December 26, 2019 by Jason Contant
Online insurer Sonnet Insurance has launched a group insurance offering, already signing on Deloitte to offer a group home and auto discount to its employees across Canada in the near future.
“As Sonnet considered various approaches to scaling a profitable insurance business, we looked at group insurance to see if we could enter the space,” Eric Marion, vice president of group insurance at Sonnet, told Canadian Underwriter Dec. 19. “As we considered entry into the space, we set our sights on going beyond the sale of insurance products and looked at how we could help tackle a trending concern of HR executives – employee financial wellness.”
Through the Sonnet Group Insurance offering, employees of participating companies will be provided with insurance at a discounted rate, Sonnet said in a press release Dec. 17, when it launched the offering. Organizations that could potentially qualify for a group insurance are employers with 100 employees or more, professional associations, alumni associations and certain affinity groups.
Marion said Sonnet doesn’t disclose the specific discount attributed to a group, which can vary based on the risk profile of the employee or member base. There is no limit to how many employees can receive the discount, which also extends to spouses and children under 25. The group discount is in addition to any other discount the applicant qualifies for, such as bundling home and auto insurance.
“Sonnet has an exceptionally simple, self-service customer experience which can naturally mesh with leading employee benefit platforms,” Marion said. “Employers could easily highlight this as a five-minute ‘lunch-time task,’ which could in turn contribute to increased adoption and satisfaction for the employee base.”
In partnering with Sonnet, employers also gain access to Sonnet Connect, a network of like-minded brands whose special offers across financial services further contribute to financial wellness. Employers could get access to helpful information and a suite of services from Sonnet’s partners, for example.
Sonnet Group Insurance harnesses sophisticated technology with back-end tracking that monitors engagement with linked financial products, said Sonnet, which launched in 2016. Working with employers, Sonnet can provide relevant insights and contribute to larger strategies to drive employee engagement, retention, and productivity.
“We felt it was important to go beyond reporting the number of clients, policies and premiums that a given program drives,” Marion explained. “As a fully-digital insurance company, we can harness data on employee engagement with our group insurance offering. We can then provide relevant insights, such as the ideal time to engage with employees for other programs, which segments of the employee based react to certain types of communications, percent of employees who are engaging with our Sonnet Connect partners, and how much time employees are spending on the insurance buying process.”
Marion added that Sonnet’s technology and innovation have allowed the insurer to use just a few easy questions to accurately underwrite potential customers quickly, saving them time and allowing them to determine what package is right for them, with the help of simplified policy language and supporting educational materials.
Looking forward, Sonnet plans to scale its group business and will be rolling out more groups throughout 2020. “As we bring on more groups, our team will identify opportunities to adapt our value proposition to meet the evolving needs of employers, associations and their employee/member base,” Marion said.