Swiss Re Enters Retail Insurance Markets With Fast Analytics

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After 150 years in the reinsurance business where its customers are big insurance companies, Swiss Re is adding retail — through a B2B2C digital startup with the catchy name:  iptiQ. It offers digital, end-to-end life, health, property and casualty insurance solutions for its partners, enabling them to sell insurance via their trusted brands, without developing their own technology platforms or obtaining their own insurance carrier licenses from local regulators. 

For example, in February iptiQ and IKEA created and launched HEMSÄKER, an affordable and easily accessible home insurance which enables customers to purchase insurance from any digital device in a matter of minutes.

Niels Keuker, chief marketing & sales officer at iptiQ Americas, said iptiQ can support three models for its partners: a consumer self-service model like IKEA’s, an agent-assisted model, or a hybrid of these. 

iptiQ works with other insurance companies, banks, and innovative non-financial companies, such as retailers with high-quality customer data, who see insurance as an attractive product to cross sell. Insurance companies might use iptiQ’s offering to fill a gap in their product lines, while banks might want to offer insurance but don’t want to build their own insurance subsidiaries. 

“We provide a platform that is flexible enough to give partners and consumers choices. We really believe this omni-channel approach is what consumers expect.” said Keuker

At its iptiQ Americas launch in 2016, Swiss Re’s announcement said “We provide a scalable B2B2C digital insurance engine that you can customize to fit the needs of your customers. Our end-to-end, omni-channel solution includes a digital sales platform fitted for both customers and intermediaries, sales optimization tools, as well as customer servicing and intermediary portals. All of this is enabled by data-driven underwriting, state-of-the-art technology and behavioral science.”

The company is now active in 10 countries on three continents and has more than 475,000 policyholders.

The company is also developing some new insurance products including personal cyber insurance, at 4.10 euros per month, that can pay out if a person orders products online and they never arrive. It is also offering auto insurance which allows a policy holder to add up to five named drivers at no extra cost, and it is also offering flexible, cancel-anytime car insurance where the price can also be adapted retrospectively once a year based on miles driven.

“People are calling out for these types of modifications in Covid times. People can now update their policy for miles driven throughout the year; I think this will ultimately become commonplace.” said William Trump, head of behavioral insights at iptiQ

In most cases, iptiQ’s life insurance offering is informed directly by consumers’ responses to ongoing surveys, additional data sources and analytics, rather than by the physical exams traditional underwriting requires. The latter is difficult in a Covid environment, Keuker said. “Rather than the six to eight-week decision time that many traditional U.S. life carriers require, iptiQ can deliver a decision on most cases in real-time.”

Its commitment to real-time decision making is alive in its product development process as well.  iptiQ works with U.S.-based agile research platform Feedback Loop which does online consumer surveys fast — from concept to conclusion in 48 – 72 hours, rather than in months. 

While Feedback Loop chiefly serves U.S. customers, they work with iptiQ to gain insights from English-speaking test participants across multiple countries.

“Every single thing about every single human around the globe has changed,” said Rob Holland, CEO of Feedback Loop. “And there are significant implications — opportunities and threats to every business — that exist today. Understanding what is going on and being able to process that feedback quickly, so you can inform fluid, ongoing decision-making and innovation is essential.”

“We are trying to support iptiQ’s need for agility in a B2C environment by giving them rapid consumer feedback,” said Holland. “We want to help them answer questions and make product decisions within days. We have mapped out how to run a research project and condense it from 30 steps to about 6. We can actually design, run, implement, and analyze and provide feedback inside of three days.”

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