The beginning of a beautiful friendship: Reinsurers and insurtechs
From investing to partnering with insurtechs, reinsurers are playing an important role in the startup ecosystem
The insurtech world is thriving. During 2021, some $48.8bn was invested into the sector across a total of 940 deals, according to the startup scouting and open innovation platform Sønr.
This means that insurtechs are serious business. And some of the most active firms investing in the industry are reinsurers as they look to improve their own capabilities, develop new relationships for the future and steal a march on their competition.
Here, Insider Engage – with the help of analysis from our friends at Sønr – takes a look at four of the leading reinsurance companies across the globe to see where they are investing in insurtechs and how they are engaging with this fast-growing sector of the industry.
Munich Re has a longstanding tradition of investing in the reinsurance industry, and insurtech is no different. Through its venture capital arm, Munich Re Ventures, the reinsurer now has more than $1bn in assets under management and invests in early-stage and growth-stage companies across five strategic sectors, including insurtech, climate tech, cybersecurity and privacy, commercial and industrial equipment technologies, and the future of transportation.
In the insurtech world, Munich Re is active in both the property & casualty and life & health sectors and looks to build long-lasting relationships with the businesses it invests in.
Swiss Re does not actively invest in insurtech companies, but it still forges close relationships with new startups and the companies that invest in them.
Sebastien Bert, head of strategic partnerships US for Swiss Re, says the reinsurer has a “symbiotic relationship” with the insurtech and accompanying investment community.
“We work closely with the VC community because they see us as complementary to their strategy,” he says. “They are encouraging these insurtechs to grow, and to do that they need good partners on the capacity side, so they work closely with us on that because they know we understand the market through a dedicated practice within Swiss Re.”
The firm’s reinsurance solutions division has also invested in its capabilities to help insurtechs as they grow their business.
In March this year, Hannover Re opened up its innovation platform to companies outside its customer base in a move that cements its commitment to helping startups and scaleups in the reinsurance sector.
Claude Chèvre, an executive board member at Hannover Re, described the innovation platform as a “dating service” for both insurers and insurtechs.
Insurtechs from all over the globe currently use the platform to offer more than 160 solutions.
When it comes to investing its own money in the market, Hannover Re has a focus on digital innovation in the underwriting space, as well as the direct digital distribution market and digital health data.
The world’s fourth-largest reinsurer has two dedicated venture capital funds for the insurtech market. One concentrates on the property & casualty market in the form of early-stage investments, while the other – life & health – focuses on later-stage deals.
The reinsurer says it looks to invest in three key areas: tech-driven underwriters, software solutions that benefit Scor and/or its clients, and companies that act at the intersection of technology and health to help deliver healthier lives or better claims outcomes.
To date, Scor Ventures has raised funds in excess of $1.5bn and works in 16 countries and 16 different business lines. Its cutting-edge software solutions support 185 corporate clients.