Covid-19 Idea Pulse Alerts: Week 2
This new series of Covid-19 Idea Pulse Alerts is a fortnightly update on insurance innovations that take place as a response to the current pandemic crisis. In every blog, we will share with you examples of innovations and trends we are observing.
|Key Takeaways this fortnight:|
Since its reported onset in December 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has escalated to truly global proportions in the second quarter of 2020. Losses to life and economies continued to grow in an exponential trajectory through April. Despite the extraordinary containment measures taken, there is increasing uncertainty about any swift end to the crisis in the near-term.
For the insurance industry, which is no stranger to catastrophes, COVID-19 presents increasing challenges. To their credit, the industry has responded with speed and agility.
Agile product innovations, new models of customer engagement and digital strategies have been in the spotlight and are here to stay, even as trends indicate that it may well be the end of the year before the pandemic runs its course.
Healthcare facilities all over the world are being stretched to the limit with COVID-19 cases alone. In Spain, which is among the hardest-hit countries, insurance giant DKV Seguros, is utilising telemedicine to help. DKV is offering its telemedicine platform free of charge for online medical consultations for all conditions. The solution is available via the web or DKV’s mobile app, Quiero cuidarme Más. By using the digital option, members can limit physical visits and receive timely access to help without overburdening the healthcare system.
Adding value through customer solidarity, insurers worldwide continue to offer digital health and wellness services. These offers are usually free of charge and seek to alleviate concerns of customers who remain confined at home through prolonging lockdowns. In Australia, BUPA has partnered with fitness expert Sam Wood to offer complimentary access to their online home fitness and nutrition program for three months. Also in Australia, life and health insurer AIA has partnered with mental health and wellbeing platform Mentemia, to help members cope with anxiety brought on by the pandemic. AIA has made the evidence-based app free to all Australians for six months starting from May.
Digital Insurer Products
Indian digital insurer Riskcovry has partnered with National Payments Corporation of India, a government-backed digital payments and settlements operation, to offer Covid-19 health insurance to their over 700 million RuPay card users. The policy pays 100% of the sum insured upon a claim, irrespective of actual expenses incurred or even if the treatment is received free of cost at government hospitals.
Crisis Cover in Australia has launched a sister brand Student Parachute to insure international students via a “pay-as-you-go” membership services. The product covers events such as the current crisis when travel restrictions severely affected students studying abroad. Anticipating international students to be among the first international travellers when lockdowns ease, the policy provides several emergency assistance features including medical monitoring and repatriation services.
Insurtechs on the move
Africa based insurtech Inclusivity Solutions has been launching digital insurance solutions that reach out to consumers in the underpenetrated markets of Africa. Their simple life and health indemnity products have garnered a base of 700,000 customers across Rwanda and Kenya. MFS Africa, a Pan-African fintech and other partners invested in Inclusivity in May, to build new capabilities to roll-out COVID related products to a large segment of the population, as the pandemic escalates in the region.
Insurtech CLARA Analytics which uses AI to improve claims outcomes in the commercial insurance sector has received an additional $25 million in Series B funding this month. The firm plans to expand its product suite which among other things, addresses medical claims in workers compensation. Data insights from the platform’s cross-industry data lake and AI can be effectively leveraged in the current scenario. According to CLARA Analytics, “Adjusters, for example, can identify claims where medical notes don’t include a COVID diagnostic code but reference terms such as “shortness of breath” and “fever” for claimants based in locations with high infection rates and engage the right specialist on their team to ensure those claims are handled in a prescribed way”.
The U.K. based By Miles, a usage-based insurer saw the highest sales of their pay-by-mile plan in April. As UK drivers looked to save money during the lockdown. Last week, By Miles raised £15 million in a Series B funding round led by CommerzVentures.
Cyber Insurance is becoming a necessity
Healthcare firms and health insurers have been among the chief targets of cyberattacks related to data theft and ransomware, with some major insurers and providers impacted during the pandemic. Corvus Insurance Holdings, a commercial insurer that offers cyber risk insurance uses advanced technology to scan a prospect’s cybersecurity vulnerabilities during the underwriting process. Previously available only through brokers, to aid policy pricing, Corvus has offered this scan free of cost to any healthcare organisation during the COVID-19 crisis.
Coalition, a cyber insurance and security firm’s customer base crossed 25,000 in May – a 600% jump in customers from last year, making it one of the largest providers of cyber insurance and security in the United States. On the heels of this achievement, Coalition raised $90 million in equity funding in May and also launched operations in Canada.