Israeli insurance leader: Digital companies are crashing

Hamburger recently spoke out against insurtech companies that sell digital insurance.

 Yair Hamburger, Chairman of the Board at Harel Insurance attends a press conference with CEOs and representatives of the insurance companies in Israel, at the Finance Ministry office in Jerusalem, November 30, 2016.  (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)
Yair Hamburger, Chairman of the Board at Harel Insurance attends a press conference with CEOs and representatives of the insurance companies in Israel, at the Finance Ministry office in Jerusalem, November 30, 2016.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

In an unusual statement at the opening ceremony of the annual conference of the Chamber of Insurance Agents, Yair Hamburger, Chairman of Harel Insurance and Chairman of the Association of Insurance Companies, said that in recent years, insurtech companies popped up like mushrooms after the rain. Customers and investors aren’t stupid, however, so most of these companies have crashed.

Hamburger recently spoke out against insurtech companies that sell digital insurance.

 Following his statement that so many insurtech companies have closed, he said that God is great and that's the reason that in the last six months the market is going the way it’s going.

Customers and investors aren’t stupid, and most of these companies crashed by a vast percentage, some even by 80-90%.

He also said that everyone who thought that insurtech was the future of the industry was deceived. Insurtech companies grew during the pandemic due to the large amount of money that was dispersed and the capital market which gave them hysterical values. 

 Person signing with insurance company (illustrative) (credit: PEXELS) Person signing with insurance company (illustrative) (credit: PEXELS)

Companies that didn’t sell a single shekel and certainly didn’t earn a single shekel traded for hundreds of millions or even billions, according to him.

Hamburger added that insurtech and digitization are promising developments but those who thought they would replace conventional insurance companies were wrong. Traditional companies will adopt digitization into their companies. This is the winning formula. 

The even more winning recipe, according to him, is to work with the agents, and the good ones will continue to be here for a long time. The right combination is between a conventional insurance company, insuretech, and a professional and decent insurance agent, and no new company will be able to beat that.

During his speech, Hamburger congratulated Dr. Moshe Barkat, the outgoing insurance supervisor, saying that he’s been in the industry for decades, knows all the inspectors and he’s one of the best. 

He had a sympathetic approach to insurance companies and it's no shame to love the industry. Hamburger concluded by adding that Barkat tried to correct injustices against insurance companies.