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RPC Insurtech in brief - September 2021

14 September 2021. Published by Neil Brown, Partner and Daniel Guilfoyle, Partner and Lauren Murphy, Associate and Marsha Williamson, Senior Associate

Welcome to the September edition from RPC of Insurtech in brief, providing you with a handful of snappy monthly updates from the industry.

Join us at London Tech Week!  

We're delighted to announce that RPC will be hosting a series of in-person events and experiences in a multi-functional collaboration space celebrating London Tech Week this month.  Join us on Tuesday 21 September for an afternoon dedicated to the impact of tech on the insurance industry, featuring:

  • 2.00pm – 2.45pm: Trends in insurtech 

    A collaboration with Lloyd's Lab, Gracechurch Consulting and Founders Factory for an interactive roundtable discussion looking at innovation being driven by insurtechs. 

  • 3.00pm – 3.45pm: The evolving role of tech in the claims process

    As insurance evolves, claims professionals are increasingly faced with technological advancements being used to improve the claims process, as well as the many innovations and myriad associated risks being underwritten. Join us for a quickfire discussion about how technology is shaping claims and what's likely to come next.

  • 4.30pm – 6pm: Disrupting insurance: anything to see here? 

    A panel of industry experts will take a closer look at the ongoing impact and speed of digital disruption in the insurance sector. From innovative market entrants forcing industry change in the industry, to threats and opportunities facing incumbent insurers and the digital technologies with the greatest potential to disrupt the industry.

We hope to see many of you there! To register for any of the sessions, please click here. You can also view the full RPC London Tech Week programme on our website

Marsh and Amazon collaborate on Amazon Insurance Accelerator

Major insurance broker Marsh has partnered with giant Amazon to build a new digital insurance network, Amazon Insurance Accelerator. 

Amazon requires third-party sellers to obtain product liability coverage after reaching $10,000 in sales within one month on Amazon. The new digital platform allows small businesses to obtain quotes and purchase coverage from a panel of insurers and digital insurance distribution providers, curated by Marsh. 

Participating insurers include: Chubb, Harborway Insurance underwritten by Spinnaker Insurance Co., Hiscox, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Markel and Travelers. 

The collaboration shows a further move into embedded insurance by Amazon, following its partnership with NEXT Insurance announced earlier this year. Through the partnership, Amazon Business Prime members can obtain quotes and purchase various policies, including up to a 10% discount on certain policies. 

We expect to see embedded insurance (and other financial services) expand across e-commerce – especially by platform providers (like Amazon) and retailers with large and loyal customer bases.

H1 2021 insurtech funding outstrips 2020 funding

Global insurtech funding continues to soar in 2021. Willis Towers Watson reported (in its latest Quarterly Briefing) that global investment in the sector hit $4.82 billion in the second quarter of this year and a total of $7.4 billion for H1. That figure surpasses the total $7.1 billion raised in the whole of 2020. 

Much of the activity has been driven by "mega deals" – including WeFox's $650 million Series C (covered in our June briefing). And many insurtechs have acquired unicorn status this year – including Zego, Tractable, bolttech, Coalition, Alan, Digit, Zebra and more!

Alongside funding, there have been a number of IPOs and M&A deals in the sector. However, it's not all dollar signs and unicorns, as Willis Towers Watson also made a rough estimate that there have been approximately 456 insurtech business "deaths" (i.e. those who have likely ceased to trade or failed to raise enough capital), underlining the complexities and costs of becoming regulated and/or servicing regulated clients.  

Lloyd’s kicks off 7th cohort of the Lloyds Lab innovation accelerator

Lloyd's has announced the next eleven insurtech start-ups joining the Lloyd's Lab innovation accelerator programme – check out the names below. After a competitive process, the 179 applications were whittled down to eleven.

The programme's aim is to support the teams to create insurance products and solutions which, ultimately, can be adapted to the Lloyd’s market. This year's three key themes are: cryptocurrencies, claims, and data and models. Lloyd’s Lab also accepted "wildcard" entrants focussed on anti-money laundering, robotics and construction.

Cryptocurrencies is a particularly interesting theme, given the increased regulatory focus as cryptoassets become increasingly mainstream. Ed Gaze, Lloyd’s Lab Senior Manager, commented that "The decision to invite InsurTech’s with expertise in digital currency and cyber follows an increase in new and sophisticated attacks targeted at businesses, individuals and governments, which pose an increasing challenge for the insurance industry."

Good luck to all the participants!

  • Sotera – uses machine learning to provide insurers with data to price risk on unusual objects and creates digital identities for legitimate objects to support better AML and more sophisticated insurance products.

  • Koop – specialises in commercial robotics and autonomous vehicle developers & operators. 

  • ICEYE – provides near real-time flood extent and depth data enabling deployment of resources and calculate overall flood losses.

  • Jungle – develops an AI platform designed to resolve underperformance arising from operational complexity in renewable energy and industrial processes.

  • Falkonry – enables predictive operational excellence for manufacturing organisations through discrete and composite digital twins of operational systems at edge, site or cloud.

  • YEO Messaging – operates a secure private messaging platform where the sender can always be assured of privacy and control.

  • Hubvia (Brush Country Claims) – streamlining the P&C claims handling process by providing ultimate claims control and expedited time to settlement.

  • Merkle Science – a predictive cryptocurrency risk and intelligence platform helping companies and governments detect, investigate, and prevent illegal activities.

  • Superscript – combine broking and underwriting expertise with technology and data science to create relevant insurance solutions for modern businesses.

  • BirdsEyeView – harness space-data and innovative parametric solutions to provide uncomplicated insurance for severe-weather risks.

    Lloyd's noted that the eleventh insurtech will be listed when it is 'no longer in stealth mode' – watch this space!