Israel’s IDI Insurance and Japan-based MSI launch ‘The HUB’ to promote innovation

The partnership will help the two nations develop innovative solutions for the insurtech spaces in Israel and Japan.

James Spiro 14:5903.11.20
Israel’s direct insurance company IDI Insurance has partnered with Japanese-based insurance company Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (MSI) to create a new innovation hub in Israel. Opening this week, it will be tasked with advancing innovation in the insurtech space in Israel via new products and solutions for both countries.


‘The HUB’, which will soon be renamed to GDH TLV to align itself with sister hubs in Tokyo and Singapore, will be managed by Raz Bartov, IDI’s VP Technology and Innovation out of offices in Petah Tikva. It will focus on finding and fostering startups that help the direct and digital insurance sector.


Kobi Haber, CEO of I.D.I. Photo: Kfir Sivan Kobi Haber, CEO of I.D.I. Photo: Kfir Sivan


“We want to work on improving the customer journey, the issue of underwriting, claim-handling, and operational efficiency,” Bartov told CTech when discussing the potential solutions fostered in The HUB relating to insurance. “The tech is relevant to AI, machine learning, and data in general. (There’s also) fraud detection, cybersecurity, process automation... and something to do with connected cars in the future,” he later teased.


The HUB’s Japanese staff will consist of up to five people who are expected to arrive in Israel as soon as the coronavirus (Covid-19) restrictions are lifted. They will provide access to its technological infrastructure and marketing channels inside and outside of Japan, whereas IDI is helping them with their “knowledge, experience and connections” on the ground.


“The collaboration with the MSI Group is strategic, since it regularizes the processes of identification, channels it into an orderly path, and increases the chances of finding solutions which will enable us to develop competitive advantages,” said Kobi Haber, CEO of I.D.I Insurance Company Ltd., in a statement. “MSI is one of Japan’s leading groups and we feel honored to cooperate with them. This collaboration will bring added value to the Groups' business. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Batia Tocatly for the introduction and for leading the collaboration,” he added.


“We have been aggressively developing our digitalization globally as well as in Japan,” added Shinichiro Funabiki, Director, CDO, Executive Vice President of MSI. “Since Israel is one of the centers of innovation in the world, IDI is the most valuable partner to enable us to prove the effectiveness of the latest digital technology and implement it into our group’s operation in a very efficient manner.”


IDI Insurance was founded in 1994 and based on a vision that insurance services should be provided to customers directly, without a broker. Today, it is one of the largest insurance companies in Israel and offers car, home, life, travel, and mortgage insurance. MSI was founded in 2010 as a merger of Aioi, MSI, and Nissay Dowa Companies and is considered the largest insurance company in Japan and the fifth-largest non-life insurance group in the world.