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Disruptor set for New Zealand debut

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Open, a Hollard-backed insurtech, will launch its Huddle brand in New Zealand later this year, offering “disruptive” motor and home contents products.

The business says motor premium will be based on a pay-as-you-drive pricing model and for home contents offerings, policies will be automatically updated when customers buy new furniture and art.

Tower Insurance will underwrite the personalised digital products as part of a partnership with Open.

Open says its Huddle operations in New Zealand will leverage on Tower’s reinsurance, pricing and claims supply chain.

Tower has made significant technology investments, making the insurer the “perfect” partner for Open to take its insurtech brand to New Zealand.

“The majority of New Zealand’s insurance market is made up of businesses with legacy systems that aren’t nimble, and don't serve customers well,” Open joint CEO and co-founder Jason Wilby said.

“It might seem strange that we’re partnering with a 150-year-old Kiwi-owned company, but Tower is completely aligned with our vision to recalibrate how insurers leverage digital and data.

“Together we can engage customers and make insurance simpler and easier for all Kiwis.”

Tower CEO Blair Turnbull says there is a “huge opportunity” for startups like Huddle to “reimagine how insurance operates” in the New Zealand market.

“Huddle’s success will be our success, leading to accelerated growth for both companies and more choice for customers,” Mr Turnbull said.

“It’s a win-win. Underwriting Open’s New Zealand operation is one of many innovative partnerships we are investing in.”