Mar 1, 2021

London based Insurtech Huddle to partner with Telstra

telstra
huddle
insurtechpartnership
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Joanna England
2 min
London based Insurtech Huddle to partner with Telstra
London-based Huddle to collaborate with the telecom giant, Telstra, to develop customer service solutions...

The UK-based fintech, Huddle, has announced a new partnership with Australia's national telco, Telstra. 

The collaboration will enable Telstra's company members to earn reward points when they insure with Huddle, reports suggest. As an added incentive, Huddle, which was founded in 2006 and provides car, home, travel, and contents insurance products and services, will offer a range of personal insurance products such as home and motor to customers of Telstra.

Telstra members can earn up to 90,000 bonus points when they take out the Comprehensive Car plus Combined Home and Contents insurance from Huddle before 30 April 2021.

The move is a positive step by Telstra following a difficult 12 months that saw the telco take a financial hit, while its EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) dropped by A$4.1bn.

Huddle and Telstra rewards scheme

Huddle co-founder Jason Wilby, explained , "Huddle and Telstra share a mutual drive to innovate and solve real customers problems. By combining Huddle's revolutionary insurance and Telstra's incredible rewards program, we're enabling customers to get great cover with Huddle and new tech such as Google Nest, wearables and tablets with Telstra Plus."

He said that the partnership helps Huddle add further value to its Telstra Plus rewards loyalty program which has been running since 2019.

Telstra Group Executive Michael Ackland told the media , "This partnership is an exciting milestone for Telstra and our 2.5m customers who have signed up to the Telstra Plus rewards program. Part of our T22 strategy."

He continued, "It's all about offering members fantastic access to exclusive offers and benefits with other leaders in technology, and in the insurance space, Huddle certainly fits that bill."

Huddle, which is backed by Hollard Insurance Company - one of Australia's largest insurers, says it uses state-of-the-art solutions including Zap Claims, to provide consumers with easy, convenient, flexible, and time-saving insurance. 

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Jun 19, 2021

Insurtechs are winning the race with legacy system companies

Insurtech
Insurance
AI
Technology
Tom Allen, Founder, The AI Jou...
3 min
Insurance has long been due an overhaul. The AI Journal’s founder Tom Allen explains how innovative insurtechs are changing the incumbent narative

Nestled in its own place within the world of financial services, insurance is arguably more unpopular than retail banking.

That’s hardly surprising given that, from a customer service perspective, insurance is something of an off-kilter transaction. You pay a sizable premium in exchange for a service you hope you will never have to use. This image problem is exacerbated by ubiquitous tales of insurers not paying out when it is time to make a claim.

The insurance sector has long been due to an overhaul, and this is where the disruptive force of insurtech comes in - one of fintech’s most upwardly mobile subcategories. Accordingly, last year, insurtech in the UK alone attracted £262m in investment, a growth of 60% on 2019, according to Tech Nation. Insurtech’s momentous growth has been captured in a new report by The AI Journal exploring this burgeoning sector. 

What exactly is insurtech?

Put simply, insurtech refers to technological innovations that seek to make insurance cheaper to buy and more efficient to use. In a similar vein to fintech, the large, established institutions have been dipping their toes into insurtech, but it’s the disruptors who are genuinely looking to shake up the status quo, diving into and exploiting those areas that traditionalists have little imperative to explore.

Examples are price comparison sites (one of the earliest forms of insurtech that was eventually snapped up by the insurers it initially sought to disrupt), claims software, customisable policies, or even smart-tech-enabled dynamic policies whose premiums can fluctuate depending on changing circumstances.

The latter, for instance, could use someone’s fitness tracker or smartwatch to monitor fitness levels, thus reducing the premium of a life insurance policy; or track a GPS system that records the location of a car and assesses risk levels accordingly.

Most consumers tend to shop around for their insurance needs and perhaps end up buying their contents insurance with one provider, their car insurance with someone else, and their pet insurance with yet another underwriter. Managing all these different policies, with their varying renewal dates and payment terms can be complex. This has led to the increase in apps that pull everything together.

More prosaically, insurtechs are developing AI that uses machine learning to act as an insurance broker, eliminating the need for a human intermediary and therefore offering more cost-effective and impartial advice.

Insurtechs and risk

But there are some obstacles in the way of insurtech’s continued evolution.

Insurance companies are averse to risk. Understandably so, as at the crux of the industry is the role of the actuary, whose job it is to analyse and measure the probability and risk of future events. So it’s little wonder that there’s a reluctance among the traditional players to welcome the disruption that insurtech brings.

Insurance is heavily regulated, a minefield of legality and labyrinthine jurisdiction, which means the idea of shaking it up can be anathema. And why would they, when their old-school business models are working perfectly fine?

There’s an understandable nervousness and unwillingness to work with startups, who themselves need to work with the bigger firms in order to underwrite risk.

While it seems like a catch-22 situation, there is growing, if cautious, interest from insurance companies, who can see the benefits of insurance with a friendlier face, innovative solutions, and a competitive edge through differentiation. As that tentativeness dissipates, the growth of insurtech will gather even more momentum.

Tom Allen's analysis is based on the findings of a new report on the fintech and insurtech industries produced by The AI Journal

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