What’s making headlines in insurtech?

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Gus Mallett Content Writer
3min read

2022 is well underway and if you’re still wishing people a Happy New Year, it’s time to stop living in the past.

With that said, here’s a rundown of the key moments from our first Insurtech Insider news show of the year. We zeroed in on some of the biggest and best stories in insurtech either side of the festive season. Okay. You can live in the past for a little bit longer.

UK insurers banned from giving new customers cheaper deals

In what people are calling ‘the biggest shake-up to the insurance industry for decades’, the FCA has banned insurers from raising the price of home and motor insurance for existing customers.

It’s a blow to households that avoid the ‘loyalty penalty’ like the plague. For years, aggregator and price comparison sites have made light work of turning up cheaper premiums for customers on the lookout.

It’s a blow to households that avoid the ‘loyalty penalty’ like the plague.

But the news will be warmly received in some quarters. Older generations, for instance, shouldn’t get fleeced because they’re less likely to shop around. The ruling is expected to save consumers in the region of £4.2bn over the next 10 years, according to the FCA.

Martin Lewis, everyone’s favourite money saving expert, has given his two cents: “Firms won’t just cut renewal prices to match those for newbies. Rates will meet nearer the middle as happened in 2012, when insurers were barred from gender price discrimination. This will mean savings from switching will likely relatively reduce”.

A very interesting development.

Markerstudy acquires Comparethemarket owner's insurance arm in £400m deal

Speaking of price comparison sites…

Serial acquirers Markerstudy have snapped up BGL Insurance - as owned by the group behind Comparethemarket - for a £400 million fee. Aleksandr the meerkat was unavailable for comment.

Markerstudy is really putting down a marker. Sorry. Just two years after their acquisition of Co-op Insurance's underwriting business made them the UK's sixth-largest motor insurer, this move will double their customer reach to 6 million.

It’s a big buy but a sensible one. The two companies have enjoyed a fruitful partnership for years. Cross-sell and up-sell opportunities are everywhere. In theory, integration should prove relatively painless.

And what a way to kick off M&A in the insurance industry this year! After a bit of a lull in 2021 (thanks Covid), it’s great to see some ambitious moves in the insurance sector. Could it signal the start of a bumper year to rival 2020? Here’s hoping.

And what a way to kick off M&A in the insurance industry this year!

Insurers seek to block claims from illegal e-scooter riders

This one’s sure to ruffle a few feathers…

A man sustained serious injuries after being clipped by a bus while riding an e-scooter. His legal team are seeking damages as insurers try to block claims from being made.

The case is being used as a litmus test for the estimated 750,000 illegal two-wheelers currently on the road. Private e-scooters are only allowed to be driven on private land. Rentals involved in ‘official schemes’ are the exception.

It is one difficult case. The man was wearing a hi-vis jacket and helmet and riding safely. Not to mention the extent of his horrific injuries. But a crime is a crime. And once you start paying out for it, where do you draw the line?

Really, what we need is clarity. I can’t be the only one who had no idea e-scooters were illegal.

Mandatory insurance coverage for medical cannabis extended to 50 million Colombians

From next year, every insurance provider in Colombia will have to cover the cost of medical cannabis prescriptions.

The country is home to around 6 million patients that use medical cannabis products, while more than 97% of the population is covered by health insurance.

Our understanding of the medical benefits of certain drugs is a-changin’ and this means opportunity. From farming to procurement to product, insurers need to wake up and smell the coffee. It may not be here quite yet, but when the wave hits it’s best to be the one in a wetsuit.

That’s the news and I’m outta here

There you have it. The latest in insurtech from the last month or so. For more fascinating stories, check out our Insurtech Insider news podcast. We get great guests together and have a whale of a time.