Four new companies completely changing how we do insurance

09 December 2019

Insurance has been around for... ever. It dates back hundreds, if not thousands of years. Let’s look at some new and exciting insurance companies and models that exist overseas. We’ll see how this new breed operates and how customers are interacting with and experiencing insurance in completely different ways outside of New Zealand.

Lemonade

Marketed as the quickest and easiest renters insurance based on smart tech and common sense i.e. behavioural economics. Lemonade has only been around for four years but has already made waves in the US insurance market and in the wider insurance community.

The founders of Lemonade - who are surprisingly from outside the industry - are focused on using technology to improve the way customers experience and perceive insurance. Claiming a swift 90 seconds for a new insurance policy and three minutes to get paid for a claim.

Lemonade has signed up thousands of customers and garnered hundreds of positive reviews since launching. Their success has landed them another huge capital investment in the past year to further fuel their expansion across the United States.

Lemonade’s proposition is based on combining technology and data with great customer experience and cutting out the ‘fat’ in pricing. Prices start from USD5 per month for renters insurance and USD25 per month for home insurance.

The company has also done well to appeal to our humanity by giving away a portion of (unclaimed) money at the end of each year set aside for claims.

Its appeal is the lightning-quick buy and claim experience (completed through video), direct to consumer ‘cut out the middleman’ model, with a touch of humanity built into its business.

Oscar Health

Established in 2012 with a mission to "be a health insurance company centered around the patient, engaging members and guiding them to the right care." Oscar Health appears to have done a good job convincing over 250,000 Americans of its mission and value.

Oscar Health has helped to demystify health care and insurance for the everyday Americans. From covering the basics of health insurance to helping navigate customers through the multitudes of insurance plans to pick the perfect plan.

Customer experience is certainly one of their most innovative and appealing part of what they offer. Members have access to an all-in-one app which can help users locate doctors, view their lab results and prescriptions, manage claims and even rewards them for their fitness when paired with Google Fit or Apple Health. We think the best feature of Oscar Health's app is 'Talk to a doctor' - a game changer for Americans. 24 hours 7 days a week, Americans can access a doctor on the other side of the phone within 15 minutes through either a message or a call back.

Zhong An

As China’s first online-only insurance company, all eyes have been on its progress and growth since launching in 2013. Since then, Zhong An has taken top spot as the largest Chinese insurer. With over 400 million customers and 10 billion policies sold, it has certainly not disappointed.

Zhong An demonstrates the power of online in a rapidly developing country - reaching millions quickly and effectively. It leverages the power of other well-established online distribution platforms such as Alibaba and more than 300 partners to access China’s vast and spread out population.

Zhong An has turned traditional insurance on its head. Choosing to move away from the common insurance covers, Zhong An has created its own playing field by offering micro insurance. It is able to capitalise on key buying moments to target online customers with insurance. A good example of micro insurance is when customers pay less than $0.10 to insure the cost of return shipping on their online orders in the event the product is of poor quality. For some, you may wonder at 10 cents, how viable is the business? But with a population of 1-billion and the millions of online orders that are transacted each day, the cents quickly add up.

Cuvva

Last, but not least, Cuvva is moving with times to adapt insurance for the car sharing economy.

With Cuvva, people in the UK can safely loan out their cars to friends or people looking for short term rental without the hassle and paperwork. Choose from insurance by the hour up to 28 days; flexibility many will appreciate. An app is all that is required to start accessing this cool insurance service. Extra credit should be given to Cuvva for simply outlining the factors that impact pricing for their temporary car insurance.

Single trip travel insurance is another product in their line up. Again, the app is all that is required to jump right in and start insuring upcoming trips within minutes, if not seconds.

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