(Town of Jardín, Antioquia, Colombia. Photo credit: Scabredon.)
Editor’s Note: Jorge Enrique Gómez Vásquez, CEO, WeSURA, is one of 16 finalists for Insurance Innovation Reporter’s Four Stars Award, which recognizes outstanding insurance IT innovators across four regions of Latin America: Mexico, Central America & Caribbean, Andean, and Southern Cone.
Many entrepreneurs and investors wonder what shape insurance disruption might take; Jorge Enrique Gómez Vásquez didn’t wonder but rather decided, leading the effort to create and launch carrier startup WeSURA (pronounced with an English “We,” the company is owned by Grupo SURA). Based in Medellín, in the Department of Antioquia, the company bills itself as the provider of the first peer-to-peer (P2P) insurance in Latin America. WeSURA launched for business several months before the Sept. 2016 market debut of U.S. insurance startup Lemonade, which also publicized itself as a P2P insurer.
Building Insurance Communities from Social Networks
The concept of WeSURA is to build private insurance communities derived from social networks. Through participation in these communities, anyone can share risk and invite more participants to the community to spread the risk further—the bigger the community, the greater the benefits, which include extra coverage and the right to approve claims within the community without insurer’s approval.
WeSURA operates on a direct business model, saving commission of up to 20 percent of premiums, or a cost reduction of 7.4 percent which the company can return to customers in the event that no claim is filed.
Connecting with a New Client Segment
Wesura strove to create the conditions for a flow of organic traffic to the WeSURA Platform, and has enjoyed 10,000 visits per month, with a conversion rate of 2.6 percent—a high figure for an InsurTech venture. Between WeSURA’s launch in April 2016 and the end of that year, the company logged sales amounting to US$200,000, more than 16,800 subscribers, and 2380 customers, that have created more than 1400 private communities.
WeSURA seeks to connect with a new segment of clients that traditional Insurance business and channels have failed to reach because their poor value proposition. The company is off to a strong start in Colombia, and has enjoyed significant recognition from industry observers in the U.S. and Europe.