This latest move is another step in the shift towards digitalisation in the broker channel. Digitalisation has generally focused on the direct channel, using online methods to simplify the connection between insurers and customers. However, in 2019 the early signs suggest insurtechs do value the broker channel.
Homelyfe focuses on millennials. Its main selling point is convenience, as it claims to offer quotes in less than four minutes. Meanwhile Freedom Brokers is also a young company, having formed in 2017. The partnership will see the application process reduced to just two questions through a Homelyfe widget on Freedom Brokers’ website.
Homelyfe has targeted partnerships before, teaming up with personal financial management app Yolt to offer 60-second quotes through the latter’s app. This move was yet another example of companies in different financial services sectors linking their products and services in order to boost uptake. Meanwhile the deal between Homelyfe and Freedom Brokers suggests start-ups still value brokers. Perhaps brokers are less at risk of being cut out by digitalisation than many had previously feared.
Homelyfe is perfect for an Open Banking insurance partnership. Pension specialists PensionBee has recently agreed to have an API on Yolt’s personal finance manager app. This means that Yolt users are offered PensionBee’s services and can become subscribers through Yolt’s app. PensionBee is an advisory service that helps consumers collate all their various pensions together in one place. It then shows customers their combined balance and how much that would pay out annually if they retired at certain ages. PensionBee also has an open banking relationship with Starling Bank, highlighting how it is smaller, specialist providers that are capitalising.
Yolt previously agreed an open banking partnership with life insurance adviser Anorak, at the end of August 2018. Anorak is a life insurance adviser that asks customers a few questions, then utilises AI to scan policy documents from multiple insurers and picks the top three most suitable.
It is particularly interesting that two of the three insurers selected by Yolt are life insurance and savings-based companies. More simple personal lines products, such as Homelyfe, would appear to be easier to integrate. Yolt also continues to select individual line specialists for home, life, and pension insurance, as opposed to partnering with one mainstream insurer or broker to cover all bases. Yolt now has partnerships across general insurance and pensions, so it can offer full insurance coverage to its customers.
Furthermore, Homelyfe was one of our seven insurtechs to watch.