In November last year, Zhong An continued its mission towards becoming China’s pre-eminent data driven insurer by partnering with Sinosafe Asset Insurance and Urtrust. This particular data lab’s research results led to the formation of a platform called Data Cube. Through Data Cube, Zhong An plans to connect players from various parts of the industry chain including users, insurance companies and retailers, in addition to providing data storage, accurate product pricing and anti-fraud applications to its partners.
Specifically, Data Cube uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to analyse people’s behaviour, driving habits and creditworthiness which can be used by car insurers to build new products and services. For Zhong An’s part, access to its partner company Alibaba provides unparalled data through which to cross sell insurance.
The resulting ecosystem will be more than just car insurance. The platform is split into four segments – car retail, car finance, transport and connected cars. The company will develop user-based and predictive usage-based insurance policies and all this will use the data which it will accumulate at its lab.
In January this year, Zhong An’s motor insurance premiums exceeded RMB56 million (US$8.9 million), compared to RMB84 million (US$13.34 million) for the whole of 2017.
This performance was achieved through the deployment of the ‘four-in-one’ auto service ecosystem, based on the notions of new retailing, new financing, new ways of traveling and the Internet of Vehicles.
Furthermore, although car insurance has not been Zhong An’s forte, Zhong An’s head of car insurance Yu Wang, has said: “Mobile internet and digital technologies are transforming the car industry. So the car insurance industry must change as well. The layout of Zhong An’s automotive ecology is a further implementation of the OMO (Online-Merge-Offline) model.”
Ultimately, Zhong An has been extraordinarily successful at cross-selling tailored property insurance through its founder platforms Alibaba, Tencent and Ctrip. Post IPO, it will be interesting to see how Zhong An adapts to life without the support of these platforms and initiatives, such as this one with Sinosafe and Urtrust, which will be determinative.