Peru insurtech Hello Zum links up with Marsh, plans incursions

Friday, February 2, 2018

A Peruvian insurtech is blazing a digital transformation trail in Latin America.

Hello Zum has developed an online platform through which the first 100% digital auto insurance policy in the country was recently issued.

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Lima-based Hello Zum, co-founded by Peruvian insurance veteran Carlos Vidal (in photo), is planning to take the platform to Chile and Argentina next quarter.

The platform is currently licensed to the local unit of global broker Marsh. Local insurer Pacifico Seguros was the first to plug into it.

Hello Zum's platform acts as a centralized customer and policy data repository. Via APIs, stakeholders can bolt on their own software systems.

Scotiabank Peru's insurance division and Peruvian healthcare provider Sanna are also Hello Zum clients.

It is designed to slash costs for stakeholders by at least 25% and the time it takes for a policy to be issued by streamlining and automating various administrative processes.

In Peru – where insurance forms are often filled out by hand and mistakes are commonplace – it currently takes 2-4 weeks for a policy to be issued. Via Hello Zum policies can be issued in a matter of minutes.

Vidal, who has 25 years of experience in the industry, embarked upon his insurtech journey in 2012, when he left the corporate world and started to plan the solution.

"Throughout my carrier I was able to work on the broker side and on the carrier side. And on both I was able to work in different positions which gave me a good overview of the industry," Vidal, whose father was also a broker, told BNamericas.

"It [the platform] came about because of the inefficiencies in the industry, based on how we exchange information and the problems we have," he added.

"Even though this is a US$5tn industry worldwide we still exchange information the old way: through PDFs, paper documents, Excel spreadsheets, emails."

Because of this "we can't penetrate new segments as an industry. Margins are not there anymore. We're not efficient. The customer experience is not good. The solution is a market solution and it is the way we exchange information."

Vidal said it is vital that insurers eventually transform digitally to reduce their costs and remain competitive. "If you're not digital you're going to have to start sacrificing your margins," he said.

Insurtech is still in its early stages of development in Latin America.