“La Parisienne Assurances wants to be a unicorn breeder”! (Alexandre Rispal)

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At the very beginning of January, I had the opportunity to meet and interview Alexandre Rispal, Chief Revenue Officer of La Parisienne Assurances (website) and Lena Ansari, the communication lead. As I’ve been in contact with Alexandre for more than 12 years (in an old life ;-)), it’s always a pleasure to meet him.

La Parisienne is one of the most atypical players in the French market, and even on a global market. Company created in 1829, so soon bicentennial, it operated a spectacular change a few years ago to transform itself into a digital insurer. Here’s what to remember from this interview.

La Parisienne Assurances, an atypical and ambitious model

A large majority of insurtechs worldwide (around 40%) concerns distribution step. Where La Parisienne Assurances clearly stands out in this digital context is that it is an insurance company, which has made a strategic choice to stop distribution and contract/claims management. They sold those activities a few years ago. Thus, they position themselves as only risk carriers and are therefore looking for distributor partners.

This movement presupposes being able to provide insurance products quickly and efficiently to distributors. It is on this axis that La Parisienne can boast of being a digital insurer. Indeed, they launched the IPaaS: Insurance Product As A Service system a few years ago. Clearly, those are off-the-shelf insurance products, available via APIs and therefore potentially accessible to any connected distributor.

An innovative method

Find partners

For Alexandre Rispal, the main development axis of La Parisienne Assurances is to conquer distributor partners, in France, but also abroad.

This requires several layers of searches:

  • first, using traditional distribution networks (brokers) to suggest them to complete their portfolio with innovations;
  • then, be visible to newly created startups and insurtechs to be contacted naturally in order to build products for them;
  • eventually, go and find new distributors, and help them in their structuring and administrative registration.

The latter case is particularly interesting. Indeed, this opens the door to new players, not currently licensed, but who might have an interest in becoming one. (Note: remember in France, you have to register yourself as a distributor with ORIAS, to get a license, and then be subject to IDD regulation). This requires helping them find an insurance product and manage regulatory paers.

Bespoke method

For this, La Parisienne Assurances has created the Bespoke method, in 10 week, accessible with fully online follow-up:

  • 2 weeks of framing the project with the partner
  • 3 weeks (!) of product building
  • 5 weeks to finalize the insurance offer and its IT development
  • After launch, 2 weeks are used to integrate feedback and improve the solution if necessary
bespoke method

By using techniques from design thinking, the company hopes to find pockets of innovation that are not gadgets and that have a real business perspective. This is how the offer on e-scooters was born (we presented here the video presentation in DIA Amsterdam in June 2019). By accompanying its partners, La Parisienne assurances intends to help them in their growth, and why not help them to become unicorns.

The trends on which La Parisienne Assurance is based

La Parisienne has already established partnerships with around 70 players, for a total of more than 200 products. Some, like the one with Tesla and By Miles in December 2019, made a lot of noise! Others, such as the one with Zego in early 2019, were more discreet but nonetheless strategic and place the company among the players that matter in Europe, and why not further!

As Alexandre Rispal reminds us, three strong trends shape the company’s strategy:

  • insurance is currently experiencing a switch to full digital, and “APIsation” is a strong technological marker for this;
  • The sustainability of innovative players is questioned: the first wave of players created in 2015/2016 are experiencing model or market difficulties, so there is reason to give confidence;
  • On the recruitment side, employees need to join projects that make sense

Supported by around twenty reinsurers, La Parisienne intends to bring transparency and impact in its own way! Given the growth of recent years, do not doubt that the impact is there and that the result will not disappoint us!

To go further

Notice to all distributors or those who would like to become one! La Parisienne is at your service, to reflect with you on your project, or build the insurance product specific to your needs.

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“La Parisienne Assurances wants to be a unicorn breeder”! (Alexandre Rispal)

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