NY DFS warns life insurers on use of external data.
Hi there,

This week, we published our Fintech Trends to Watch in 2019 report.

The report analyzes fintech investment data from 2018 and walks through 10 of the key themes we're paying attention to this year.

One key data point that the report highlights is that North America is no longer powering global fintech funding growth as we progress into 2019.

One market we are paying more attention to is Southeast Asia and, in particular, Indonesia. Today, Indonesia features one of the most compelling macro backdrops for investment globally, with a young, optimistic, and upwardly mobile population of 264M. Consider that:
  • Half of Indonesia’s population is under the age of 30, with the number of millennials (aged 17-35) in Indonesia currently at 79.5M.
  • Among major Asian economies, people in Indonesia feel the most optimistic about their opportunity to advance in their careers, develop new skills, and build their finances, according to a LinkedIn study.
  • By 2050, Indonesia is projected to have the third-largest middle class among emerging markets.
Meanwhile, insurance literacy in Indonesia actually fell from 17.9% in 2013 to 15.8% in 2017. As such, regulators are encouraging the use of digital channels in insurance and have publicly voiced that “currently there are no regulations needed to regulate insurance marketing through digital means.”

We put together a detailed report on the current insurance landscape in Indonesia and five themes to watch when it comes to the future of insurance innovation in the region. Read it here.

Warning shot

There's been some differing takes regarding the new Circular Letter No. 1 that the New York Department of Financial Services sent to life insurers on the topic of external data sources and algorithmic underwriting.

The National Law Review, for example, writes:

While Letter No. 1 acknowledges that the use of technology can "improve access to financial services" and "benefit insurers and consumers alike by simplifying and expediting life insurance sales and underwriting processes," imposing the blizzard of burdens on insurers will weigh down the development of the very processes that can yield these benefits.

The Wall Street Journal, meanwhile, focused its attention on the use of social media, though only one insurer out of the 160 that the NY DFS queried said it was using social media, retail purchases or internet activities in life underwriting.

Recently, more headway has been made in incorporating medical records. In November, MIB Group signed an agreement with Epic to utilize its electronic health records system. Under the agreement, MIB's 400 US life insurance members will be able to access electronic health record (EHR) data via Epic's Chart Gateway for life insurance underwriting. 

Per MIB EVP Stacy Gill, "Some accelerated methodologies, rely on non-medical data that are, in effect, efforts to try and approximate what a medical underwriting result would look like for life insurance.”

What are your thoughts on the letter? Let us know and we'll publish a few responses in our next newsletter.

Have a great weekend,



CB Insights Hits

Fintech trends to watch in 2019 
A data-driven look back at fintech trends in 2018 and exploration of what's ahead in 2019.
Get the report.

The massive digital insurance opportunity in Indonesia
Indonesia is the second-fastest-growing P&C market and the fastest-growing market for life insurance. Here's where insurance tech innovation in Indonesia is happening today and where it's headed next.
Read the post.
Deals, News, & Perspectives 

A curated mix of recent articles on insurance tech financings, exits, hiring, product launches, partnerships, and perspectives.


Clover Health raises $500M. The Medicare Advantage startup has 40,000 members in Georgia, New Jersey, Arizona, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. Greenoaks Capital led the round.

Clearcover raises $43M. The Chicago-based MGA startup integrates with distribution partners to distribute auto insurance. Cox Enterprises led the round.
Insurance Journal

GoCo raises $7M. The Texas-based startup provides a HR and benefits automation platform for SMBs. Investors include ATX Seed Ventures and UpCurve.
HR Technologist

Yolo raises $5.7M. The Italy-based digital insurance brokerage and platform raised funds from Neva Finventures, the corporate VC arm of Intesa Sanpaolo, Net Insurance, Miro Ventures, and Barcamper Ventures.
Startup Business

Avinew raises $5.5M. The Westlake Village, CA-based startup plans to offer usage-based insurance programs to consumers and fleet operators who own cars equipped with advanced safety features. CrossCut Ventures led the round, with participation from American Family Ventures, Draper Frontier, and RPM Ventures.

Bsurance raises $4.6M. The Austria-based startup provides a B2B2C insurance platform to customers including trading companies and electronics retailers. UNIQA Ventures and SIGNA Holding are investors.
VC Startups

Aureus Analytics raises $3.1M. The startup provides analytics solutions for insurers to measure customer experience in real time. Investors include Connecticut Innovations, Multi-Act, and Alpine Meridian.
Connecticut Innovations

Kruzr raises $1.3M seed. The India-based startup provides a preventative driving assistant that helps drivers minimize mobile distractions, drowsy driving, and speeding. Saama Capital led the seed round.
Economic Times

By (re)insurers

Zurich invests in Pluto. Zurich plans to provide claims management expertise and underwriting capacity to the London-based travel insurance startup.
Insurance Business

Santam invests in Ctrl. South Africa-based Ctrl provides a car and household insurance advising app that enables users to request and accept quotes from different insurers and amend coverage.
Business Tech

AXA Venture Partners invests in Zeitgold. Germany-based Zeitgold develops a mobile app designed for small businesses, allowing users to perform financial tasks such as booking and accounting.


New York offers new guidance on external consumer data in life insurance. The department has sent all life insurers authorized to write coverage in the state a letter warning them about their responsibility to vet any “external consumer data and information sources" they use when looking at applicants for coverage.

Ping An P&C rolls out credit-based auto insurance claim solution. Drivers can make claims through their mobile phone and receive compensation deducted from a dynamic credit quota, which is related to their driving behavior and history.
Insurance Journal

Munich Re invests in German Research Center for AI. The reinsurer joins other members including Google and Microsoft supporting the non-profit public-private partnership.
Insurance Business

Ladder launches advisor offering. The digital term life insurance startup will offer advisors information about life insurance and a dashboard to help advisors see how much life insurance clients have.

Conifer partners with BetterView. The geospatial analytics startup will deliver property data and analytics to the Michigan-based P&C insurer's commercial lines underwriting team.
Intelligent Insurer
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