Plug-N-Play Insurance Success Rides on Sound Partner Strategies

In insurance, superior digital customer experience comes from offering services exactly at the time and place the customer needs them most. To appear at the right moment for their customers, companies partner with the right insurance carriers. The path to achieve this requires packaging insurance “as a service.” Insurance-as-a-service (IaaS) models are evolving into SaaS platforms that use transactional APIs.

In Singapore, AXA’s Affiliate Marketing Program allows partners to use AXA’s application APIs. AXA Affiliates offers an IaaS platform to AXA’s global partners, enabling them to deliver customized insurance protection within their portals. The platform incorporates marketing assets, API documentation and plug-and-play widgets, allowing partners easy integration with the insurance process – from prospecting, quotation to policy issuance.

In Europe, Wakam has APIs that developers employ, so businesses can use them to offer insurance products — be it for Yamaha motorcycles or electronic gadgets. Using its ‘Play & Plug platform’, Wakam provides its P&C products as APIs. This has generated strong growth, with 360 million+ data handled every month, 300,000 daily API calls and 600,000+ policies administered on their blockchain. With a 2020 turnover of €417M, Wakam grew at a commendable average rate of 30% over the previous 6 years, with 61% of business outside France.

Wakam currently supports over 370 partnerships. Tailored to the new economy, Wakam’s solutions act as a white-label insurer for companies leading change in their sectors. Last December, Wakam teamed up with Back Market, leading marketplace for refurbished electronic devices, and i-surance (part of bolttech) to launch its device insurance in UK.

One challenge for insurers as plug-n-play insurance expands into different product lines is around building the right partnerships. The key to approaching these partnerships is thinking long term and considering operational challenges that may arise. Another challenge is compliance and regulation, besides the consumer protection element with use of data. Amid multiple considerations, its crucial to develop a sound partner strategy and a shared vision.

New Shape Of Partnerships

The unique partnership between Wakam, Gearbooker and bsurance offers a frictionless media equipment rental experience. Bsurance is a leading B2B2C embedded insurance platform and Gearbooker is Europe’s first Peer-to-Peer equipment hire platform for the creative industry. Professionals who rent products such as cameras, audio gear and drones, enjoy instant tailored cover from Wakam for damage and theft. The tie-up with bsurance is a sizable new revenue stream for Gearbooker as it looks to take international its high-growth business model . Post-launch, the product sold hundreds of policies, with monthly sales growth expected to surpass 20%.

Companies like Wakam aren’t directly investing in startups, but are helping them grow businesses by creating bespoke insurance products. Their strength lies in being able to quickly adapt product attributes based on continuous feedback. While collaborating with young startups, they improvise to make the right product, with the right warranties, at the right price. Those that become fast growing unicorns turn to be a good investment. Zego, which is a UK Unicorn now, was one of the first to work with Wakam at the beginning of their journey.

Data Sharing

Sharing data is important, when carriers work with a partner that distributes their product. This includes the technical and financial data, such as loss ratio. Partners need to access such data on the tech platform with full transparency. If a product isn’t working well and say, claims frequency is excessive, it can be quickly corrected.

Digital insurance can evolve from embedded to platform businesses, with integrated digital marketplaces. Platforms allow carriers to join data-rich customer ecosystems with non-insurance partners. This creates opportunities to lower distribution costs for more customers. Access to better data improves products and reduces underwriting risks. By joining forces with partners to build a seamless experience, greater customer benefits follow.

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