February 16, 2018

What is an aggregator?

An aggregator is a piece of software that retrieves bits of information from websites and puts them together on a single web page. Everybody has heard of news, recipe, and other aggregators, but in recent years bank aggregators have also grown at a brisk pace. They centralise the bank accounts of several banks, as well as assets (account books, life insurance, etc.) and debts (real estate credit, consumer credit, etc.). France’s leaders in this field are Bankin and Linxo, totalling over 3.1 million users. In Germany, Figo provides solutions to Consors Bank. Yodlee is an American aggregator operating in Europe and Asia. These aggregators develop platforms in order to integrate new third-party products and services (real estate, robo advisor, etc.).

Why insurance aggregators?

The main purpose of these aggregators is to centralise insurance policies. An insurer may not necessarily offer customers all the insurance they need, requiring them to take out policies with several different companies. The aggregator summarises all the customer’s contracts and payment schedules on a screen, increasing clarity and simplicity.

Most aggregators have robots allowing customers to analyse insurance policies in order choose the best one. As a result, a customer may cancel a policy if he or she is covered by more than one company for the same risk, choose another insurer if his or hers is too expensive, or increase coverage of a risk. These operations can be increasingly performed on a marketplace offered by the aggregator, which receives commissions, such as Broly in the United Kingdom and Policy Bazzar in India.

Some aggregators go further by offering to manage and keep track of customers’ claims. Wefox in Switzerland and Clark in Germany offer that service through mobile apps or partner banks.

What are the goals of insurance aggregators?

Like bank aggregators, which are gradually offering third-party products and services and growing in other countries, insurance aggregators currently being launched in several nations will quickly develop a banking and savings offer. The Hublio start-up is a fine example of an insurance aggregator that is growing simultaneously in six European countries and preparing a banking offer with the aim of becoming the user’s financial assistant.

What about traditional insurance companies?

Offering customers services such as optimising insurance policies raises many issues, such as the place of the company’s products in an open-architecture offer or the processing of a claim by another insurer. However, this may be one avenue to explore in order to meet the many challenges of regulation. Customers can be offered new types of coverage and more services in order to multiply contacts, and not just when a claim is filed. To that end, BNP Paribas Cardif is carrying out a robot project in Taiwan to help customers manage the warranties on their products (TVs, ovens, smartphones, etc.), as well as their protection and pension insurance contracts through an application.