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Barbarians knocking on the digital gates of the insurance industry? – two interesting corporate transactions

Are we starting to see the entry of non financial services players into insurance with new digitally based insurance models? I picked up on two pieces of corporate news last month that should give all incumbent insurers pause for thought:

Barbarians at the digital gates. If you can't beat them should you join them?

Barbarians at the digital gates. If you can’t beat them should you join them?

  1. Alibaba is leading a Joint Venture into direct property insurance and has teamed up with Ping An and Tencent. Alibaba and Tencent have some of the largest digital assets in China and are well known brands. Ping An with only a five percent stake has clearly decided that strategically it makes sense to participate rather than sit on the side lines. It will be interesting to see the results of this business. See the Morning Whistle article for more information
  2. Tune Insurance has just successfully completed its IPO and has a market capitalisation in excess of US$200 million. Tune Insurance has a long term distribution arrangement to market insurance to customers of AirAsia. It is already the region’s largest seller of online travel insurance and operates both a direct insurance model in Malaysia as well as a reinsurance model in other countries. Expect Tune Insurance to make further waves as it leverages the AirAsia brand, loyalty program and formidable digital assets (more than 10 million emails and over 2 million people on Facebook). Access the IPO prospectus

The Digital Insurer is planning a more detailed article on the reasons why non financial services players, with strong digital assets and brands, will be well equipped to move into both insurance and wider financial services fields.

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