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After a short and exhausting Christmas period followed by a January of recovery and sadly almost complete lack of snow – but with continued progress for Kasko.no – we are now in the final preparations for a year that might be remembered as the beginning of a significant change for the Norwegian non-life insurance industry.

The compulsory (and presumably wrong) predictions for the year ahead

A number of strong and well-known Norwegian brands ambitiously launched non-life insurance business during the second half of 2016 and spent the remainder of the year preparing for 2017 and the first year of real trading. Some existing insurers used last year to reassess, restructure and develop more forward looking and lean strategies to be executed in 2017, while for many 2017 will be a very important step towards profitability (positive net income!), where continued premium growth is key. An unprecedented number of insurers and intermediaries have raised capital (Kasko included), and/or launched new insurance businesses over the past two years, with resulting high shareholder expectations for 2017 (and beyond).
What seems obvious to us is that we cannot all succeed unless 2017 is the first of several years the large and established insurers would like to forget as quickly as possible. Adding up the growth ambitions of number 5-15 in the Norwegian market over the next 2-3 years implies that billions of NOK of motor premiums must be shifted from the 4 large to the next 11 insurers in the market. Irrespective of the importance of continued high profitability and resulting attractive valuations for the listed insurers, arguably a combined market share loss of >15% will not go down well.
So, we see a few potential outcomes for the sector in the medium term that 2017 hopefully will provide some indications of:
  • We together succeed in delivering on our growth ambitions, and we believe arguably too self-confidently that consumers will continue to move online and Kasko will be one important enabler for that success, forcing a response from the larger players that could result in increased M&A activity or tougher competition with pressure on premiums.
  • As a result of the current market structure, the lack of transparency for consumers, high brand loyalty, and unwillingness to move online, we cannot all succeed and deliver the same high growth. That might unfortunately raise existential questions around the viability of some business. Experience has already proved that building scale organically in the current Norwegian market is extremely expensive.
Increased M&A activity and competition, or some unfortunate potential failures, we believe 2017 might be a game changer for the industry, and hope to play a role in a market where online distribution, digitalisation and customer interaction, automatization, fintech and increased transparency surely will be on the top of all agendas throughout the year.
Good luck!

How does Kasko.no work again?

Kasko released late 2016 its short explainer video on Kasko.no, providing users of the website with a short visual introduction of Kasko.no and how convenient and quick the comparison and purchase process is. In addition to keep exposing consumers to the soon-to-be world famous green Kasko, we keep iterating how smart, convenient and easy to use Kasko.no is, and that Kasko users will save time and money. We believe video is key to reach consumers today, and provides the convenience and credibility our users are looking for.

Slowly but steadily we are building a leading panel of insurers

We have during 2016 confidently communicated that we will have a strong and credible panel of insurers ready for launch in 2017, and that more partners will and are joining as various internal, strategic and technical obstacles are removed. We are not depending on all companies, but need to feel comfortable that we have sufficient insurers so that Kasko.no is representative of a market. As we keep delivering on our promises and build credibility among insurers and consumers, we see more and more interest for what we can offer insurers.
Late December 2016 we slowly started the integration of our fifth partner on kasko.no. This puts us in a strong position for the first quarter 2017,
heading into soft launch and later in 2017 full launch. For each new partner we add to our panel, the less exposed we are to technical issues and delays with each individual partner, something that we strongly believe is to the benefit of everyone. We will sign agreements with a few additional insurers early 2017, but do now have a very clear path towards full launch later in 2017.

(Almost x2) ready for Soft Launch

We communicated in December that we worked towards a soft launch in January, where the aim is to generate a considerable amount of traffic to Kasko.no together with our media partner Red Media Group. Unfortunately, we experienced some (un)expected issues in conjunction with the new APIs that are being developed by some of our partners, which has resulted in a delay of the integration with our own platform. As a result, we have had to postpone soft-launch to the second half of Q1 2017. We apologise for the delay again, and are doing our best to ensure that the delay doesn’t impact the rest of the plan for 2017. We are now using the additional time in January to keep improving the website and additional quality assurance, and improve the operational set-up in advance of soft-launch.
Happy Kasko Monster

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