Bitesize InsurTech: Grün Versichert (“Green Insurance”)
April 7, 2017 Greg Brown
April is German Startup month. This week we are covering Grün Versichert, a startup offering “green” insurance.
Founded in 2014 by Fabrice Gerdes, Grün Versichert has received various certifications and awards for its focus on sustainability. The company is both a wholesale and retail broker (and claims to work with over 20,000 brokers).
How it works
Grün Versichert collaborates with insurers to build green insurance products. For a product to be certified as ‘green’ insurers must invest one euro in a green fund for every euro of premium sold.
Claims pay-outs are up to 60% higher if customers choose eco-friendly product alternatives as measured by the EU efficiency rating.
Finally, the company itself plants a tree in Northern India for every policy sold. It inevitably tries to run a paperless office and has its current account with Ethik Bank – you can guess why.
There is benefit for insurers too. Ecologically-minded customers are, according to the company, typically a better risk. The lower loss frequency helps pay for the higher claims pay-outs.
The company initially launched with a personal liability product and have now expanded into household, pet and personal injury. In 2017 they plan to launch life and occupational disability insurance.
The products are currently only available in Germany. The company has plans to launch in Austria and Switzerland in the immediate future. As for the rest of Europe, Fabrice says: “We want to expand beyond German speaking markets later this year. The UK is a particularly interesting market for us”. They have just announced a funding round to support expansion plans.
The Oxbow Partners view
Unless you’re Donald Trump or Steve Bannon you’ll probably agree that climate change is happening. Grün Versichert offers a practical way to do your bit, or at least assuage the guilt.
There are two ways to view the company. From an ethical perspective, it’s a great effort to fuse capitalism with green objectives. From a (cynical?) capitalist perspective, it’s also interesting to hear Fabrice comment that his customers are “less price-elastic than the average customer…our products cost slightly more [than equivalent products]”.