Howden launches insurance innovation hub with £500m capacity

Howden Group is launching a new insurance innovation hub as it aims to nurture the number of insurtech startups coming through the ranks

Insurance group Howden is putting £500m’s worth of delegated underwriting capacity towards the creation of an investment and risk incubator that will “fast track insurance product development”.

The new insurance innovation hub, called Howden Ventures, will draw expertise and resources from specialist innovation teams across the global insurance market.

Howden is also committing £10m of new funding to the sector in a bid to support new startups – at least five of them over the next two years, the company says in a statement. It comes on the back of the Silicon Valley Bank collapse, which it says is continuing to affect the fintech and insurtech industry amid a drying up of fundraising.

Howden Ventures “will create an end-to-end platform and commercial solution that accelerates new product development and insurance innovation”, the company continues. It will be led by insurance innovation expert Tom Hoad.

Howden ‘assembling the most innovative thinkers in insurance’

“Innovation is all about working together and, for the first time, Howden Ventures will assemble the most innovative thinkers in the insurance ecosystem to help solve some of the world’s most critical risks,” Hoad says.

“Combining the Managing General Agent (MGA) model with insurtech innovation provides the ideal platform to foster collaboration, and to merge external talent, fresh thinking, new technology, funding, and underwriting capacity.

“By doing so Howden Ventures is aligning interests from all corners of the market to create an economic model that will help the insurance industry invest in the type of long-term, innovative solutions that clients are looking for.”

David Howden, CEO of Howden, adds: “MGAs are the innovation dynamite of the insurance industry.  Cyber insurance, insurance for renewables, D&O insurance... they were all born in the MGA marketplace where capital meets innovative and entrepreneurial talent and capacity providers can be part of critical R&D that clients are crying out for by sharing the risk.

"I always say that the insurance industry needs to remain relevant to its clients and that is Howden Ventures' job: to supercharge innovation by bringing great talent and quality capacity together with a turnkey platform to solve the big problems.”

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