Digitisation is expected to disrupt the traditional life insurance sector in 2021; as Millennials and GenX embrace financial protection and ‘embedded insurance’ products.
This is according to the technology investment bank ICON Corporate Finance, which recently secured £5 million Series A funding for innovative Insurtech start-up Anorak.
ICON believes that embedded insurance services will pressure established insurance providers to innovate or partner, or face losing out to the digital disruptors of tech, health, life, property and casualty , pet, and financial services. It predicts an abundance of funding rounds and acquisitions as a result.
ICON expects an uptick in deal activity throughout 2021 as consumer attitudes to life insurance shift. “We are already seeing unicorns in the Life space (privately held start-up company valued at over $1 billion) and that’s set to continue,” says Nicky Cotter Head of fintech M&A at ICON.
Embedded insurance is the digital first delivery of insurance within the purchase of a product or service, and is designed to enhance the customer’s buying experience. Across financial services, digital disruptors enable every company to offer online payments. With Klarna for example, every company can utilise a buy-now-pay-later solution, and with insurtechs, every company can offer Life or P&C insurance.
In a market where life insurance has been ‘sold’ rather than ‘bought’, Anorak enables mass market customers to receive affordable, relevant, and personalised insurance advice. The £5 million fundraise will enable expansion of both its distribution network and advice platform that provides automated and ongoing assessment of users’ financial vulnerability and cover requirements throughout their life. It is currently the only platform to provide a seamless omnichannel experience that also allows users the option to speak to expert advisers.
Speaking on the functional capabilties of the Anorak platform, David Vanek, the company’s CEO & co-founder, said, “Our regulated automated insurance advice platform can be integrated into existing partners’ eco-systems so that people can access ‘whole of market’ life insurance recommendations while using everyday services such as digital banks, online mortgage brokers, investment platforms, digital money management service and challenger banks.”
ICON’s Nicky Cotter added, “Technology and innovation are reshaping the future of the insurance industry and demand for tech solutions has never been higher. There are still too many ways that insurance companies are difficult to do business with so finding ways to combine digital data with analytics can deliver powerful client experiences that are personalised, predictive, and proactive – which is a gamechanger for the industry.”
With an estimated 9 million families in the UK currently living at risk of financial catastrophe following the loss of a breadwinner, 53% of the population have yet to secure life cover, whilst 50% of mortgages remain unprotected. The influence of the pandemic has exaccebated the woes of a nation, and has facilitated an increased desire to protect financial futures. This is where insurtech solutions, such as those offered by Anorak, are set to step in.
ICON utlisied its expertise in insurtech software and fundraising to introduce insurance and lifetech software, that focussed on VC and CVCs from across Asia, Europe and the US, to Anorak’s leadership team. It positioned the company as a future global software leader in the lifetech insurance sector. ICON supported Anorak with financial modelling, the preparation of an investment deck, and investor interaction that led to a successful investment round with Tier 1 VCs, CVCs and super angels.
Anorak’s fundraising was led by Outward VC, with Triple Point Ventures, and existing investor Kamet Ventures; formerly Axa’s incubation fund. It was backed by angel investors including Nic Kohler, former CEO of Hollard Insurance; Paul Evans, Chairman of Allianz plc and board member of BUPA and Swiss Re Europe; Charlie Delingpole, CEO and founder of ComplyAdvantage; and Will Neale, founder of Fonix and Grabyo.
Chris Dyson, Partner in the corporate team at law firm Ashfords LLP and adviser to Anorak, comments, “The insurtech market is evolving rapidly. Anorak’s success is a great example of eagerly-anticipated innovation and the opportunity available for the best insurtech businesses to work alongside other disruptive fintech companies, improving customer experience and accessibility.”