Big insurers embrace digital exchanges, selling their own policies and others
Big insurers embrace digital exchanges, selling their own policies and others
Major U.S. insurers are joining new digital exchanges to sell not only their own policies but those of their competitors as well, a new twist in an industry known for its fierce competition.

Powerful new platforms, including Semsee, bolttech, Bold Penguin, and Uncharted, pull data from many carriers, allowing agents to see multiple quotes for policies, much like travel agents see competing airfares.

Chubb Ltd., Travelers Companies Inc. and Liberty Mutual signed recently, as did agencies that also sell policies, executives said.

“The eyes are huge and important to them,” said Philip Charles-Pierre, co-founder and CEO of New York-based Semsee, which focuses on trade policy. Many insurers have recognized that “if a large agency is using the platform, you have to be on this platform”.

The growth of digital distribution represents a shift in the way insurers compete in the auto and home coverage markets as well as commercial and commercial lines worth hundreds of billions of dollars per year, the insurers said. experts.

Carriers also benefit from being able to meet more of a customer’s needs, even if they don’t sell their own policy.

“It all depends on who owns the client relationship,” said Mark Breading, partner at Strategy Meets Action, a management consulting firm in New York City.

The industry has moved away from “captive” agents who only sell one company’s policies, but digital exchanges are accelerating the trend, said Matt Leonard, a partner of Oliver Wyman who works on insurance.

“The whole process is now supercharged by technology and a larger market of players,” he said.

Partnerships with stock exchanges have developed over the past five years. Despite digital revolutions in other industries, many insurance clients – especially small businesses – prefer to work with agents who can explain policies and find the best prices. As a result, the online tools created by the insurers themselves did not take off as expected.

Exchanges now allow agents to offer customers better prices and meet a wider range of needs without necessarily hurting profits, executives and experts said.

“Chubb is actively engaged with a number of partners in this channel, including Bolttech and Bold Penguin,” said Sean Ringsted, chief digital officer at Chubb.

Rob Schimek, CEO of bolttech, gave an example: a company that writes policies for cars but not for homes can use bolttech to provide coverage to owners of other carriers. This prevents customers from shopping elsewhere. The auto insurance company earns a sales commission on the home insurance policy while the other insurer collects the premium income.

“Carriers are dying to have access to distribution,” said Schimek. If insurers do not wish to offer policies through the exchange, they will not have access to clients of other insurers on the exchange, he said.

Bolttech, backed in part by Chinese billionaire Richard Li, recently closed a $ 180 million funding round and extended its reach to 26 countries from 14.

As the exchanges bring in more clients, they pose a threat by allowing small insurers with specialized policies to reach a large market, said Matteo Carbone, founder and director of the IoT Insurance Observatory, a research group.

“This is, for me, the biggest risk” for the big insurers, he said.

Source: UK Times News

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