Enabling insurance access through an innovative ecosystem

How one tech-enabled platform unlocks access to more insurance and protection capabilities

Enabling insurance access through an innovative ecosystem

Insurance News


As mobile phones and tablet computers become nearly essential devices, insurance coverage for them is expected to become a growth area worldwide. An industry leader who watches developments in this field is Robert Schimek, CEO of bolttech, one of Insurance Business Asia’s 5-Star Insurance Innovators for 2021. The Singapore-based company serves the markets across Asia, North America, and Europe.

In this interview with Insurance Business Asia, Schimek describes bolttech as an enabler for all participants in the insurance marketplace to compete effectively. Market participants include established insurers that compete against new insurtech firms, insurers that want access to a distribution network, and insurtechs that aim to compete with established insurers.

Schimek describes bolttech as a B2B2C company that works with other businesses so they can offer insurance at the point of need. In the process, bolttech has established more than 700 different ecosystem partnerships, which drive insurance premiums amounting to US$5 billion every year. bolttech also works with established insurers to create new insurtech-type capabilities, as well as with e-commerce and telecom firms, and with neobanks and retailers. Schimek believes that this approach democratises the insurance marketplace and is bolttech’s success formula.

“Our mission is to become the world’s leading technology-enabled ecosystem for protection and insurance,” he said.

Because bolttech operates in the device protection space, it can help more consumers insure not only their mobile phones but also other home electronic devices, using a technology platform with simple, modular features. This service is particularly useful for a region like Southeast Asia, where Schimek has noticed a protection gap because many consumers are still unaware that certain protections are available. Now, bolttech’s business partners can offer insurance for a gadget several months or even a year after the customer has bought it.

“We’ve created a technology that we refer to as ‘click to protect’ – it’s proprietary technology. [It enables our business partners] to make the protection capability available to the customer even when it wasn’t at the original brand new out-of-the-box purchase date, so it’s making this coverage available to many more people in many more ways,” he said.

Schimek emphasises bolttech’s partnerships with some of the largest insurers that are engaged in the sharing economy. According to him, this business model calls for a change in companies’ mindsets about customer relationships and risk-bearing capacity in terms of assuming certain risks on their own balance sheet or putting those risks on a friendly competitor’s balance sheet.

He also cites two factors that are influencing the industry’s evolution. First is the need for a technology makeover, which is made possible by companies like bolttech, and second is a shift from being product-focused to being more customer-focused, which will define the long-term success of a business.

Referring to current industry developments, Schimek says: “We need to have technological advancements so that we can move faster and provide better customer service. That’s one of the reasons why the bolttech platform has received so much adoption and so much interest from existing players in the insurance industry.”

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