Immoweb – owned by Axel Springer, the world's largest media group – is Belgium's leading real estate platform (similar to Se Loger in France). Immoweb contacted Qover in July 2017 as its executive team sought new revenue streams for the platform that would also add value to its user base.
Operating in a country with a population of just 11 million, Immoweb attracts 4 million unique browsers per month. The platform is the first choice for Belgians who plan to sell or rent their property, with the typical Immoweb customer being an agency or landlord.
As a result, Immoweb advertises upwards of 400,000 properties per year.
In early 2017, Immoweb designed a customer survey to validate the results of a strategic exercise identifying new ways of monetising the platform’s substantial user base and leveraging the company’s powerful brand.
Laurent Dupont, Immoweb’s Head of Incubation said, 'Our goal is to become the one-stop-shop for the Belgian real estate market: documents, loan simulation, any relevant activity. To achieve this, we have to be more than just a marketplace – we must implement supporting services that add incremental value both to the residential market and professional partners.'
One opportunity identified by the survey was to launch a 'new breed' of insurance: a product that protects landlords in the event of unpaid rent, covering legal expenses in parallel.
'Landlords are perennially underserved', Dupont added, 'Two-thirds have experienced issues with rental payments recently. They would have benefitted from our proposed insurance product, had it existed.'
Having pinpointed the opportunity, Immoweb had to get to work.
However, the fact that the real estate entity is neither a financial intermediary or an insurer presented a substantial hurdle. What's more, Immoweb would require a reliable, sophisticated digital partner to get the project off the ground.
The partner's criteria was crystal clear.
Qover was the only platform that could help us roll out a 100% digital insurance product and monetise our brand this quickly.
Initially, Immoweb consulted with traditional insurers to launch the project. However, the real estate platform quickly pivoted to partner with Qover. With a proven digital solution on the market, Qover had visible credibility; although the primary driver behind the change was Qover’s ability to quickly launch a product-to-market.
By October 2017, Qover had defined the product, and Immoweb was fully committed. Then, Qover started the product creation process: identifying a risk carrier and developing a policy with three distinct elements.
'Given the technical complexity of a digital insurance product and the extensive due diligence processes of global insurers, Qover’s time-to-market was remarkable,' Dupont said.
As far as we're aware, no other company – traditional insurer or InsurTech – could execute the project to the same standard in such a short window when faced with a similar challenge.
With the policy created, Qover's proprietary technology enabled smooth implementation: Qover's experience in state-of-the-art digital insurance products allowed UX and UI teams to translate conceptual designs into intuitive pages, enhanced by a seamless onboarding process.
Qover's scalable digital insurance stack also ensured that there was ample time for thorough User Acceptance Testing, followed by a pilot phase, before officially launching the product in February 2018 – all within four months of kicking off the product design.
Following the go-live, the collaboration entered Phase 2: Immoweb and Qover’s Customer Success teams worked to analyse web traffic and test various optimisations in weekly iterations. Alongside A/B testing of customer flows, user research provided valuable insight into the design of email campaigns, social media strategyand other key customer communications.
Thanks to the continuous efforts and close collaboration of the teams, the page now attracts thousands of visits per week, resulting in a successful launch of Immoweb's pioneering insurance product.
Within four months of adding insurance to its platform, Immoweb was already generating revenue from the innovative product, which also contributed to the company's bottom line.
Thanks to this excellent outcome, Immoweb is exploring additional insurance products – including Renter’s Home Insurance – as a possible second implementation.
Immoweb currently operates as a 'Business Introducer' under the recent Insurance Distribution Directive in Europe, which enables the real estate platform to introduce clients to Qover and receive compensation 'per insurance contract sold'.
In June 2019, we launched a second product with Immoweb: home insurance for tenants.
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