Digital distribution, underwriting, processing and claims is the holy grail that has eluded many insurers who are still tied to legacy IT infrastructures and most importantly, culture. However a Chinese joint venture between established internet giants Tencent, Alibaba and Ping An has given rise to the first truly digital insurer to achieve scale. Zhong An, is based on the premise that the entire insurance value chain and user experience can be digitised. Barely three years old, Zhong An offers a comprehensive range of products including commercial property, cargo and liability insurance along with addressing a series of risks concerning e-commerce, mobile payments and internet finance.
Zhong An Online initially positioned itself as a service site providing cover for various risks relating to the internet economy. Its target customers include both corporate and individual clients, such as companies providing the e-commerce platform, internet service, online shopping consumers, and social network participants. Sales and claims handling are entirely online and the traditional distribution channels of insurance agents are shunned. Thus far, Zhong An has underwritten more than 1.6 billion insurance policies and paid out 369 million in claims. Zhong An is also successfully leveraging emerging technologies like cloud and big data analytics along with the huge user base of its founding partners, Alibaba, Tencent, Ctrip, Zhaopin and Ping An.