Over the last two years, Munich has become a hotspot for insurtech start-ups. Partly because of the high presence of world leading insurers, and partly because of the support of the local government and co-operation between insurers and reinsurers to create the ecosystems that support innovation.
Until recently, London was the European leader of insurtech, ever since the concept was born about four years ago. However, a looming Brexit has had a negative impact on the London insurance market, and its seat as a leading insurtech hub.
There are now a few insurtech specific accelerator programs in Europe. The main ones are Startupbootcamp InsurTech in London, Helvetia InsurTech Accelerator in Zurich, MundiLab powered by MunichRe in Madrid, Kamet by AXA, which has offices in Paris, London and Tel-Aviv, and W1 Forward InsurTech Accelerator in Munich. The last one of these is where Tapoly has been over the previous two months.
As a good indicator of how popular Munich has become, this year Digital Insurance Agenda is coming to the city, it is one of the biggest Insurtech conferences in the world.
What is even more exciting this year is that the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology has appointed Munich as a digital hub for insurtech. To mark the start of this, an association of renowned companies and institutions in the Bavarian insurance industry created an Insurtech Hub Munich event, which took place on Thursday 20th July.
“InsurTech Hub Munich is an important step in the evolution of Munich as a global insurance leader, that will bring together insurance talent from corporates and entrepreneurs to create innovative digital solutions with international reach.” – Florian Mann, CEO of WERK1
The initiative is led by Bavaria’s leading insurance companies and the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology, Accelerator Wayra, Startup Treefin AG and WERK1, as you can see from all the logos above. This means more resources and support for eligible startups.
“Digitalization is creating opportunities for the insurance industry at a spectacular speed. Customers have changed their behaviour and expect smart solutions that simplify their life. Munich, with its strong insurance and technology tradition, is the perfect place to create an Insurtech Hub to lead and shape the digital transformation of the industry. I am very proud that Generali and other major insurance companies have started this great adventure together, promoting and supporting innovative startups, cooperating with academic institutions and strong digitally engaged partners, and with the essential sponsorship of Bavarian and Federal Ministries.” – Vincenzo Reina, Country Head of Strategy and Smart Insurance Transformation at Generali
The InsurTech Hub is led by a five-man board. In the first round, these will be representatives of Allianz, Generali Deutschland, Munich Re, Nürnberger Insurance and Versicherungskammer Bayern. The chairman will be Tom Van den Brulle of Munich Re.
“We are very happy about this joint initiative. We see ourselves as an integrated think-tank at a prime location in Bavaria, which has close ties to the established insurance industry but which is not afraid to challenge their assumptions and lead innovation in the area.” – Tom Van den Brulle, Global Head of Innovation at Munich Re
“The InsurTech Hub Munich initiative is a priority for us as well as for the city of Munich, so that we remain globally competitive. We are pleased that Allianz is able to collaborate with regional and international insurers and technology providers to invest in the future of our business.” – Joerg Richtsfeld, Board Member of InsurTech Hub Munich for Allianz SE
“The aim of InsurTech Hub Munich is to establish and enforce active and trusting networking between many partners – insurance companies, start-ups, and universities. We want to provide an environment where connecting, exchanging and growing can take place. It enables start-ups to grow faster and the established insurance companies to benefit from the open attitude of start-ups and the important opportunities of digitalization and innovation.” – Johannes Wagner, Organisation Director / Insurtech Hub Munich and Start-up Cooperation.
As a result of this increased focus, Munich is forging ahead as a leader in the insurance and insurtech sectors, and looks well placed to become a global centre of innovation and technology in the years to come.