An innovative partnership

06-08-2019

An innovative partnership

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Sirius Group’s subsidiary, IMG, is poised for future growth, as Steven Paraboschi tells Bermuda:Re+ILS.

International Medical Group (IMG), the provider of international medical insurance products, as well as trip cancellation programmes, medical management services and 24/7 emergency medical and travel assistance, was acquired by Sirius International Insurance Group from private equity investment firm ABRY Partners in May 2017, for an undisclosed amount.

Two years after the purchase, Steven Paraboschi, executive vice president of IMG, is extremely positive about the progress that’s been made, which has allowed the two companies to build on an already strong foundation of mutual benefit.

“The overall synthesis of innovation here is the partnership between IMG and Sirius Group,” he says.

“It’s a longstanding partnership dating back to the mid-1990s with a mutual focus on driving a profitable relationship. It’s an enterprise view, where insurance and service profits roll up into enterprise value. A long-term partnership based on mutual needs, trust, and alignment leads to profitable business.”

Kip Oberting, Sirius Group’s president & CEO echoes Paraboschi’s assessment, adding “Our long-term relationship with IMG was solidified with the acquisition and IMG has continued to be a key contributor to the group’s bottom line.

“IMG drives approximately 30 percent of the group’s accident and health premiums, and 10 percent of total premiums. This vertical is expected to continue growing and driving our diversification efforts.”

Paraboschi adds that IMG is driving innovation in the marketplace from its product strategy, focusing on profitable market segments that are on the tails of a normal bell curve related to market size and complexity.

“We’re not a product play to go after that middle aspect of the normal curve, where 10 to 15 competitors are beating themselves to death,” he clarifies.

“Instead, we’re on each side of the normal curve, where you have healthy profits, niche segments, and where insurance and services can generate profitable business.”

According to Paraboschi, IMG is a fully integrated managing general underwriter: it owns all aspects of the value chain. It develops products, distributes them through multiple distribution channels, and handles all aspects of service within the company. He underlines that the company has a clear focus on driving the best customer journey for producers and customers.

“We are responsible for our success, and we are responsible for improving areas that need refinement,” says Paraboschi.

While IMG is squarely focused on being a producer-driven company and helping producers grow their businesses, direct distribution is a growing channel in most markets, and IMG has overhauled its website strategy to enhance the customer experience and drive the best conversion rates possible.

Paraboschi says that IMG’s technology enables the producer and IMG to grow their businesses, so through IMG’s web services, IMG and their producers can increase distribution, while the customer receives the best experience possible.

IMG was able to address one issue that many companies face, which is the utilisation of large amounts of data to drive optimisation. Through IMG’s user-centred design process, IMG analyses the data around how customers and producers interact with their website versus legacy channels, and considers multiple hypothetical user experiences.

It then tests those hypothetical user experiences with actual users through surveys and user testing to drive optimal customer experiences, he explains.

“The process is flexible so that live A/B testing of multiple variants of a given experience can occur simultaneously. IMG then uses the data from testing to determine the most appropriate future web improvements, with the best conversion rates, the best responses, etc.

“We have a comprehensive product line,” he says. “We sell short-term, long-term, group, and individual products. We have products to meet the full array of customer needs, with a particular focus on specialty needs including mission-sending organisations, student and/or student groups, marine, leisure, and business.”

A particular area of speciality for IMG is non-US citizens travelling outside their home countries, frequently to the US. These include students, scholars, and people visiting their US-based relatives.

Looking forward to the future, Paraboschi highlights IMG’s complete value chain integration, where it sells multiple insurance products and offers numerous assistance services, all of which are fulfilled in-house.

IMG does not outsource to a third-party administrator or an assistance company, and Paraboschi thinks that service revenue will be a driver of the firm’s future growth, with IMG aggressively marketing its services to other insurance companies and organisations.

“As an example, the US travel insurance market is a $3 billion-plus market. IMG will be growing in that marketplace around high profit segments, as well as growing in the corporate distributed insurance space, such as international travel medical or expat medical,” he says.

“We’re going to push toward the centre of that bell curve by distributing our assistance services direct to corporations and other insurance companies,” he concludes.

“Our insurance products give peace of mind to customers when they’re away from home, and our assistance service offerings will supplement that insurance, helping to coordinate healthcare anywhere in the world, offering crisis support related to a political or natural disaster, or evacuating someone to a higher level of care overseas.

“These are services that pair perfectly with our cross-border insurance programmes, where we can profitably serve sub-segments of the mass market.”

Steven Paraboschi is executive vice president of IMG. He can be contacted at: steven.paraboschi@imglobal.com


About IMG
IMG has been an award-winning provider of global insurance benefits and assistance services for more than 25 years, enabling members to worry less and experience more by delivering the protection they need, backed by the support they deserve.

IMG offers a full line of international medical insurance products, as well as trip cancellation programmes, medical management services and 24/7 emergency medical and travel assistance. Learn more at www.imglobal.com

About Sirius Group
Sirius Group, with roots back to 1945 in Stockholm, is a global multi-line re/insurer that uses its global branch network to provide solutions to approximately 2,000 clients in more than 150 countries, with approximately 7,200 treaties in force.

The primary re/insurance operating subsidiaries are located in Bermuda, Stockholm, New York, and London. Sirius Group provides a fully diversified set of health and travel products to consumers through its two managing general underwriters, ArmadaGlobal and International Medical Group.

Sirius Group has been publicly traded since November 2018. Learn more at www.siriusgroup.com

International Medical Group, Sirius International Insurance Group, Merger & Acquisition, Steven Paraboschi, Kip Oberting, Bermuda, North America

Bermuda Re