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Insurers’ courtship of fintechs continues

Insurers are increasingly partnering with fintechs to add value for customers and buy time to invest in their own innovations, according to an Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) expert.

IAG subsidiary CGU recently teamed up with online mortgage marketplace HashChing, which is offering a 25% rebate on home insurance, while sister company NRMA Business Insurance has entered into a pilot partnership with lender Prospa, to offer customers easier access to finance.

ANZIIF Digital Communications and Content Strategy Manager Amy Gibbs told such partnerships are increasingly common.

“It’s a good way for insurers to add value for their customers quickly without needing to provide services themselves, which can be difficult with ageing IT infrastructure and different cultural mindsets to innovation,” she said.

“Using software as a service platform or partnering with tech start-ups to provide a frictionless experience for consumers just makes sense, improving customer outcomes and buying time for insurers to invest in their own internal capability.”

Meanwhile, insurers will continue setting up their own accelerators, innovation labs and venture capital to possess innovative solutions from the start, Ms Gibbs says.

IAG’s EGM SME Amanda Whiting says NRMA Business Insurance’s partnership with Prospa adds to additional services already available to insurance customers, such as free tax and legal advice.

“Through working with Prospa, we can connect our customers to a fast and easy online lending solution,” she said.

Insurance partnerships overseas include American Family Insurance working with Internet of Things company Ring, whose “video doorbell” may help reduce burglaries.

In the UK, smart monitoring group Neos uses sensors and apps to reduce claims such as burst pipes, burglary and fire, while offering home insurance underwritten by Hiscox.

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