Insurtech platforms set to boom in the UAE
The rapid adoption of Insurtech services by traditional insurers in the United Arab Emirates is altering the industry landscape, according to the Capgemini World InsurTech Report 2020.
The report draws on primary research that covers insights from more than 175 executives across 26 markets including the UAE.
The Middle Eastern hub, which embraced digitisation on a mass scale before COVID-19, has long been a fan of technology. Dubai also plays host to the annual Insuretek conference; an industry event that highlights the latest market technologies and practices.
In line with new industry investments, the report shows an estimated 67% of UAE-based insurers are keen to collaborate with InsurTechs, while 85% want to partner with technology providers. Additionally, over 60% of traditional insurance operators said they are interested in working with large-scale technology operatives.
Last week, AXA Green Crescent Insurance Company (GCIC) partnered with Policybazaar, one of the Middle East’s leading insurance comparison platforms. The move enables UAE customers to buy life insurance plans directly through Policybazaar’s aggregator portal.
Recently, MetLife Gulf also partnered with Munich Re Automation Solutions to support digital transformation in the region. The agreement will implement ‘Allfinanz’ to enable life insurance brokers, agents, and Bancassurance partners to provide a more streamlined service to their customers in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE and Oman.
However, the move towards Insurtech services in 2020 and beyond, has been partially driven by the COVID-19 crisis.
Neeraj Gupta, chief executive officer of Policybazaar UAE, told local press; “Since the beginning of this year, we have seen a significant increase in demand for term insurance. The current pandemic is forcing a change in the consumer attitude towards pure protection insurance plans. This is a positive development that will increase pure term life insurance penetration in the UAE, which currently stands at around 0.7%.”
Walid Daniel Dib, co-founder and CEO of Hala, a car InsurTech safe-driving incentive venture, agreed, saying, “Covid-19 was a wake-up call for incumbent insurers in the UAE, who now have no choice but to build the bridges needed for digital customer acquisition.”
Dib continued, “Long gone are the days of physically visiting an insurance company’s branch to get insured. The winners will be the ones looking for ways to be disruptors rather than to be disrupted.”
Meanwhile, Sridhar Subbaraman, founder and owner of insureatoasis.com, an insurtech enterprise offering a range of insurance services, believes the new technology has simply sped up the region’s digitisation journey.
“2021 will see almost the entire industry adopting InsurTech,” he said, noting that all retail insurance services, both life and non-life products, will go digital.
“Most importantly insurance will be more embedded across various industries. Telemedicine has become mandatory and lifestyle digital ecosystem will rearrange the way medical insurance is being bought, priced and serviced. Data collection will play a big role and will be leading the way industry shapes up in the coming years.” He continued.
He added that customer experience should be the next big focus for the changing industry. “An area which needs to be focused next is the service aspect which is the backbone of the industry. Digital will continue to be focus, it’s not disruption anymore. It’s the new normal.”
TrueMotion insurtech acquired by Cambridge Mobile Telematics
One of the world’s leading telematics insurtechs, Cambridge Mobile Telematics was launched in 2010 and powers 65 enterprise programmes in 28 countries.
Meanwhile, TrueMotion, which launched in 2012, has enjoyed significant success as a telematics operator, raising US$10mn in its seed funding round in 2010, and then partnering with the motor insurtech Noblr in 2019.
TrueMotion has also entered the European market, collaborating with LB Forsikring to promote safe driving in Denmark.
The joining of the companies means TrueMotion’s 150-strong workforce will join Cambridge Mobile Telematic’s already established team, along with their client list, which includes Travelers, Farmers and Progressive.
The new company will focus on increased interest in using telematics for crash reconstruction in personal lines claims and more innovation in the telematics space.
Speaking about the acquisition, William Powers, CEO and co-founder of Cambridge Mobile Telematics, described the move as an opportunity to explore new markets, expand throughout the US and bring telematics to a much wider customer base.
"With this acquisition, we will use our world-class talent, technology, and scale to help our partners overcome the complex challenges of global road safety,” he added.
Ryan McMahon, VP of insurance and customer affairs for Cambridge Mobile Telematics, explained that by expanding the company with additional talent and customers would help meet the demands of a growing telematics market. He also quoted data from a study by J.D. Power which revealed that personal auto telematics users have doubled in five years to 16% of policyholders.
McMahon told the press, “This market is rapidly expanding, and building more capabilities is more important than ever,” McMahon says. “Both companies follow similar philosophies and grew up in similar ecosystems, and now we’re bringing those cultures together.”
He continued, “Telematics is absolutely the future of commercial auto and rideshare, and it’s kind of a step up beyond the normal telematics."
McMahon added, “We will not only widen our lead in smartphone telematics, but also use our combined talent to invent new products for risk measurement, contextual telematics, and crash mitigation across emerging mobile, IoT, connected-car, video, and sensing technologies.”
Five reasons why telematics is in demand
1.It reduces fuel costs and increases operational efficiency. This is a consideration for most commercial fleets given the rising costs of fuel
2. The technology enables fleet managers to plan operations with greater precision by providing exact locations, timescales and speed of vehicles.
3. It improves driving standards and monitors driver behaviour, minimising detours and ensuring responsible driving.
4. It helps fleet health and maintenance by monitoring the health of operational vehicles.
5. It increases corporate social responsibility in terms of care for the driver, the vehicle, the impact of driving in terms of emissions, and also the security of the vehicle itself.