QBE Insurance Australia is set to launch a new insurance market entrant, Mitti, in a joint venture with workplace safety platform SafetyCulture, saying the new venture demonstrates its intent to become a more digitally-enabled business.

The JV is designed to provide tailored solutions for SME customers to better manage current and emerging risks.

Mitti is a technology-first insurance company which the JV partners say will challenge the traditional insurance model for small to medium businesses (SMEs), with a key focus on risk mitigation to reduce the likelihood of needing to make a claim. It will operate under a Binder as an Authorised Representative of QBE Insurance.

The new venture will employ SafetyCulture’s risk mitigation technology to identify and then alleviate potential business risks, while QBE will provide the industry insights and underlying security of an international insurance company.

Mitti joins the portfolio of companies sitting within QBE Ventures, which exists to enable the insurer to partner, build and invest in new technologies, and work with start-ups to better serve the evolving needs of customers.

According to QBE Ventures CEO, James Orchard, the ways in which customers interact with technology have evolved considerably, which presents a big opportunity for the insurance industry.

“QBE’s joint venture with SafetyCulture has created a unique and compelling proposition that responds to the needs and ambitions of small and medium businesses in Australia. By leveraging big data, AI and machine learning we can deliver more tailored solutions that don’t just assess risk, but help customers avoid risks altogether and the losses that come with these. Importantly, by supporting more businesses to manage their risks, Mitti will help create safer workplaces for their customers and employees.

Deliberate change

“The launch of Mitti is a great example of how we’re making deliberate changes to how we work within QBE, to adopt new ways of thinking, create more innovative products and services, remove barriers to productivity, and partner with innovative players to ultimately reinvent insurance.”

Founded by Luke Anear, a former investigator for workplace incidents, SafetyCulture has a valuation of $1.3 billion joining the ranks of local companies such as Atlassian and Canva in the so called unicorn club.

Luke Anear said: “Everyday SafetyCulture helps thousands of businesses across the globe build their immunity to risk. Since inception, we’ve been encouraging our customers to proactively lean into challenges and take ownership of their risk. Our partnership with Mitti propels our mission to empower businesses to build a genuine safety culture in their workplace. We’re eager to help more Australian companies improve their risk management and reap the rewards.

“Mitti customers will gain access to our iAuditor platform; the world’s largest safety checklist app. This technology enables customers to conduct workplace inspections, extract insights and build a holistic picture of safety, compliance and risk.”

QBE’s Danial Cummins has been appointed to lead the growth and development of Mitti, bringing 15-years’ experience within QBE’s commercial lines division to the new challenger brand.

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