ITC DIA Europe

Ecosystems – leveraging the power of cross-sector collaboration

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Dec 6, 2023

One of the highlights of ITC DIA Europe in Barcelona last June was the Talk Show series, featuring some of the brightest minds in the industry, discussing the hottest topics in insurance – from many different perspectives.

One of these Talk Shows covered the topic of Ecosystems. Ecosystems as an overarching trend in insurance is becoming more and more mainstream. But what is the best way of putting ecosystem thinking into practice? How can insurers identify successful cross-industry partnerships? What is the next frontier for ecosystems and how can insurers get there? How to best leverage the power of cross-sector collaboration?

Esther Prax (Programme Director, InsurTech Hub Munich) took the stage together with Stefan Schürmann (Head of Corporate Development and M&A, Vaudoise Assurances, Switzerland), Johan Van den Neste (CEO, Univé Schadeverzekeringen, The Netherlands), Danilo Raponi (Group Head of Innovation, Generali) and Rob Schimek (Group CEO, bolttech) to further dive into these questions. For this editorial, we sat down with bolttech’s Rob Schimek to discuss his contribution to the Talk Show.

Rob, can you quickly explain what bolttech does?

Rob: “bolttech does two things: we’re an embedded insurance provider and we run a technology-enabled insurance exchange in over 30 countries. bolttech’s insurance exchange connects insurers, distributors and customers to make it easier and more efficient to buy and sell insurance and protection products.

Our vision is to connect people with more ways to protect the things that they value. We’ve achieved international scale by partnering with more than 700 distribution partners and over 230 insurers globally. Our success has been driven by our relationships and collaborations with some of the most exciting and game-changing businesses worldwide.”

How does bolttech leverage the power of cross-sector collaboration?

Rob: “With the global insurance protection gap at a record high of US$1.42 trillion, there is a multitude of unmet customer needs. Many people find insurance hard to understand, expensive and a hassle, contributing to low customer trust. This pain point is further hampered by the industry’s complex distribution processes and inefficiencies associated with the traditional insurance purchase journey.

bolttech’s goal is to build and facilitate an ecosystem that better addresses the specific insurance- and protection needs of customers around the world. We envision a more inclusive and efficient insurance industry through ecosystem partnerships: where any form of business can provide their customers with relevant protection at the point of need, by accessing our insurance exchange platform.

To achieve this, we built the world’s largest technology-enabled insurance exchange, quoting around US$50 billion in premiums annually. With our B2B2C model, we provide around 6,000 insurance products in more than 30 markets across Asia, Europe and the United States. Leveraging the platform’s capabilities, we work closely with our partners to embed more choice into the customer journey and develop new embedded propositions, beyond the simple single-product insurance offering, to meet new and evolving protection needs.

In collaboration with our partners, we can help tailor the purchasing experience to the customer, customize the products to customer preferences, and offer a comparison of product options in embedded customer journeys – whether this is choosing coverage amounts that suit their budget, getting quotes from multiple carriers, adding on modular benefits and services, receiving adjacent product offers, or even payment options.

In order to make the ecosystem work, we have to be a good partner to the insurance carriers, not just making this a competition on price, but making it a competition based on their target market and on their desired differentiating capabilities. For our distribution partners, we want to bring them more opportunities to engage with and retain their customers.

Could you further elaborate on bolttech’s insurance exchange? How does it work exactly?

Our exchange not only offers choice but also embedded, contextual insurance. We embed insurance within industries such as retail, e-commerce, fintech, telco and others—providing more ways to engage with customers, add value and create new revenue streams. The use of advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning is also fundamental to our approach to creating strong differentiators in our core business, and to responding faster to changing customer demands.

Regarding the technology, by plugging into our Headless API, our partners can offer a range of contextually relevant products within their existing customer journeys. Powered by a suite of APIs and microservices, our tech infrastructure provides the flexibility for a quick and seamless integration with our partners’ channels, regardless of size and complexity.

We further optimise our ecosystem with product innovation and customisable tech features that help our partners address evolving customer needs, by designing bespoke insurance products to meet any customer journey or context.

Our licenses to operate in all 50 U.S. states and over 30 international jurisdictions, as well as our deep insurance expertise, enable tailored, hassle-free insurance services and solutions.

Do you have an example of how you have created new revenue streams?

Yes, let me take the example of Real Estate Broker Keller Williams in the US. They’re not an insurer and they’re not used to selling insurance products. Customers buy their homes through this broker, and at the moment of selling, bolttech has the ability to provide them with the opportunity to buy insurance. But when they’re buying that insurance, they don’t want us to decide who they’ll buy the insurance from, they want choice. And so we bring a choice model to the customers.

We’re matching lots of customers with their policies through business distribution partners; we have 230 insurance carriers on the bolttech platform that make this possible. 7000 different kinds of policies can be bought; all unique combinations of geography, insurance carrier and insurance product.

What kind of ecosystems have the most potential?

In Asia, our favourite go-to-market partners are telcos and OEMs. We’re Samsung’s partner for Samsung Care+. It feels like it’s Samsung providing the policy for the customer, but actually, it’s bolttech. We specialize in providing a lot of different tailor-made solutions for protection. bolttech can repair your phone if it’s broken, we can replace it with a refurbished device or a new device. We can even swap between Apple and Samsung or Samsung to Apple. We can help you upgrade from your Apple X to an Apple 13 if that’s your preference. It doesn’t matter to us. Our goal is to be able to provide an entire range of capabilities.

That same telco and OEM opportunity exists in Europe as well. We do this with the third largest telco in all of Europe, which is also getting its protection through bolttech. In the United States, the recipe for success is a bit different. There, we focus mainly on the insurance exchange.

Who is bolttech?

bolttech is an international insurtech on a mission to build the world’s leading, technology-enabled ecosystem for protection and insurance. With a full suite of digital and data-driven capabilities, bolttech powers connections between insurers, distributors, and customers to make it easier and more efficient to buy and sell insurance and protection products. Celebrating its third anniversary since launching the brand in April 2020, bolttech now quotes approximately US$50 billion worth of annualized premiums through its platform.

Rob Schimek, Group CEO, bolttech
Amsterdam 12-13 June

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