Insurance has been around in one form or another for over three thousand years and motor insurance been on offer to drivers for over a hundred years. But this highly conservative industry is undergoing a big shift.
To reflect the transformation in the mobility sector and in a bid to attract younger customers, so called Insurtech start-ups such as the UK’s Wrisk are offering new digital, flexible and personalised services.
We talked to Darius Kumana, Wrisk’s Co-Founder, about its smartphone app and the revolution in the notoriously conservative insurance industry.
“Nothing changes unless something changes. There’s cultural and technological inertia in place,” states Kumana.
“As the models that underpin mobility are changing, insurers are left scrambling to catch-up. One of the things that makes it such an interesting sector for a young company like Wrisk is, because everything we’ve done is ‘greenfield’ from the outset, we’re not hampered by legacy.”
“The hurdle you have to jump over in terms of getting insurance in order to get out of the showroom and onto the road is a very painful experience. What could we do to actually make that experience easier and more delightful for customers?”
Kumana (seen on the right in the picture below) says Wrisk’s answer to this question is to offer services that make things simple, transparent and more personal for the customer.
Wrisk has announced partnerships with OEMs such as BMW. But it’s also offering its platform to insurance giants such as Allianz. It recently signed an agreement with Allianz Automotive which is the insurance partner for over forty automotive brands.
The collaboration jointly offers new automotive insurance products on Wrisk’s digital insurance platform, which are delivered via car manufacturers at the point of sale.
Stephan Ruby, Chief Sales Officer of Allianz Automotive, commented: “The partnership will be a catalyser for digitalisation and simplicity. For Allianz Automotive, partnering with an InsurTech like Wrisk gives a tremendous opportunity to offer customer-centric solutions in a transparent and simple way, which is in line with the overall Allianz strategy.”
Niall Barton, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Wrisk, added: “We’re big believers in the insurance industry’s potential for innovation. Working with Allianz Automotive has been really rewarding thanks to their agility and commitment to deliver radically improved solutions for customers.”
“This is a prime example of Wrisk’s strategy to develop collaborations with global insurers who have particular dominance in vertical sectors, where together we can unlock new opportunities for them and their B2B2C partners through a mobile-first, connected customer experience,” said Barton.
Autonomous Driving Offers Up Opportunities
However, with the upcoming era of big data, connectivity and mobility-as-a-service, Kumana believes that insurance may become even more complex.
“Some sensor data or safety features will absolutely make the car safer. But, at the same time, having the complexity within the vehicle will make it more costly to repair.”
He adds: “We’re all in a bit of a learning phase at the minute.”
In terms of the driver-less future, he says he’s really excited not just about the point where driving become fully autonomous but the path in getting there. “From an insurance perspective, the liability of who’s in charge and who’s liable for what peril shifts instantly in that moment when the person take their hands off the wheel or puts their hands on the wheel.”
“In order to be able to cope with that kind of near real-time change, you have to have forward-looking platforms capable or making those change instantly. And that’s where we already are with Wrisk.”
Kumana concludes: “I think we’re in a good place to go on the learning journey with those organisations to try and explore all of those issues.”