Transforming Insurance Together - Our Experience with the InsurTech Growth Program

By Alyssa Furtado, Co-Founder of Ratehub Inc. and CEO of Ratehub.ca

In early 2018, Aviva Canada and OneEleven teamed up to launch the InsurTech  Growth Program – a four-month program for five companies in the field of InsurTech (insurance technology). The program focuses on helping smaller companies scale up, while also introducing the chosen startups to a network of people within the insurance industry. With the InsurTech Growth Program, Aviva and OneEleven are helping to pioneer a better insurance technology ecosystem.

The advent of InsurTech is transforming the age-old insurance industry in a variety of ways, including quickly connecting you to your provider in a time of need or facilitating an easier claims process. By using technology to make archaic processes more transparent, these InsurTech startups can improve the overall customer experience. Maple, for instance, allows you to visit a doctor online and have prescriptions mailed to your door. MapYourProperty aggregates real estate data and identifies risks, ahead of time, for commercial insurers. The future is exciting.

Let me give you a behind-the-scenes look at what we learned.

Why Ratehub was selected for InsurTech

At Ratehub.ca, we’re entering the insurance industry for much the same reason we entered other financial industries like mortgages, credit cards, banking, and investments. We aim to give all Canadians the information they need to make smarter financial decisions. We’re starting with car insurance quotes and will roll out home insurance, life insurance, and travel insurance as we become experts in the field.

We're making it possible for Canadians to compare rates and coverage based on their personal situation, including their location, the type of car they drive, and their personal driving history. All along their journey, we aim to educate them on what factors affect their personalized quotes, while providing recommendations on the best coverage for their needs.

How did the InsurTech Growth Program work?

We found participating in the program to be a huge boost for our insurance program at Ratehub.ca for three key reasons:

  1. The deep insurance knowledge offered. We came to this program as a company that was new to the world of insurance. Everyone we met at Aviva is an expert, often with 10 or more years of experience working with insurance. These experts have amazing product knowledge and helped refine and further the scope of our insurance plan. With their guidance, we were able to enhance the quoting journey. We went from a simple questionnaire into an educational experience designed to help the user better understand what goes into a quote, and why specific information is being requested. To have access to experts excited to share their knowledge was invaluable.
  2. The unbiased help. It was clear from day one that Aviva was putting the needs and interests of the InsurTech Growth Program participants first. Throughout the program, they worked hard to help us successfully launch our insurance product by introducing us to major players in the industry. By helping us to achieve our goal of building a new ‘education first’ quoting experience, they will help grow the entire (Property & Casualty) P&C insurance industry. They are serious about building a better insurance ecosystem for the benefit of all involved.
  3. The reputation. When we announced we were working with Aviva, others in the insurance industry took note.  We’ve been able to leverage our program acceptance and participation into content partnerships, meetings with brokerages, media pitches, and in-person meetings with industry influencers. For instance, we would not have been afforded the opportunity to meet with Guidewire to discuss the potential of joining their PartnerConnect initiative. We were also able to present our digital marketing expertise to 20 of the most digitally savvy brokers in Canada. All in all, we are leaps and bounds ahead of where we had initially thought we would be on our insurance venture. It’s a remarkable experience we don’t take for granted.

Where do we go from here?

It is hard to overstate the importance of the InsurTech program. Insurance is a financial product that impacts people at a time of crisis in their lives, such as when they get into a car accident, or when their house is damaged by fire or flood. Insurance companies and startups are working together to make these processes simpler and more transparent. They are helping facilitate a better experience when people are most in need of one.

To some, the idea of helping startups might seem counterintuitive. Industry speculators argue InsurTech can disrupt the entire insurance industry. In reality, partnerships between larger industry organizations like Aviva and fintech startups like Ratehub.ca can be beneficial for everyone – businesses and consumers alike. By embracing these “disruptors,” Aviva also embraces the future of the insurance industry and ensuring they will stay on the cutting edge of the industry as it is transformed by technology. Aviva and OneEleven have created an incredible program, full of opportunity, helping participants rapidly scale up in size and depth, while building industry connections that will offer dividends for years to come.