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InsurTech of the month: 2019 update

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This month we revisit several Chinese InsurTechs previously featured in The Digital Insurer in order to assess their ongoing development.

1. Bihu Technologies

Bihu is a Beijing based life/health insurer with several alternative approaches to traditional life/health insurance customer acquisition. First, although the concept of Online Reciprocal Communities is well established in China and featured here, Bihu has repurposed this model to integrate with several Chinese internet portals such as JD.com and Suning.com. By doing so, Bihu has access to a steady stream of users which it has coupled with an agency management tool to convert online traffic to offline leads. This O2O approach, combined with Bihu Technology’s agency management tools have forged an effective middle path in a market torn between short term internet insurance policies and the long term high margin policies that traditional insurers excel at.

2. Wukongbao

Wukongbao is an analytics based InsurTech that is optimising cross selling conversion rates on third party apps by analysing user behaviour and user profiles on apps, WeChat accounts and websites to offer tailored short term or ‘usage based’ insurance.

By working with 5,000 third party platforms including travel aggregators, healthcare, auto marketplaces, ride sharing apps, real estate apps, and niche hobbyist apps such as mountain biking and water sports, Wukongbao’s API has enabled it to be chosen ahead of hundreds of traditional insurers and brokers who could otherwise sell similar products through these third parties.

However, despite having optimised conversion rates for property lines and personal accident in particular, Wukongbao hasn’t been able to do the same for longer term and higher margin life/health lines. Additionally, although Wukongbao’s B2B2C model means it cannot have direct relationship with end users its ability to assess user behavior, patterns and preferences to offer short term coverage is working well and is applicable to other markets.

 3. 麦养老  (Retiree care)

Chengdu based 麦养老 Retiree Care provides integrated hardware/software solutions for the fastest growing segment of Chinese society; retirees. Specifically, by manufacturing a range of medical and smart home devices for hospitals, retirement communities, and property developers, Retiree Care has aligned itself with one of China’s biggest domestic policy concerns – an aging population exasperated by a pension shortfall of $540 billion.

Retiree Care’s medical devices span a range of old age use cases and combine real time health status with cloud analytics to inform nurses and family members. These include:

– ECG monitor (blood pressure)

– Full body scan (Balance, eye sight)

– Blood glucose monitor

– Motion detector for Alzheimers patients

– Monitor bed movements (i.e bed sores)

Data from the above devices (and others) are sent to nurses and immediate family members by way of a smart wrist band and the nurse terminal (dashboard).

Retiree Care also has a smartphone app for family members that includes daily updates on treatment, care schedules and an electronic health record database. Ultimately, Retiree Care’s B2B approach, combined with the fact it is working on Asia’s biggest problem, an aging population, makes it very popular with state owned hospitals, retirement communities and property developers.

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