Nepalese farmers to receive subsidised cover via Stonestep
Vulnerable Nepalese smallholder farmers and their communities in Western Nepal, will receive subsidised cover against flooding following the formation of a new partnership between the InsuResilience Solutions Fund, the insurtech Stonestep, and the federal government of Nepal.
According to reports, the new collaboration is a parametric risk transfer mechanism and is being managed by the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. It is also receiving funding from KfW Development Bank and it monitors rainfall and flood flows through hydrometric gauging stations.
Historical data shows that although Nepal is at risk of multiple natural disasters including flooding and landslides. Such events seriously impact the welfare and livelihoods of communities on an annual basis. The effect on the economy is drastic as 65% of the population still relies on agriculture to survive, and farmers contribute 27% of Nepal’s annual GDP.
Subsidised insurance premiums
The federal government is helping to fund the initiative alongside several microfinance organisations and community based enterprises that will act as distribution partners as well as insurance policy holders.
The NGO, Practical Action, local insurance company Shikhar Insurance LTD and the Switzerland-headquartered Stonestep, formed the partnership to implement the project.
Stonestep is famous for changing how insurance is delivered in emerging markets. The company specialises in streamlining the insurance value chain – from policy underwriting to distribution to claims – in order to offer risk products, often for the very first time, at mass market prices.
Speaking about the company’s philosophy, Stonestep's Founder and CEO, Brandon Mathews, said "For most people around the world, life is extremely risky: if people lose their home, they're not checking into a hotel. If they have an accident, there's no ambulance. Stonestep's unique insurance platform can cover such risks for emerging consumers, and XL Innovate's investment will help us implement this solution, beginning in Asia. Microinsurance as a Service is a sustainable business model that can catalyze economic growth for all levels of society.”
Over the past five years the insurtech has expanded into Singapore, the Philippines and Myanmar. ISF is also providing co-funding for the product development of the new innovative insurance solution.
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 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
- It reduces fuel costs and increases operational efficiency. This is a consideration for most commercial fleets given the rising costs of fuel
- The technology enables fleet managers to plan operations with greater precision by providing exact locations, timescales, and speeds of vehicles.
- It improves driving standards and monitors driver behaviour, reducing detours and ensuring responsible driving.
- It helps fleet health and maintenance by monitoring the health of operational vehicles.
- 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.
Image credit: Getty