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The InsurTech Biz- An Overview
A lot has been said about the insurance industry. There is extremely little that has not been spoken about InsurTech companies. However, not a lot of people realise how they work, and how they have spread their roots.
Let us begin by understanding a little more about how they get their work done.
Insurance is an archaic business practice, one of the oldest financial practises, which traditionally favours those who have a wider experience in the market, coupled with deeper pockets. Its business model is based on categorising people into a risk category, and then making them pay a certain calculated premium so that it results in profits for the company. However, this model ends up making some people pay more than the others, thereby creating a disparity within the policy itself.
However, InsurTech companies are working to solve these problems and discrepancies, by gathering inputs and data from various sources, ranging from GPS trackers to our smart-watches and fitness apps on our phones, so that they can understand each group better and not just provide a better suited policy, but also standardize the price as much as possible for the same.
Let us explore some of the most famous InsurTech companies and what their business models are, to understand them better.
Lemonade is an InsurTech company from the USA, whose USP is this- they claim to issue a policy in under two minutes, and disburse claims under three minutes. How does this work, you ask? We found out.
It is a well-known fact that insurance companies follow long and complex processes, often manual. It is an arduous process for a customer to read out whatever information is held in the 15-20 page document that they are given by an insurance provider. Lemonade simply automates all these processes, and with the help of intelligent chatbots (called Maya), they break down these complicated terms into those that millennials (who happen to be around 70% of their customer base) can understand easily. A 100% of Lemonade’s policies are sold online, eliminating the margin for delay in receipt of the same.
Since Lemonade is being built purely on behavioural economics and AI, their prices are extremely cheap as compared to legacy companies. Their acquisition costs are negligible when compared to the big guns in the industry. Here is a chart to help you understand better.
Lemonade also has an increased user base on the basis of trust. Whenever they pay out a claim, they send out a signed application form saying that the rest of the money goes to a charity, which automatically makes them a public benefit corporation. All these unique features have made Lemonade the most widely preferred Insurtech company in the USA, with close to 50% of the population holding a policy from them.
Turtlemint is a 100% desi start-up that aims to educate customers in identifying, choosing and buying the most appropriate insurance plans for themselves. They have been known to sell over 3,00,000 policies till date, worth over 20 crore. The company has been able to scale these numbers by providing a host of offerings and a customised recommendation that allows advisors to be completely digital. In addition to this, Turtlemint also offers instant online issuance, making the whole process paperless and transparent, while reducing the TAT considerably.
This is how Turtlemint works- It works with more than 1 lakh advisors, providing them with the digital tools to offer relevant recommendations to their clients and speed up paperwork, which is always time-consuming.
Turtlemint primarily aims to focus in the Tier-2 and 3 cities, where the lack of physical presence of insurance companies and advisors makes it difficult for people to be aware of insurance as a concept.
Turtlemint is a company with a lot of investors and venture capitalists backing it up. It also recently raised a 30 mil USD round of funding led by GGV Capital. It uses the funds primarily to boost product penetration and awareness in Tier 2 and 3 cities, and upskilling their advisors through proper training and customised content.
Toffee Insurance came into existence because of a simple problem- the sheer doubt in people’s minds while buying insurance, because of lack of knowledge or awareness around it. The founders, while working on a project with Apollo Munich, realised that people thought that Insurance was a complicated product.
Toffee Insurance aims to make insurance accessible and affordable by creating multiple insurance products in various categories. Their main aim is to build a safety net for all the first time internet users that are expected to come online in the next half a decade.
Toffee Insurance uses behavioral and consumption data to co-create insurance products and abilities aided by artificial intelligence, machine learning and a substantially wide distribution network of over 4000+ point of sale outlets across 300 plus cities. The company works with a network of insurance partners like HDFC Ergo, Apollo Munich, Religare among other big names. While Toffee Insurance tied up with major insurance providers to create policies that are simple and affordable, the product had to be right- the merchant needed to be able to understand the insurance which would only happen if it has to do with his primary product. Secondly, the process has to be easy and prompt- it should not be a major paper filling exercise. Finally, the incentive has to be good enough for the customer to opt for them over a host of competitors in the market.
Toffee Insurance, while on a smaller scale, has raised funding for further research and development of products and market penetration.
Artivatic Data Labs
A recent article on Investopedia said that ,”many of the insurtech startups still require the help of traditional insurers to handle underwriting and manage catastrophic risk. That said, as more insurtech startups garner consumer interest with a refined model and a user-friendly approach, they may find that the incumbent players warm to the idea of insurtech and become interested in buying up some of the innovation.”
Artivatic Data Labs is an InsurTech company that aims to solve this problem, along with a ton of others. How, you ask?
Artivatic Data Labs was founded in 2017 for this very purpose, with one simple aim. To simplify legacy processes which are extremely time consuming, and to eliminate manual processing, so that the TATs would reduce marginally. In case of underwriting, Artivatic has a platform called AUSIS to automate them from end to end, regardless of whether it is retail, group, medical or financial. Their platforms provide instant policy issuance and automatically detect risk and fraud, thereby making them safe and efficient for companies to scale their underwriting processes while keeping their operational costs at a minimum.
Majorly a B2B provider, Artivatic also has products for various types of insurance- for vehicles, it has a platform called CARSURE, which helps detect old accidents, and differentiate between real accidents and fake claims with the aid of AI and ML.
From customer acquisition, lead management, training to agent management, sales, marketing, distribution to risk assessment, fraud intelligence, smart underwriting, decision making to claims servicing & branch servicing via 200+ APIs, 6+ Core products, Artivatic is doing pathbreaking work in the field of InsurTech and HealthTech.
These innovations in InsurTech, which originally came into existence in 2010, will only aim to improve and simplify the lengthy and often complicated processes that insurers have been facing over the years. With the insurtech industry set to boom globally over the next 5 years, and see an increase of 60% and above in business, we can only hope to see the day when people are not hesitant about getting themselves insured anymore.