Wefox acquires digital insurance carrier One

Wefox, the German insurance platform that enables customers, insurance brokers and insurance providers to transact and manage insurance products digitally, has acquired One, a fully digital and newly launched insurance provider.

Although terms of the deal remain undisclosed, I understand the two companies already shared a number of investors, including Wefox investing in One itself, and that Wefox Group CEO and founder Julian Teicke had been advising One prior to launch.

The thinking behind the merger, which sees One founder Stephan Ommerborn, formerly an executive at Zurich Insurance Group, remain as CEO of One, is that the digital-only insurance company can act as flagship business on the Wefox platform, integrating at a deeper level and therefore offering a better customer experience. This in turn should help to drag the rest of the insurance industry into the digital age — which is Wefox’s long term vision.

An analogy I used in a call with Teicke is what Google has done over the years with its Nexus phones. They aren’t necessarily trying to knock out all other Android phone makers but are intended to raise the bar and provide an example of what is possible.

To that end, I’m told that One is setting the direction the insurance industry is heading in terms of data access. Its procedures, both front and back office, are fully digital, resulting in a claimed three minutes it takes for customers to pick and purchase an insurance product.

More importantly, the digital (and hopefully improved) customer experience extends to claims-management too. “With mobile claims reporting, claims can be settled, and in 60 percent of claims the money will be transferred into a customer’s account in under a minute,” says One. Data is also handled in real-time, allowing customers to check their current insurance status instantly.

Asked if Wefox-owned One is now an unfair competitor on the Wefox platform, Teicke says it will remain independent and won’t be pushed ahead of other insurance products either by Wefox itself or the 100s of independent brokers who use the platform to manage their customers’ insurance needs.

Instead, because of the data that is going through the platform every day, such as how quickly claims are settled, each insurance product is given an algorithmically generated customer satisfaction score, which One is also subject to like any another insurance product offered through Wefox.