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
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
The information contained in this press release may contain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included or referenced in this press release which address activities, events or developments which White Mountains expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future are forward-looking statements. The words "will", "believe," "intend," "expect," "anticipate," "project," "estimate," "predict" and similar expressions are also intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, among others, statements with respect to White Mountains:
- changes in adjusted book value per share or return on equity;
- business strategy;
- financial and operating targets or plans;
- incurred loss and loss adjustment expenses and the adequacy of its loss and loss adjustment expense reserves and related reinsurance;
- projections of revenues, income (or loss), earnings (or loss) per share, dividends, market share or other financial forecasts;
- expansion and growth of its business and operations; and
- future capital expenditures.
These statements are based on certain assumptions and analyses made by White Mountains in light of its experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as other factors believed to be appropriate in the circumstances. However, whether actual results and developments will conform with its expectations and predictions is subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations, including:
- 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.
Consequently, all of the forward-looking statements made in this press release are qualified by these cautionary statements, and there can be no assurance that the actual results or developments anticipated by White Mountains will be realized or, even if substantially realized, that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on, White Mountains or its business or operations. White Mountains assumes no obligation to update publicly any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: Manning Rountree (603) 640-2224
SOURCE White Mountains Insurance Group, Ltd.