Swiss Re Insurance-Linked Fund Management

Original Risk: A Society for Change Agents

Swiss Re backs Cover Genius parametric quake cover for California businesses


Global reinsurance company Swiss Re is providing the underwriting capacity for a new parametric earthquake insurance product for businesses in California, partnering with insurtech Cover Genius, underwriting firm Palomar and tech giant Intuit on the launch.

parametric-earthquake-insuranceShake Shield, as the parametric quick paying insurance product is being called, is the first of a number to be launched through a partnership between insurtech Cover Genius and Intuit.

Cover Genius’ insurance distribution platform will deliver protection products to Intuit’s customers of its QuickBooks accounting and business management product.

Shake Shield is a quick paying parametric insurance solution built by Cover Genius and Swiss Re and made available through Cover Genius’ XCover insurance distribution platform.

Paying out quickly for any qualifying earthquake, Shake Shield will be made available to QuickBooks customers in California initially.

This initiative again demonstrates how Swiss Re white-labels its reinsurance balance-sheet alongside partners, to secure access to new sources of risk.

The company does this using its own iptiQ platform, but with these partnership deals it expands the reach of its reinsurance balance-sheet even further, tapping the customer-base of partners with these distribution deals that bring its underwriting capacity much more directly to consumers.

The fact Shake Shield is available through Cover Genius’ distribution platform means it could be integrated with other partners, tapping their customer flows to be distributed more widely and to other regions of the U.S. or globally, where earthquake insurance is undersold, or less available currently.

Initiatives like this help Swiss Re deliver its reinsurance capacity much more directly to the consumer, through relationships with partners that have significant customer bases of their own.

Shake Shield is being underwritten by Palomar Excess and Surplus Insurance Company, with reinsurance provided by Swiss Re.

QuickBooks is a very widely used tech platform, particularly among SME’s and with California likely a hub for users.

Shake Shield will be integrated with the QuickBooks experience, tapping an API created by Cover Genius to enable automated claim assessments and payments.

US Geological Survey data is being used for the parametric trigger, which will be processed in real time and payments made rapidly to a customers designated bank account following a successful claim submission.

“Over the past few years we have all experienced natural catastrophes like the Coronavirus pandemic, earthquakes, wildfires and floods which highlight the need for businesses to receive timely financial support from their insurance companies,” explained Mitch Doust, Chief Operating Officer for the Americas for Cover Genius. “We are thrilled to team up with Intuit, a Fortune 500 company that is committed to a technology-first approach to insurance that drives better outcomes for small businesses. We are also excited to expand the collaboration into additional commercial insurance products down the line.”

“Cover Genius’ superior technology and customer-first approach align well with our overall strategy to deliver the right tools and services to help small businesses succeed and offer peace of mind to our customers,” added Mauricio Comi, Head of SMB Insurance for Intuit. “In the current climate, businesses are looking for products that can help protect them when things go wrong and Shake Shield is the first of many that we will explore with Cover Genius.”

As the insurance world increasingly embraces API’s and technology, the parametric product can be more directly distributed and much more broadly marketed through relationships with tech companies that have enormous customer-bases and significant customer acquisition ability.

Parametric triggers are most suitable to these white-label distribution led approaches, as they can be automated and more fully-integrated into the customer experience of a partner, bringing the insurance product to the customer in the right place and at the right time (which is absolutely key).

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