"Chronicle" weekly newsletter - Where insurance and technology meet

MARCH 30, 2021

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No Return To ‘Normal’ Until 2022: CEOs
KPMG's 2021 CEO Outlook Pulse Survey finds that nearly half of global executives do not expect to see a return to 'normal' until sometime in 2022. And one in four CEOs say the pandemic has changed their business model forever. Read more.

New Marketplace Connects Insurers To Innovation
Guidewire Software is pleased to announce it has launched its new Guidewire Marketplace. With an all-new design and enhanced functionality, the Guidewire Marketplace now makes it easier for insurers to browse hundreds of apps and discover innovative solutions from leading P&C focused solution providers and insurtechs. Read more.

Gore Mutual Selects FRISS To Fight Fraud
Gore Mutual, Canada's oldest property and casualty insurer, has announced it has selected the AI-powered FRISS platform as part of the company's large-scale transformation. FRISS will enable real-time fraud detection and prevention in both underwriting and claims, and will also support the company's special investigation efforts. Read more.

‘MVP’ Approach Helps Insurers Deploy Tech
Insurers are adopting a minimum viable product (MVP) approach to speed the delivery of new technology capabilities, but using this approach effectively means changing business practices and expectations. In a new executive brief, Novarica reviews best practices to deliver MVPs that maximize business value. Read more.

ASSI Launches FNOL Integration With Economical
Accident Support Services International, facilitators of collision reporting, is proud to announce the First Notice of Loss integration with Economical. As part of the service, made possible by a partnership between Economical Insurance and ASSI, policyholders will get a SMS notification for key information such as their claim number and contact information. Read more.

RMS Launches New Climate Change Models
RMS, the world's leading catastrophe risk solutions company, today announced the forthcoming launch of a new suite of Climate Change Models to help customers assess the near and long term impacts of climate change on physical assets and their businesses, in order to make the best possible risk and financial decisions. Read more.

AcordPay Integrates Credit Card Processing Into Vertafore Canada SIG
AcordPay, the leading digital payments platform for insurance brokers, and Vertafore™ Canada are proud to announce their strategic partnership integrating credit card payments to the SIG broker management system (BMS). Read more.

Swiss Re Corporate Solutions To Provide Economical With Platform, Network Access
Swiss Re Corporate Solutions is pleased to announce it has signed an agreement with Economical Insurance to provide its IPA platform for its first insurer in North America. The IPA platform enables users to manage and deliver structured and compliant multinational programs from a single online platform and provides insurers access to its international network of more than 150 offices and partners. Read more.

Keystone Agencies Integrates Nude BMS
Alberta-based insurance technology company Nude Solutions is pleased to welcome Keystone Insurance Agencies as an integrated broker technology partner. Keystone is using the Nude Solutions platform across its six Manitoba brokerages. The Nude Solutions platform offers a full-service digital broker management system. With the platform, clients can quote, bind, issue, change, cancel, and renew their insurance in real-time from any internet-connected device. Read more.

Quadient Announces Beanworks Acquisition
Quadient is pleased to announce the signing of a definitive agreement to acquire Beanworks, a fast-growing market leader specializing in Software as a Service (SaaS) Accounts Payable Automation solutions. Read more.

ASLU Expands Services Into Canada
Amwins Specialty Logistics Underwriters, a managing general agency specializing in the complex risk factors of the logistics and cargo industry, is pleased to announce its expansion into the Canadian market to serve Canada's growing logistics industry. Read more.

Life Insurers Improving Portals, New Business
Life and annuities insurers employing modern illustration software are focusing on improving digital customer experiences and the speed of new business processes as interest rates stay low and competition for customers stays high. In its latest Market Navigator, Novarica provides an overview of stand-alone illustrations systems with detailed profiles of vendor solutions. Read more.

Constellation To Acquire Ohio National
Constellation Insurance Holdings Inc., backed by institutional investors CDPQ and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board, is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement for its inaugural transaction through the acquisition of Ohio National for a total consideration of USD 1bn, which includes both member consideration and new capital infused in the business, as part of its demutualization process. Read more.

Willis Towers Watson Launches CyNat Cyber Insurance For Utilities Companies
Willis Towers Watson is pleased to announce the launch of CyNat, a new type of cyber insurance cover designed specifically for Power & Utilities companies. CyNat has been developed to specifically cover the key industry exposures rather than trying to modify pre-existing generic cyber products. Read more.

Blink Announces Management Handover
The co-founders of Irish InsurTech Blink Parametric are stepping down after deciding it is the right time to look at new opportunities having built a successful platform, innovative product set and a strong sales pipeline. Read more.

Manulife Vitality Points For COVID Vaccination
Manulife is pleased to announce that group benefit and individual insurance customers in the Manulife Vitality program will be awarded Vitality Points for receiving their COVID-19 vaccination. Read more.

The Intersection: Blog

What's going through the Intersection
of insurance and technology?

SPAC-Mania, M&A, and InsurTech Investment: Understanding the “Why”
By Mark Breading, Strategy Meets Action
The past six to twelve months in insurance have seen a historic level of activity for mergers and acquisitions, new investments, and public offerings. It seems like every type of entity in the insurance world has been swept up in this trend. The M&A trend in the distribution space accelerates as it continues. InsurTech investments were at all-time highs in 2020 and picked up steam throughout the year, and that now continues into 1Q21. Initial public offerings (IPOs) and SPACs (Special Purpose Acquisition Companies) are being used as vehicles for investment by incumbents and startups alike. Read more.

Canadian Broker Network

CBN members are independent. Some say fiercely independent.

Through CBN guiding principles of innovation, collaboration, and commitment to growth, our members leverage the tremendous value of independence into best possible value propositions for clients, employees and insurer partners.

CBN is a proud sponsor of the 2021 Technology Awards.

InsurTech Spotlight

In the InsurTech Spotlight this week:
More Canadians start their search for insurance on than on any other website in Canada. helps consumers make smart financial decisions by offering industry-leading quoters that compare the insurance market for them. That allows us to generate high quality new business leads for our insurance partners. Learn more.

Calling all InsurTechs! Click here to participate.

Insurance Works

Featured job opportunities:

CSR Personal Lines – RIBO Licensed
Fava Insurance Brokers Limited
Oakville, ON

Client Service Advisor – Personal Insurance
Guthrie Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Toronto, ON

From Doug

What is a unicorn?

A unicorn startup is a private company with a valuation over $1 billion. As of March 2021, according to the Complete List of Unicorn Companies by CB Insights, there are more than 600 such companies around the world.

Subclasses based on valuations include the decacorn, valued at over $10 billion (the list identifies 31 of these, including 8 FinTechs, some of which may be InsurTechs), and the hectocorn, valued at over $100 billion (Bytedance is the only one).

Typically, venture capital firms invest in these startups. Their rapid growth and evaluations are based on factors such as a fast-growing strategy, potential company buy-outs (big companies often buy a startup rather than investing in competing internal development), raising capital without doing an IPO, the pace of technological advancements, etc.

The valuations of traditional companies are based largely on past performance, and for tech startups tends to be based more on future market opportunity.

Many InsurTechs started in a “garage” without much capital to help them grow. Many did find investors and some of those continued on a steep trajectory to reach unicorn status. The investments continue to escalate. I hope those valuations are reasonable, but I wonder about an “end” to it – with luck, not a messy one.

Doug Grant, CIP

Doug Grant

The Chronicle weekly newsletter features news, events, and general information relating to technology and innovation in the Canadian insurance industry and marketplace. Subscribe here or view past issues.

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