Fintech gambles draw insurers in Europe

Listening to Andrew Rear talk about insurers, you wouldn’t think he works for one that’s been around for 136 years. The 46-year-old head of Munich Re’s Digital Partners unit has said the industry is “one of the last bastions of the 19th century,” a “disaster” with products that are almost “impossible to understand.” Rear’s job is to change that. Last month he struck the first insurtech deal for Munich Re’s Digital Partners, taking a stake in Slice Labs, a one-year-old startup that offers insurance. Cross-town rival Allianz SE four months earlier invested in Simplesurance, a new firm that’s offering product protection for online purchases. The deals highlight the rush by Europe’s time-honored insurers to get in on the technology that’s changing financial services on Wall Street. Read more: