Amazon’s movement into the insurance industry picked up pace in the second half of 2018, as Travelers announced a partnership with the technology giant that will see the insurer sell smart home kits that include security cameras, water sensors, motion detectors, a wireless smart home hub and an Amazon Echo Dot to its customers at discounted prices. In September, Amazon also entered the Indian insurance market with life, health, and general insurance product, and rumors in June hinted that Amazon was considering offering home insurance.
After the 2018 World Insurance Report revealed that almost 30% of customers worldwide would be up for buying insurance from tech firms like Google and Amazon, insurance companies might be worried about their ability to compete should these giants take the plunge. One expert outlined just how concerned insurers should be about the Amazon threat.
“They’re just trying to disrupt the distribution channel of leads, so when they have a device in every house and they’re able to integrate with any carrier, they’re effectively using themselves as a lead provider,” said Laird Rixford, CEO of Insurance Technologies Corporation (ITC). “But then you have a lot of carriers, such as Travelers, that are going to continue to distribute those leads to their own agencies, so they’re trying to keep their agencies in the mix for the time being.”