The joint venture will be based on PassportCard®, one of the world's most innovative travel insurance products.
HAMILTON, Bermuda, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd. (NYSE: WTM) announced today that it had signed an agreement with DavidShield to establish a 50/50 joint venture for the development, marketing and distribution of travel insurance worldwide. The JV will be based on the PassportCard® platform, a patent-pending technology developed by DavidShield.
The travel insurance market is estimated at USD 15 billion a year and has enjoyed consistent growth, due to the increase in living standards worldwide (and in emerging markets in particular), increased global air travel and growing awareness of the insurance and healthcare services markets.
PassportCard®, which was launched in early 2012, is a unique and advanced product that allows customers to access healthcare and other insurance coverage automatically and immediately through a renewable magnetic debit card. The card can be used for services in all countries around the globe, without the need to file claim forms or to pay out of pocket costs.
Under the agreement, the partners will establish a new company that will operate from Zurich, Switzerland and will coordinate the ongoing development of the PassportCard® product and its distribution to partners and franchisees around the world.
The project will be led by Sharon Haran, who served in recent years as Vice President of International Business Development for the Direct Insurance Group and has previously served in a series of senior positions at other leading companies.
Manning Rountree, Managing Director of White Mountains Capital, said: "PassportCard® is one of the most innovative insurance solutions we have seen in recent years. The product provides a superior customer experience. We believe our partnership with DavidShield will grow PassportCard® into a global market leader."
Alon Ketzef, DavidShield Group's CEO, said : "PassportCard® is nothing less than a consumer revolution, abolishing the borders between countries, and allowing us to provide exceptional service, quickly, simply and, most importantly, without the bureaucracy that characterizes the world of insurance."
Mr. Ketzef added: "Since its launch, PassportCard® has attracted great interest internationally. It has won awards for innovation around the world. We are convinced that in combination with White Mountains and its global capabilities, we will expand operations and enable customers worldwide to enjoy the product and service experience we provide. "
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.
White Mountains is a Bermuda-domiciled financial services holding company traded on the New York Stock Exchange and the Bermuda Stock Exchange under the symbol WTM. Additional financial information and other items of interest are available at the Company's web site located at www.whitemountains.com
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projections of revenues, income (or loss), earnings (or loss) per share, dividends, market share or other financial forecasts;
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the risks associated with Item 1A of White Mountains' 2013 Annual Report on Form 10-K;
claims arising from catastrophic events, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, terrorist attacks or severe winter weather;
the continued availability of capital and financing;
general economic, market or business conditions;
business opportunities (or lack thereof) that may be presented to it and pursued;
competitive forces, including the conduct of other property and casualty insurers and reinsurers;
changes in domestic or foreign laws or regulations, or their interpretation, applicable to White Mountains, its competitors or its clients;
an economic downturn or other economic conditions adversely affecting its financial position;
recorded loss reserves subsequently proving to have been inadequate;
actions taken by ratings agencies from time to time, such as financial strength or credit ratings downgrades or placing ratings on negative watch; and
other factors, most of which are beyond White Mountains' control.
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