InsurTech is composed of the words “insurance” and “technology”. It is used as a collective term for the application of modern technologies in the domain of insurance services.
Digital and mobile brokers: FinTechs belonging to this category mostly act as digital insurance brokers and provide users with an overview of their insurance contracts with their respective conditions. Some FinTechs offer very short-term insurance contracts to cover specific cases which can be concluded often spontaneously via mobile devices. Oftentimes additional consulting services are offered.
Internet of things: FinTechs belonging to this category collect data by measuring for example the driving style of the customers or through wearables the customers wear to consult on, offer and/or manage the customer’s insurances.
Attitude of the country towards InsurTech-services
InsurTechs are getting more and more popular in Austria. Overall, the political and social climate is positive.
However, there are reservations in the public that insurance companies are hesitant about innovations. As a result, they are increasingly at risk of missing the boat on new InsurTech trends. It is generally acknowledged in the industry that insurance Start-ups offer great opportunities. Nevertheless, very few companies have yet initiated processes and measures to implement new digital products and services on the insurance market. They also expect traditional intermediaries to be among the losers in the InsurTech innovation wave and hope to generate their business through other sales channels in the future.
It is fair to say that the climate in Austria is definitely turned towards InsurTechs or is becoming increasingly open to them.
Obligations and requirements to provide InsurTech-services
The insurance business is regulated in the Austrian Insurance Supervision Act (Versicherungsaufsichtsgesetz – "VAG") and the Austrian Trade Act (Gewerbeordnung – "GewO"). Furthermore, data protection and money laundering regulations also have to be complied with.
InsurTechs are subject to insurance supervision if they conduct insurance business. Conducting insurance business as a provider domiciled in Austria requires a license from the competent Austrian supervisory authority, which usually is the Financial Market Authority. Insurance intermediaries or insurance consultancy services require a license not under VAG but rather under GewO.
A license for conducting insurance business costs depends on the services actually provided but amounts to at least EUR 7.500,00. A license to operate as an insurance intermediary or consultant and to get registered is much cheaper.
The requirements for an authorisation can differ depending on the line of business being pursued. A sufficient documentation has to be submitted as part of an application for authorisation to conduct insurance business, which includes a business plan. Furthermore, the company requires a sufficient business organisation, the persons who effectively run the undertaking or perform key tasks have to be sufficiently qualified and the company must have sufficient financial resources and a respective insurance.
Additional comments regarding the legal situation for InsurTech-services or what InsurTech’s must be aware of in this business area
Market size for InsurTech-services and biggest companies in this business area
Even though we cannot give exact statistics, the market in Austria is rather small and limited.
Additional comments regarding the economic situation for InsurTech-services or what InsurTech’s must be aware of in this business area