Canadian Underwriter

Top 10 Canadian insurer partners with Slice for new digital brand

July 18, 2018   by Jason Contant

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The Co-operators and insurtech Slice Labs announced Wednesday a partnership to allow the insurer to launch a new digital insurance brand in Canada.

The first product – underwritten by The Co-operators – will be a pay-per-use homeshare offering under the brand name duuo. That product will be for hosts using homesharing platforms such as Airbnb, HomeAway and VRBO, and will be launched in August, said Rob Wesseling, president and chief executive officer of The Co-operators, in an interview Wednesday.

In an exclusive arrangement with the Slice Insurance Cloud Services (ICS) platform, The Co-operators will create new insurance products “to meet growing customer needs for easy, on-demand insurance solutions that satisfy emerging digital economies,” the insurer said in a press release. Although he would not specify which products The Co-operators may launch next, Wesseling said that “there are a number of product ideas that we have on the list now.

“We ventured into this partnership with the intent of launching a range of products that will meet the under-met or unmet needs of our clients and our future clients,” Wesseling said, adding that in the future, there will be a “steady stream” of product launches. “The sky’s the limit in terms of P&C opportunities, life opportunities and health opportunities in the episodic and on-demand space.”

There is also a potential for micro insurance products, which typically offer lower coverage levels and premiums to cover basic risks of individuals and families related to things such as loss of income and healthcare.

Wesseling said that The Co-operators selected New York City-headquartered Slice (which also operates in Canada and the United Kingdom) as its insurtech vendor because of the ability to develop customized digital insurance products. Slice’s platform will use artificial intelligence and analytics capabilities to create non-traditional, on-demand insurance products for consumers.

Slice ICS includes pricing, rating, licensing, real-time and automated underwriting, servicing and capacity.

“ICS helps insurers build new on-demand insurance products and services without having to invest in costly IT infrastructure upgrades in order to become a digital insurer,” The Co-operators said in the release. “ICS delivers through a low cost monthly subscription without complex contracts or implementation costs.”

The insurer has been working with Slice for several months and the partnership meshes with The Co-operator’s overall strategy, Wesseling said. “Throughout our history, right through our origins at the end of the Second World War, our organization has been focused on meeting the ill-met and unmet insurance needs of clients, members and our communities. This is simply another step in that direction.”

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