A ‘Portabl’ insurance solution for freelance and gig workers – Australia’s local Zurich Innovation Championship winner

2 March 2022

SYDNEY, Australia – Zurich Australian Insurance Limited (Zurich) today announced that ‘Portabl’ has won the Australian round of its global Innovation Championship. Portabl offers portable insurance, benefits and financial services to those working outside of traditional full-time employment as part of the freelance and gig economy.

In its third year, the Championship offers start-ups the opportunity to work with Zurich on solutions for specific challenges: Prevention and Mitigation; Sustainability; and Simplicity. Additionally, there is an open challenge for Reimagining Insurance.

Australian local champion, Portabl has built the first fully-digital platform providing insurance solutions to the record-high number of self-employed workers, who are often uninsured. The platform challenges traditional underwriting and credit scoring by using its FRISC (Freelancer Risk) Scoring method to understand the dynamic nature of independent work. Protection provided is portable, ensuring independent workers can take benefits with them from gig to gig.

Portabl will be invited to present their pitch at the global competition round against other local winners from across the world. In a new structure for the competition, 12 winners will then be chosen to partcipate in the ‘accelorator phase’, a 13-week program to mature their initiative in collaboration with a local Zurich business unit. ‘Demo days’ follow this phase to present results to a broad audience. Startups are then provided with financial and other resources to implement pilots in the country of their choice. They will also receive exposure through Zurich’s communications channels and recognition as part of the organisation’s 150 year anniversary celebrations later in 2022.

Michael McKeown, Zurich Chief Information Officer, Australia & New Zealand said: "Insurance is well-known for being stable. But, in the midst of industry disruption and global challenges, it’s important that we remain at the forefront of innovation.”

"This competition allows us to connect with leading start-ups from across the globe, offering them a great opportunity, whilst enhancing our contribution to the industry and our customers.”

Mike Minett, Founder and Managing Director of Portabl said: “We have always known that the ‘Future of Work’ is a fast growing market and that the Portabl proposition is strong. But to receive industry validation and selection into the Zurich Innovation Championship has been a game changer! We are looking forward to making a positive difference.”

The 2022 Zurich Innovation Championship attracted a record number of submissions, confirming its status as one of the largest startup events in the insurance industry and the world. Globally, the competition saw 2,672 applicants, up from 1,350 in the previous competition. The Australian round recieved a record 90 entries.

For additional background and regular updates: www.zurich.com/zic



Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 56,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.