The Influence of Technology on Decentralisation, Mutuals and Co-operatives

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, it introduces revolutionary platforms that foster direct connections between individuals and communities, transforming various industries, including the risk transfer (insurance) sector, and revitalising the mutuals and co-operatives landscape.

Disrupting the Traditional Insurance Model

We’ve closely observed the emergence of entities like lemonade.com, disrupting the traditional insurance model by treating premiums as the policyholder’s money, embracing simplicity, transparency, and altruism.

“Lemonade reverses the traditional insurance model. We treat the premiums you pay as if it’s your money, not ours. With Lemonade, everything becomes simple and transparent. We take a flat fee, pay claims super fast, and give back what’s left to causes you care about”

Unlocking Potential with Nexus Mutual

Another noteworthy example is nexusmutual.io, an insurance alternative built by members of our team, offering semi-autonomous solutions within the online crypto realm through effectively codified mutual rules.

Reducing Frictional Costs with Mutuals and Co-operatives

One of the challenges in the insurance industry is the comparatively high level of frictional costs. These are commonplace and range from insurance broker and managing general agent (MGA) fees and commissions through to corporate insurer profit margins. The frictional cost environment in a mutual or cooperative typically benefits from members dealing directly with their mutual, along with the absence of third-party shareholders.

Beyond the competitive advantage this grants, the community-focused values and objectives of mutuals and co-operatives resonate deeply with customers, adding another layer of appeal. Consequently, buyer sentiment is shifting towards the mutual and cooperative sector, evident in ICMIF data showcasing its outgrowth compared to the overall insurance marketplace (icmif.org/global-mutual-market-share-2023/).

Revitalising the Mutuals and Co-operatives Sector

Technology is also playing its part in risk management and risk mitigation through an array of sensors offering early warning capabilities for potential loss events. From everyday video doorbells to integrated Internet of Things (IoT) systems and sensors, as well as advanced automated monitoring and protection systems, these innovations empower clients and their risk-carrying partners to better understand and handle risk. Equally, the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in complex manufacturing and operating processes further enhances risk management capabilities.

Creating Bespoke Mutuals for Specific Needs

Technology is also enabling these mutuals and co-operatives to strengthen and broaden their member engagement and deliver operating efficiencies through enhanced levels of process automation. Nexus Mutual’s use of technology and the increasing implementation of AI facilitate improved customer engagement, attracting a diverse array of members who resonate with the mutual’s operating ethos, effectively revitalising the mutuals and co-operatives sector.

This is also creating interest in the formation and launch of new mutuals where no specific sector mutual currently exists. Each mutual is thoughtfully crafted to cater to the unique requirements of its membership base, creating bespoke entities that address specific needs and aspirations.

If the management or creation of a mutual is of interest to you, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss and explore this with you.

David Gudopp

As the Head of Risk Mitigation and Transfer in our Insurance, Mutuals and Co-operatives ans Risk Management division, David will bring over 20 years of experience to the table. David’s focus is on providing clients with an independent assessment of their risk transfer arrangements and driving targeted outcomes.

Prospect Law is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, surveyors and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.

Prospect is a multi-disciplinary practice with specialist expertise in the energy and environmental sectors with particular experience in the low carbon energy sector. The firm is made up of lawyers, engineers, insurance and risk management specialists, and finance experts.

This article remains the copyright property of Prospect Law Ltd and neither the article nor any part of it may be published or copied without the prior written permission of the directors of Prospect Law.

This article is not intended to constitute legal or other professional advice and it should not be relied on in any way.