Innovative telco and electricity provider Slingshot has broken new ground with the announcement of a unique partnership with digital insurance company Open, enabling the delivery of house, contents, and landlords’ insurance along with energy, mobile and broadband on a single bill.
The move bundles services to improve customer experience, convenience, and offer discounts for bundling – new customers with eligible broadband, power, mobile and house and contents insurance can save up to $360 on their broadband a year. Additional mobile and insurance policies gather even more discounts.
Slingshot Chief Consumer Officer Taryn Hamilton says the partnership marks another first for the company. “We’re constantly looking for opportunities to add value for our customers through innovative approaches, and making Kiwi’s lives easier. Broadband, power and mobile can now be bundled with house, contents, and landlords’ insurance. As New Zealanders come under pressure from inflation, by bundling more services we can pass bigger discounts on to customers, on a single bill that saves everyone time.”
Powering the insurance offering and technology, Open is on a mission is to provide the fastest insurance, at the best price, for the world, says co-founder and Chief Executive Jason Wilby. “One of the biggest challenges with insurance today is that it’s not there to buy when it’s needed the most. Bundling insurance products with Slingshot’s broadband services presents clear and simple cover offerings through a brand people already know and trust,” he adds.
With integrated billing, customers not only pay insurance premiums, power and telco services under one invoice, but can choose to pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly as they do for existing Slingshot invoices. At launch, Slingshot customers who bundle their house or contents insurance – or both – with an eligible Slingshot broadband plan benefit by saving up to $120 a year on their broadband service.
The company polled customers and found 95% appreciated the value of insurance, but insuring accurately remains a problem, with half of respondents indicating they don’t know the rebuild cost of their home.
This leaves these individuals exposed as they might be over or under-insured. Over-insurance means paying too much; under-insurance is worse, as any payout in the event of a disaster won’t adequately cover losses.
Hamilton says among the most interesting results is why people stick with current insurers. The reasons include price, reputation, convenience, trust, multi-policy discounts, and customer service, despite insurance companies often making it hard to claim, offering old school processes and little digital innovation.
“Our customers already know and appreciate the service and flexibility they get from their broadband and power services; the same can be expected from affordable, easy-to-buy insurance,” he says.
“Everyone should regularly review their utilities to see if you’re getting the best deal – and, of course, review your insurance for appropriate cover.”
With respondents indicating that the most important aspects when choosing an insurer include price and rapid claim processing, around fifty/fifty with trust, Hamilton notes Open’s use of modern digital technology as an advantage. “A fully digitised insurance process from buying cover straight through to claims processing is faster, more efficient, and therefore costs less. Slingshot Insurance customers are equipped to self-manage many aspects of their cover online, from taking out a new policy to lodging most claims,” he says.
As for trust, Hamilton notes Open is underwritten in New Zealand by general insurer Tower Ltd. The survey did reveal that up to half of respondents don’t understand the role of an underwriter; a crucial link in the insurance value chain, the underwriter assesses and takes on risk for a fee, and payout when claims are made.