Munich Re has partnered with insurtech startup Slice Labs Inc. as Slice prepares to launch its first on-demand, per-use insurance product.
Slice and Munich Re said they have agreed to an ongoing roll-out of products and territories with Slice supplying the technology platform to deliver the products directly to the consumer. Slice will also handle service and processing of claims.
The Slice digital platform will include automated underwriting rules agreed upon by Munich Re.
The two companies are currently working together to implement Slice’s first product in the United States, which Slice said in March would be a proprietary pay-per-use policy for Uber and Lyft drivers that covers drivers from the time they turn on their rideshare app until they turn it off.
Slice Labs earlier this year secured $3.9 million in seed funding led by Horizons Ventures and XL Innovate. The venture capital fund XL Innovate, launched last year, is financially backed by insurer XL Catlin Group and invests in companies developing new capabilities in the insurance sector.
Slice is headquartered in New York City and is thus far licensed to conduct business in California, Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.
The Slice founders include Timothy Attia and Ernie Hursh, both formerly of Bolt Solutions, a digital distribution platform for property/casualty insurance carriers.
Tom Hutton, managing partner of XL Innovate, is on Slice’s board of directors. Prior to XL Innovate, Hutton was CEO at Risk Management Solutions and White Mountains Re.
On Munich Re’s part, the deal is being handled by a new division, Digital Partners, where Andrew Rear is chief executive.
“Digital Partners is a new Munich Re global venture designed to partner with disruptors who are changing the way insurance is experienced by customers,” said Rear in a statement. “We are looking forward to helping Slice re-imagine and redesign insurance to support the on-demand economy.”
Asked about Munich Re’s working with an insurtech that is being funded by another insurer, in this case XL Catlin, Rear said he sees venture capital funding and business partnerships as separate activities. “If successful, our partnership with Slice will generate a lot of value for them, and therefore for their investors,” he told Insurance Journal.
Slice’s Emily Mertz agreed that the insurance and venture capital operations are independent. She described XL Innovate as not part of XL Catlin’s insurance operations. “Because of the breadth of product and scope of opportunity, Slice needs multiple global players to meet the potential product and capacity needs. XL Innovate and Munich Re are both strategic to Slice,” she stated.
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