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7 May 2021
Juan Mazzini

APIs at Work

Two recent headlines from Chubb have a lot of people in the industry talking (and thinking how not to be left behind). In case you haven’t seen them, here are that news:

Both digital insurance offerings were developed using the digital integration capabilities of Chubb Studio, Chubb’s global digital product distribution platform.

Chubb is also behind many other partnerships such as embedded personal accident insurance through Beam covering riders using their scooter on-demand service in New Zealand, or in-app insurance solutions to Grab members throughout Southeast Asia, just to mention a couple.

What Chubb is doing is impressive. As an incumbent, using enabling technology such as APIs and a digital framework to facilitate digital partnerships is something to note. I also think that as valuable as the technology they are using, is their execution capability. Many insurers are already using APIs to integrate with business partners, but what its sometimes challenging is executing at scale. Chubb is doing it and across the globe.

Having said that, they are not alone at executing at scale. Their peers in Asia, such as Zhong An, have made the ecosystem model their core business model, with huge success.

As it internationalizes, Zhong An continues to make good use of technology. Not only they’ve created ZA Information and Technology Services Co. Ltd in 2016 to focus on the technology export business, but also using technology as an insurance business enabler across the different geographies where Zhong An operates. For example, ZA Insure[1] has recently announced that is selling insurance in partnership with ZA Bank, Hong Kong’s first virtual bank. ZA Bank customers can access ZA Insure products through the ZA Bank app.

Continuing with Asia, we are witness to a massive scale of ecosystems from tech and e-commerce giants such as Alibaba and Tencent which are already playing in the financial and insurance industry. More on this in our report: What If Amazon Entered Your Industry Three Years Ago?

More examples can be found with startups from recent years. At the core of each digital MGA or neo-insurer is the API capability. Think Qover and Azur in Europe, Slice Labs and Lemonade in North America, Mecubro in South America.

Last but not least, an example of another incumbent playing this game is AXA XL which we’ve recognized as model insurer in 2020 and 2021 for partnership and ecosystem building (cyber and construction).

Affinity, partnerships, and the concept of ecosystems are nothing new to insurance. The novelty is the digitalization of all of them.

At Celent we have a wealth of research touching on this topic, covering case studies, benchmarks, trends and IT implications such as this report we published back in 2019 on API and Affinity in Insurance: Revisiting our SOA Predictions and Path Forward.

More Celent related research, in case you are interested in the topic:

[1] Digital only insurer ZA Insure (the trade name of ZA Life Limited) is a joint venture between ZhongAn Technologies International Group Limited (established in Hong Kong by ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co.) and Fubon Life Insurance (Hong Kong) Company Limited.


Insight details

Life & Health Insurance, Property & Casualty Insurance
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Insurance, >>Life/Annuities Insurance, >>Property / Casualty Insurance
Insight Format
Geographic Focus
Asia-Pacific, EMEA, LATAM, North America