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Insurance Competition Heats Up As Tower Partners With Open To Launch Disruptive Car And Home Insurance

26 May 2021

Imagine a world in which you only pay for car insurance based on how much you drive, or your home contents policy is automatically updated when you buy new tech, art and furniture. This type of personalised insurance will soon be possible in New Zealand with the launch of Huddle in late 2021.

Open is teaming up with Tower Insurance to launch Huddle, bringing simple, personalised, digital-first insurance to New Zealand.

Open has sold more than 60,000 car and home insurance policies across Australia, and also offers insurance through tech leaders such as Telstra. Open’s New Zealand operation will be underwritten by Tower and leverage Tower’s reinsurance, pricing and claims supply chain, all via API thanks to Tower’s significant investment in technology.

Tower CEO, Blair Turnbull says more competition can only be a good thing for Kiwis in an insurance market that is currently dominated by big players.

“There is a huge opportunity to reimagine how insurance operates so we welcome the innovation and energy that clever insurtech start-ups like Huddle are bringing to our industry.

“Huddle’s success will be our success, leading to accelerated growth for both companies and more choice for customers. It’s a win-win. Underwriting Open’s New Zealand operation is one of many innovative partnerships we are investing in,” says Mr Turnbull.

Open applies artificial intelligence for better pricing, machine learning and community thinking to insurance, allowing customers to submit claim forms and pictures online, and to receive money or vouchers for replacement items within minutes. Huddles uses its high-end technology platform, involving hundreds of bots, for all day-to-day backend operations and claims.

Jason Wilby, Co-founder and joint CEO of Open , says Tower is the perfect partner for their New Zealand expansion.

“The majority of New Zealand’s insurance market is made up of businesses with legacy systems that aren’t nimble, and don't serve customers well. It might seem strange that we’re partnering with a 150-year-old Kiwi-owned company, but Tower is completely aligned with our vision to recalibrate how insurers leverage digital and data. Together we can engage customers and make insurance simpler and easier for all Kiwis.”

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