DIgital insurance

Death of a Salesman

Business woman using smart phone in Berlin city.
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  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The insurance industry is being revolutionized by a new breed of online brokers known as insurtechs. A new study points to strong opportunities in insurance sales.

  • Facts


    • Brokers usually receive commissions from insurance companies, which are built into policyholders’ premiums.
    • Commissions earned by conventional insurance brokers are expected to decline by 40 to 50 percent by 2025.
    • One in six automobile policies is now purchased online.
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For a long time the insurance industry was epitomized by the travelling insurance salesman.

Calling door to door he would try to sell policies, offering to customize packages to individual customers’ needs. But he will soon become a figure of the past as the insurance business changes rapidly. In the future, customers will sit at home on their sofas, using apps on their smartphones to find the policy that suits them best.

And young startups, known as “insurtechs,” are part of this revolution. According to a current study by consulting firm Oliver Wyman and insurance broker Policen Direkt, they could very well succeed in outpacing the traditional firms. The first “Insurtech Radar,” which Handelsblatt has obtained, shows that there are plenty of opportunities to make money in insurance sales.

Investors think so too: The online broker Clark has just secured the second-largest financing package – worth €13.2 million – for a German insurance fintech.

In most cases nowadays, someone who wants to obtain an insurance policy can no longer do so directly with the insurance company, but has to find an agent or broker instead. Customers pay for their services, but only indirectly, as the brokers receive commissions from the insurance companies that are incorporated into the final price.

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