Stock prices of 18 U.S. InsurTechs that went public in the last decade soared as a group in 2020. But so far in 2021, large non-insurance technology companies and traditional insurance stocks both outperformed the InsurTechs.
Hudson Structured Capital Management reported the relative findings late last week as it simultaneously unveiled a new stock index created and administered by HSCM—the HSCM Public InsurTech Index, or HPIX—to measure the InsurTech sector’s performance in public markets.
“We believe this is the first and only index of its kind available to the public,” wrote Adrian Jones, a managing director of HSCM and a partner in HSCM’s InsurTech group, in a LinkedIn post.
According to an announcement published on HSCM’s website, the HPIX intends to track the price movements of a portfolio of common equity securities listed in the last 10 years by companies in the United States insurance sector that are self-described as having “novel business models differentiated by technology.”
The company descriptions “are taken at face value in constructing the index,” HSCM said.
The index is calculated by Solactive AG, an index calculation agent. It is available online, on Bloomberg as ticker HPIX INDEX, and on Reuters Instrument Code .HPIX.
Currently, there are 18 companies whose stock prices are tracked in the index, including property/casualty carriers Kinsale Capital Group, Lemonade, Metromile, Palomar Holding and Root, distributors that include EverQuote and Goosehead Insurance, as well as software providers Duck Creek and Guidewire.
In addition to having novel business models set apart by technology, companies need to meet some other criteria. For example, the company must be an operating company, not a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC), and have total market capitalization over $500 million. Companies that are primarily reinsurers are not included in the index. To be included, a company must get at least have of its annual groupwide revenue from insurance activities including data services, software, computer systems, marketing, lead generation, price comparison, direct or digital distribution, agency management, agent/broker, underwriting, insurance carrier, risk management, claims management, loss prevention, and related products or services.
In terms of performance, the HPIX climbed 75 percent in 2020. But after continuing to rise from a value of 175 to 203 on Feb. 12, 2021, the index has since fallen to the 150-160 range in March and April.
While the HPIX was down around 8 percent year-to-date on April 27, the Solactive United States Technology 100 (“Tech 100”), an index of 100 largest tech companies traded on Nasdaq, rose 9 percent in the same time period. The announcement notes, however, that share prices of smaller and younger companies can be more volatile than share prices of larger companies in the same sector.
Also contrasting this year’s HPIX slide, traditional insurance stocks have risen this year, HSCM pointed out.
HSCM stressed that the companies in the HPIX “should not be seen as a definitive list, nor an endorsement of companies that are included,” noting that new companies can be added or removed at the beginning of each quarter.
The HPIX is weighted by total market cap, and each companies weight is capped at 15 percent, HSCM said.