Wakam seeks to reinvent itself in industry facing disruption from technology
Wakam — a privately owned company founded in 1829 which was once called La Parisienne Assurances — has reinvented itself as a so-called “insurtech” that will bring new business models to the sector. These range from car insurance that is billed based on how long you drive to technologies that track potential damage as a package is being shipped.
David Keohane in Paris and Oliver Ralph in FT
New Chairman Emmanuele Clarke gears up for an expansion drive and to challenge start-ups that have been trying to disrupt the industry.
Wakam is far from the only insurer trying to innovate. Competition spans start-ups such as SoftBank-backed Lemonade as well as insurance heavyweights. The latter have been investing in start-ups and their own capabilities, as the industry seizes on big data and artificial intelligence as ways to transform how risk is assessed and customers are dealt with.
It will be fascinating seeing if a privately owned company can out-innovate bigger, better known and potentially less flexible insurers. It already insures Revolut the challenger bank and Deliveroo and can deliver new products in less than six weeks.
Looks like Clarke and Wakam may have solved the CIO/CTO's dilemma we discussed last week.
“What we’ve seen through the pandemic is the limitation of the value of insurance for policyholders. Policyholders need more transparency and simplicity, and more digital interaction with their insurers,” said Mr Clarke “Large insurance companies which haven’t understood that there’s a need to transform the product run the risk of losing relevance,” he added.