WeatherTech is a Beijing based startup developing several mobile based solutions for rural China, the first being typhoon insurance delivered though WeChat and covering crop losses from wind and excessive rain along eight costal provinces in China.
This ‘Typhoon Insurance Index’ WeChat account combines satellite data and information from China’s Meteorlogical Authority to enable WeatherTech and it’s insurance partners to efficiently price, administer and settle natural catastrophe coverage. WeatherTech’s CEO, Li Chang, has encapsulated his company’s approach to AgriTech innovations: “We are working on another smart insurance solution that will take real-time weather and event data into account to offer risk commensurate coverage.”
WeatherTech is also notable for its location based distribution model that targets those residing in typhoon prone areas and also addresses the issue of product unavailability and village level pricing from multi-peril crop insurance that currently dominate the market. Although Ping An and China United are working on similar offerings, WeatherTech’s early entrance into AgriTech has afforded it a first mover advantage and this ability has made it one to watch in this space. And its simple three step user interface has compounded this lead.
WeatherTech uses satellite remote sensing, crop-weather simulation modeling, mobile technologies and deep learning (AI) to allow insurers to efficiently price and administer typhoon insurance policies
First, users scan the QR code which detects location and directs the user to a region specific landing page.
Users then select the length of coverage and coverage limit to generate a quote. Although this may seem standard proceedire for online insurance, WeatherTech calculates a user specific premium based on decades of natural catastrophe data.
Users then enter some personal and contact information before proceeding to authorise WeChat payment for the premium, which starts from 100rmb. In the event of a claim, funds are automatically credited to the users Alipay account.
Ultimately, this teaming up of WeatherTech and Tencent is a good example of a Chinese AgriTech startup willing to partner with the division of a would be competitor and demonstrates a shrewdness that belies its startup status.
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