German insurer ALLIANZ strategically invests in LEMONADE

26 April 2017 — Daniela GHETU
ALLIANZ SE has announced it has recently made a "strategic investment" in Lemonade Insurance Company, a New York-licensed renters and homeowners insurer powered by artificial intelligence and behavioural economics.

"The partnership ties in neatly with our digitization focus," ALLIANZ said in a press statement, emphasizing that "insurance technology - or insurtech for short - promises to revolutionize the industry." No financial details about the investment were made public.

"We looked broadly at the insurtech space and we were thrilled to see Lemonade's big ambitions. The company is looking to improve the insurance value chain and it is seeking to use technology-driven efficiencies to redefine an insurer's role in its community. Emerging technologies will bring convenience to customers and make insurers' processes more efficient; greater efficiency and transparency will change the way people think about insurance...for the better!," ALLIANZ SE Chief Digital Officer Solmaz ALTIN said.

On Lemonade's side, Daniel SCHREIBER, CEO and Co-Founder stated: "Allianz is one of the oldest and most established global insurers. It is also strongly committed to innovation. When I met up with the Allianz team, I was impressed by how open they were to rethinking, reinventing and learning from others. It's very much in line with the culture we are trying to adopt at Lemonade."

Headquartered in New York City, Lemonade Insurance Company was founded by Shai Wininger and Daniel Schreiber in 2015. In November last year, Lemonade filed for licenses in 47 U.S. states, aiming to reach 97 percent of the U.S. population. About 80 percent of the company's customers are aged between 25 and 44 years.

According to the Lemonade website, its basic proposal for customers is that it takes "90 seconds to get insured" and "three minutes to get paid," - thus fulfilling one of the main young consumers' expectations. As an example, in January media cited a case where a claim for a lost jacket was allegedly paid in just three seconds after a Lemonade bot reviewed the claim and ran numerous anti-fraud algorithms on it before approving the claim and sending wiring instructions to the customer's bank.

Taking into account this feature, the German insurer sees in the Lemonade partnership a step forward in preparing for the future: "Constructive disruption does not happen suddenly. It creeps into the nooks and crannies of business operations. Changes in the digital age occur in an exponential way. We need to look out for early signs of disruptions, recognize patterns and use these insights to build our customer solutions," ALTIN said.