A climate specialist obtains an insurance license in France

Published 13 Dec 2022 at 06.05

While many neo-insurers retain the loose broker status, the startup is Descartes Underwriting passed the test of the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR). Like Alan, Seyna, Acheel and Mila in recent years, the climate risk insurer announced on Tuesday that it had obtained underwriting approval in France for its subsidiary Descartes Insurance.

Descartes Underwriting was founded in 2018 and is an underwriting agent. Intermediary between brokers and insurance companies, the company models the climatic risks (flood, fire, etc.) for insured companies. Its promise: a parametric approach that allows automatic triggering of guarantees and therefore automated (faster) settlement of claims.

Fundraising

“ACPR approval will allow us to go further by self-insuring French ETIs for their activities in France and then in other European countries. We will also be able to launch new products and distribute them faster,” explains Tanguy Touffut, president of Descartes Underwriting. For larger companies, we also retain our underwriting agent business. »

Present in 12 countries, the young shot aims for 500 million euros in annual intermediate or collected premiums within three to five years, against 100 million this year. To finance its growth, it raised $120 million at the beginning of the year, led by Highland Europe and Eurazeo funds.

Descartes’ insurance subsidiary will only retain part of the risks underwritten and cede the rest to reinsurers. It relies on a detailed knowledge of climate risks to circumvent the current market tensions, where reinsurers are reducing capacity and sharply increasing their prices.

Blame it on claims that are increasingly expensive, more frequent and more diverse. In France, hail and drought can bring the annual bad weather bill up to 8 billion euros, against 3.5 billion on average in recent years.

To be competitive, the young company depends on technology. “By settling claims using satellite imagery instead of sending a claim adjuster to the website, we save about a third of the traditional costs for an insurance company,” says Sébastien Piguet, CEO of Descartes Insurance.

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