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August 11, 2017

Briefed while Amazon plans to sell tickets to music and sporting events


Bharti AXA General Insurance is a Bangalore-based JV between Bharti Enterprises and AXA. It is mostly known for its car insurance book of business. Now it wants to change that. CEO Sanjeev Srinivasan shared a bit about his strategy with MoneyControl. Here goes. The general insurer is shifting focus to other segments such as SMEs, health and travel. It's coming out with a longer duration insurance policy for two-wheelers (think: higher customer lifetime value). And it's working on a telematics offering thinking that "once consumers start asking questions about pricing based on their driving behavior, telematics will catch up further". Thing to note. Majority of the insurer's business flows through its direct channel, yet it does have strategic partnerships in place with HSBC and HDFC Bank. Bottom Line: shopping with Bharti AXA is a treat. Look.



From an awesome marketing campaign to an average UI
On August 7, Columbus-based P&C insurer SafeAuto did something uber clever. Brilliant, actually. It released Fârnhäan, the world’s first artificially intelligent voice companion. Fârnhäan is a ‘he’. Meet Fârnhäan. 


It was created by Greta Von Blünk because while “other AI assistants formulate precise answers from mountains of data”, Fârnhäan “takes an emotional, nearsighted glimpse at the big picture…and guesses”. You can read that again. This is Greta Von Blünk: 

Now, if you ask Greta Von Blünk to describe Fârnhäan, this is what she’d say: “Life is not a straight line. It is a wooden cube.” The Philosophy: “To err ist human. To forgive, divine.” And since Fârnhäan is a ‘he’, he is frequently-going-on-constantly wrong. You see, for Fârnhäan to feel like a companion, he needed the most human trait of all. Imperfection. While, any device can search oceans of impersonal data for the correct answer, Fârnhäan just looks at the big picture and guesses. And when it comes to response time, he replies instantly because the future demands answers NOW.
Fârnhäan’s digital footprints include a facebook page, a Twitter account, and a microsite that can lead one or many to SafeAuto, where they can get a quote for car insurance style “buy something that makes sense.”

Bottom Line: a satire on AI and the creative work of John Trahar, cofounder and creative director of Greatest Common Agency for SafeAuto. It’s just too bad, this is where one ends up.

VC fund InsurTech Israel invested in cyber startup myDRO. Not much else is known. Established in 2016, myDRO stands for (my) Digital Risk Officer. According to the startup's Twitter handle, it will manage all of one's cyber-risks, online, in one beautiful dashboard, allowing him or her to earn cyber-peace-of-mind for their business. PS. someone is struggling with the term 'insurtech':



Swiss Re makes Wellthy happy
Swiss Re is partnering with Mumbai-based Wellthy Therapeutics to develop better insurance offerings for folks with Type 2 Diabetes in India . Established in 2015, Wellthy is known for its Diabetes Reversal Program. It leverages AI  to help users manage their weight, and live a healthier, more active lifestyle. At one point the company conducted a clinical study that proved that in as little as 16 weeks, most patients saw improvements in blood sugar control, while reducing or eliminating medications, and lost weight.

Also, Wellthy was recently selected by Swiss Re’s InsurTech Accelerator program to take part in its second cohort. Bottom Line: there are quite a few insurers exploring ways in which they can offer better, more affordable coverage, as well as preventative tools to people living with diabetes. Examples: (1) Prudential Hong Kong is collaborating with myDNA Pro to provide select policyholders access to DNA-based health assessments that can offer insight to those living with Type 2 Diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol. (2) South African life insurance distributor, AllLife, has recently announced a partnership with Royal London and Gen Re to provide affordable coverage to folks living with diabetes. (3) Aviva and Munich Re are just two examples of insurers that offer wellness apps to provide policyholders tools to manage their weight and diabetes.

Meet BillTrim

The one-year-old Mountain View-startup is on a mission to make sure one never overpays for services such as: cable, phone, electricity, internet, gym, and auto-slash-home-slash-health insurance. It earns 25% of what it saves the customer. Here’s how it works: user signs in with facebook and uploads her bills, to later have BillTrim’s team call the relevant vendors to negotiate a better deal. BillTrim promises to have feedback back by the user’s next billing cycle. According to its website, it can save an average of $450 on one’s annual car insurance premium:

Early-stage venture fund 500 Startups, that’s currently in crisis management mode, thinks this is a good idea and has invested $150K in the company. One last thing. Startup Earny comes to mind – a mobile app that gets users money back on their online purchases. At one point its founder said it will consider entering insurance. Thinking out loud: one needs more than a car/home/health insurance bill, to negotiate a better deal. Bottom Line: unscalable.

Point of view
Insurance. Insur(e)tech. AI. Agents. It all boils down to a point of view. And as Harper Lee (think: author of To Kill a Mockingbird) once said, you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Speaking of view, here’s the view from Bryan’s office: #MeetBryan




Bharti AXA - busy congratulating @JeepIndia on the launch of a SUV. 
BillTrim - cute, in theory. 
InsurTech Israel - early stage investor. 
myDRO - cyber risk management.
SafeAuto - regional insurer that sometimes sends leads to Progressive
Swiss Re - reinsurer. 
Wellthy Therapeutics - having a moment.


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