtechs, he emphasized.

Hannover Re has categorized the solutions on the platform according to their position in the value chain, such as product development, sales and distribution, customer and services management, claims management and accounting and risk management.

“To make sure all solutions offered on the platform meet minimum standards and are more than just a nice concept, some sort of gatekeeper is required,” Kosmuetzky said. As a result, in a pre-selection process, Hannover Re ensures that solutions are market-ready, legally compliant and provide innovative business-to-business insurance solutions.

“Beyond that first level of pre-selection, we are convinced that open platforms can more or less manage themselves, using a self-rating system similar to many other platforms,” he continued.

“Yet, in our experience, that may not be sufficient in the business-to-business space as some clients demand a professional and independent quality-check by experts,” he noted. “Therefore, we also vet select solutions in a more detailed way as an additional service.”

He summarized his comments by saying that insurtechs definitely have a permanent place at the insurance industry’s table. “Simplifying the connecting process between digital innovators and the traditional insurance players via open platforms on a worldwide level, could help accelerate the process of taking up new opportunities – for both parties.”