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article imageHow prepared are insurtechs against the threat of coronavirus? Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 15, 2020 in Business
Many companies and much of the startup world are currently talking about coronavirus. This includes insurtechs who not only need to keep their businesses running, they also need to assess claims payouts.
Looking into the rapid impact of coronavirus on insurtechs, Christian Wiens (of German startup Getsafe) discusses with Digital Journal the situation that many insurtechs are grappling with during the coronavirus pandemic.
Economic shock
The first subject Wiens raises is losses stemming from global market fall-outs and the consequential economic shocks resonating through society. As Wiens explains: “The losses and costs resulting from the outbreak of coronavirus are estimated to be in the enormous sum of $4 trillion, but we don’t see this as reason to panic."
Digital business models
However, the online insurance business is proving resilient, due to the digital transformation of the sector. Wiens says that due to a: "mobile-first approach, technical infrastructure and direct sales, insurtechs are protected against the crisis and, right now, they are one of the most promising business models, in one of the largest markets in the world."
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Indeed, Wiens sees new opportunities for the sector as a result of the global health issue: "The developments surrounding coronavirus could therefore even be described as a catalyst for insurtechs."
Furthermore, a digital-first strategy can also pay dividends, as Wiens predicts: "Crises reveal how strong a digital business model is. And coronavirus in particular demonstrates the extent of the technological lead over traditional insurers."
Healthcare and insurance
Wiens also looks at the current issues surrounding SARS-CoV-2 and healthcare provision, noting: "Coronavirus also shows how much every social system depends on insurance, which makes it possible for us to lead a self-determined and free life. "
Here Weins is critical of the way that healthcare is organized in the U.S., where there is no system that provides universal healthcare: "One look at the U.S. backs up this assertion. The fatality rate of coronavirus is higher there, and the virus is spreading more rapidly because deficits in insurance coverage and labor law are discouraging people from seeing a doctor, even if they are showing symptoms."
Global issues need digital solutions
Being online and providing digital platforms is one way through which insurtech startups are best placed to assist with the global pandemic. Wiens explains: "The coronavirus pandemic transcends borders. So does technology, except technology has an inherently positive effect. More than ever before there is now a realistic opportunity to build a truly global company in the insurance sector where sales are 100 percent digital.” Such business models, from the new generation of insurance startups, also pose a challenge to the more established insurance sector.
More about insurtechs, coronavirus, Insurance, Health insurance
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