Swiss Re has made a minority investment in insurtech digital platform Klimber Latam Corp as the reinsurer looks to grow in Latin America’s life and health insurance markets and replicate its strategy of supporting digital businesses in other regions around the world.

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The reinsurer already has its own digital white-label provider of property and casualty and life and health insurance in iptiQ, and while that platform has operations in the US, China and Europe, it does not have a presence in Latin America.

As Kaspar Mueller, president reinsurance Latin America for Swiss Re, told The Insurer, iptiQ “is a strategic pillar for Swiss Re group”.

“We want to have this ability to allow clients to sell digital products through their own brand but with our support, and in Latin America we believe Klimber, which is not a carrier, is the right partner for this.

Klimber, which is headquartered in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was founded in 2016, and in 2018 the platform launched the first digital life insurance offering in Latin America.

Since then, the platform has evolved and now also offers personal accident and auto insurance products, through its end-to-end, internally developed digital and automated infrastructure.

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It has partnered with life insurance giant Prudential, wellness specialist Vitality Group and medical platform Emergencias Salud.

Klimber will now benefit from having the financial strength of Swiss Re behind it, as well as access to the reinsurer’s products, solutions and pool of knowledge and data.

Life and health build-out

Mueller said the initial focus for his company will be in helping Klimber further build out its life and health offerings.

Klimber, Mueller said, already has a large portfolio of life and health policies being traded through its platform, but with Swiss Re now supporting the business, the plan is to “scale this up significantly”.

As Mueller explained, Swiss Re will support the development of life and health products in partnership with Klimber and primary insurers. It will then provide a proportional quota share reinsurance to the cedant.

“The opportunity here is very clear,” said Mueller.

“It’s a new distribution channel, which is end to end digitalized, it’s faster than traditional channels, you can adjust the products, and it allows us to integrate solutions across a range of different distribution channels,” he added.

Vast growth potential

Mueller highlighted the vast potential that Swiss Re’s partnership with Klimber has, and noted how online banking has revolutionized the market and grown significantly, led by Brazil.

The same momentum is starting to take hold in insurance as well, Mueller said.

“The dynamics are different between payment accounts and buying a life insurance policy, but the ground is there to have the channels to distribute that,” said Mueller.

“The reason why the banks are successful is because they just have a better offer for many clients than the traditional banks have, and we believe with Klimber we’ll be able to do the same thing,” he added.

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Argentina is an obvious starting point for Klimber, but Brazil and Mexico – Latin America’s two largest economies – will also be key focuses early on as the platform looks to develop further scale.

“I’m hopeful we’ll have something go live this year,” said Mueller when asked when Swiss Re hopes to bring something to market in tandem with Klimber.

“There are no guarantees around that and it’ll be a lot of work to get there, but we haven’t done this to be live in two or three years, we want to start selling policies.

“And that’s part of the attraction of this partner – they are selling policies today, so we know that it works and now we can scale it and have additional products,” Mueller stated.

Klimber’s CEO Julián Bersano said: “Having Swiss Re as one of our main investors will enable Klimber not only to quickly establish our digital solutions as a standard in Latin America, but also provides our company with critical resources to deliver innovative protection to more than 100 million of underinsured Latin Americans.”