Bitesize InsurTech: Assur’up
May 19, 2017 Chris Sandilands
Assur’up is a French online SME broker.
The business was started by David Carasso, a serial entrepreneur, who realised two things about insurance for startups: insurance products were not tailored to fit startup business models, and traditional brokers did not understand the needs of startups. He launched the business in November 2015 to address these issues. Since the company’s launch, they have secured 250 clients with over 400 contracts, and offered products from 15 insurance companies.
David’s experience with a startup in the shared transportation space showed him that insurance brokers in France work out of brick and mortar offices and insist that clients meet them in person. When startup founders discuss their technology-based businesses, they do not understand and cannot offer appropriate coverage. Assur’up offers products which are tailored for startups in an online quote and buy process. They have focused on three startup markets so far: technology, consulting, marketing. hey are planning to expand into areas such as e-commerce and biotechnology soon. David claims the model is expandable to the traditional SME market as well.
Assur’up has three elements to its proposition:
- An online broker, which captures startup coverage requirements and advises them of appropriate policies (rather than simply aggregating and displaying policies);
- To provide bespoke policies for clients after they gather customer requirements (which are designed in conjunction with their insurance partners);
- A “concierge” model, whereby a customer can upload existing policies so that Assur’up can search for gaps and overlaps, and make recommendations.
Up to this point Assur’up has been self-funded, but the company is attempting to close its first investment round next quarter. They are targeting a range of investor types, but are focused on strategic investors that bring expertise in insurance or deep knowledge of the startup customer.
The Oxbow Partners view
Assur’up offers similar services to other companies we have profiled in the SME space, for example Liimex (in their use software to assess gaps and overlaps of customers’ existing policies); Next Insurance (in their targeting of several very specific market segments for which they have designed policy packages); and CoverWallet (in their very quick quote and buy process).
The challenge will be the French market. In a recent piece of strategy work, Oxbow Partners interviewed a number of industry contacts on the attractiveness of the French SME market for online distribution. Two representative quotes were: “I wouldn’t do online SME in France – it’s too early” and “[there’s been a] massive increase in traffic to our website but people aren’t converting…for every 10,000 hits on our website we convert 10 people through an agent subsequently – not even online.”
That said, interviewees also said that there were niches which could buck this trend – the large freelancer community, for example. As such, our research suggests that Assur’up is going for the right niches in a tough market. Bon courage!
Read our blog post on refreshing your SME strategy.