(Bloomberg) -- Chubb Ltd. is joining with insurance-tech startup Betterfly for offerings in Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile and Argentina as the companies seek to tap into under-served Latin American markets.
The partnership will focus on reaching 100 million people by 2025 and allow Betterfly to grow from its current offerings in Chile and Brazil, the companies said in an emailed statement. Chubb, the Zurich-based insurance giant, will make Betterfly’s membership and benefits platform available to retail clients through its existing distribution channels, and Betterfly will offer Chubb products.
Latin America had an estimated mortality-protection gap of $14 trillion as of 2019, according to a report by Swiss Re. The gap represents the shortfall in funds needed for living expenses and debt in the event that a household loses its primary earner. Betterfly founder Eduardo della Maggiora said his own experience, living through the financial turmoil that followed the death of his father when he was 16, inspired him to start the company.
“About 85% of Latin American kids under 18 who lose their father or mother don’t have any kind of financial insurance, and that generates economic turmoil in a family,” della Maggiora in an interview. “It’s an alarming stat. We’re looking to democratize access to insurance.”
Chile-based Betterfly, which raised $300 million in a recent Series B funding round, provides a digital benefits platform for companies to reward employees’ healthy habits -- such as walking or meditation -- with life insurance that grows at no cost and the option of donating to different causes. Among the benefits it provides are tele-medicine, mental health, exercise programs, nutrition advice and financial education.
“Life insurances are traditionally focused on death,” said della Maggiora, who is also the company’s chief executive officer. “We think people should be able to create their own insurance daily with their hands and feet, no matter their income.”
Marcos Gunn, Chubb’s Latin America president, said the partnership will kick off with life insurance before expanding into other products, such as home coverage and hospitalization.
The two companies will continue to provide services independently of their partnership. Chubb already caters to businesses, an operation that won’t be part of the agreement. Betterfly will also pursue developing its products that allow users to gain points with wellness activities and use those to donate to charities of their choice.
The executives declined to disclose the investment that will come with the announcement, or the possible time-span of the alliance, but described the partnership as a “long-term” project.
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