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Tech companies threaten to disrupt insurers' health operations

AXA CEO Thomas Buberl said tech companies have the potential to disrupt the health businesses of big insurers, the Financial Times reported Dec. 19.

Although motor insurance is also under threat, the health business, which is a big market for insurance startups, is the most likely to suffer, according to the CEO. "Technology companies may attack us on motor insurance but they will mostly attack us in health. If we do nothing then in five years they'll run us over," the executive told the Financial Times.

Buberl anticipates that technology companies will beat insurers in the area of collecting, analyzing and using health data. However, he said he is hopeful that AXA's scale makes it an attractive partner to tech firms. The French insurer operates in 64 countries, the paper noted. AXA's health and protection business generated €2.7 billion in premiums in 2015.