Andrea Severino and the future of the insurtech industry, despite and thanks to the coronavirus

It seems that one of the sectors that could register growth “due” to the pandemic is Insurtech. We asked Andrea Severino, Founder of Healthy Virtuoso, what he thinks about this forecast and how he and his team have reacted to this disruptive and unpredictable period.

How have you reacted to the covid19 emergency: how have you changed your business strategy?

Despite our grief over this huge emergency, we immediately wanted to take this as a great opportunity. As far as employees and collaborators are concerned, we decided to renew our trust by keeping our contracts active. We asked our suppliers to meet us halfway with the aim of ensuring mutual continuity in the business relationship and without imbalances between the parties. As far as business is concerned, we realized that the world has officially changed and we have already begun to think about the evolution 2.0 of Virtuoso, a platform that allows,even more than before, to increase employee engagement and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. We have temporarily suspended our activities aimed at finding new customers, but are receiving a higher rate of inbound requests than usual.

And the way you work with your team?

Little has changed for us. We are used to smart working and from day one we learned to communicate at a distance. This has always given us the freedom to live peacefully and compatibly with our personal commitments and the work we have to do. The sense of responsibility of the guys who work with us has always been the proof.

What initiatives for your users have you put in place and which will you put in place?

We have activated non-profit activities aimed at ensuring real support during this emergency. Specifically

  1. we have activated on our facebook pages a series of free Lives with specialists in psychology, meditation, yoga, home training (PT) and posturology.
  2. With Udemy we have distributed more than 200,000 free courses useful to pass the time and acquire new skills until resuming business (we ourselves benefited right from the first day).

Both initiatives have been very successful.

  • Over the next few days we will launch a new partnership with Adidas Training (formerly Runtastic Results) to further encourage training from home.
  • Soon we will introduce new exciting features on the app to demonstrate your Virtuoso lifestyle even without moving from home.

What do you think the impact of this emergency on the INSURTECH sector could be in the long term?

The world has officially changed, as well as people: the way we think, interact, make decisions and collaborate, but for the Insurtech sector, I think it is a great opportunity. Insurance companies have demonstrated the social importance they have, while people have begun to understand that even what seems impossible could happen at any moment, without warning and without distinction of race, color or social status. The great challenge is to enable these people to regain confidence in their insurers, and to have simple, clear and targeted access to the services they really need. On the business side, all negotiations are not only moving forward, but during this period we have also started to receive very strong interest from abroad. The budgets of some companies will certainly be reduced, but as far as the Insurtech sector is concerned, I think that where there is value offered by startups and willingness to innovate on the part of companies, there will be absolutely no problem !

Have you noticed any changes in your users’ “habits” in the last month?

Without doubt the average number of steps of the entire Italian population has decreased considerably, even if, as shown by the data and the strong success of the online appointments, the real Virtuosi have not given up their habits and either from home, or walking around 50 times around their building,they have continued to do everything they can to keep fit. We are really happy to see so much willpower.

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VIRTUOSO: interview with Andrea Severino

Virtuoso is an app that encourages people who are committed to following a healthy lifestyle by walking a lot, running, sleeping as needed and eating healthily. It does so through rewarding and challenging. It offers vouchers, free products and discounts acting as incentives.

It was created mainly to recruit insurance customers with whom contact is made usually only at the signing of the policy, that is when they have to pay and when there is a claim. So far it has already exceeded 80,000 downloads and can count on over 30 partners including Asics, Runtastic, Amazon and many gyms.

Virtuoso has recently joined the Apple Developer Program thanks to/with which it is preparing the program of stairs – up. “We are also working with the Italian Trade Agency for Commerce – says CEO & Founder Andrea Severino – and have joined the Global Scale-up Program, a program in which 120 Italian startups will go abroad for a period of 6 months and we are also preparing for our internationalization”.

As soon as the business model is approved in Italy, the team’s goal will be to bring Virtuoso quickly to England, Germany and France, and then to the United States. “We’ve already started talking to a lot of insurance companies in Spain and India. Today we are in the process of raising funds to speed up this scale-up process. In November, those who attend the Web Summit, in Lisbon, will find Virtuoso among the participants.

In May 2019 Virtuoso joined the Fintech District community because “in order to change and innovate a static sector such as finance and insurance I think we need to work together in a team to achieve great goals” explains Severino.

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