Descartes Underwriting

Push the boundaries of insurance through data science and technology
Technology & InnovationProducts & Services

Risk Carriers & Capacities

Global reach through our partners

Descartes Underwriting is a Managing General Agency. In other terms, we underwrite insurance policies on behalf of a selected number of first-tier insurers, reinsurers and Insurance-Linked Securities funds. We do not receive commissions from brokers nor clients. We make a living out of the premiums booked by our risk carriers.

In terms of insurance capacities, Descartes usually offers from EUR 0.5M to +100M per deal. Thanks to our partners, our reach is global.

People & Convictions

A long but rewarding transformation journey

Descartes Underwriting was founded in 2018 by seasoned insurers and intrapreneurs who have achieved superior underwriting results.
We are convinced that:

  • New technologies are deeply changing the insurance sector, both for commercial lines and personal lines: the insurance industry is on the verge of a long but rewarding transformation journey
  • Superior customer value will mainly come from small-sized and nimble organizations: we need to look at emerging and intensifying risks with a fresh eye to challenge the status quo
  • In today’s digital age, clients call for a fairer price, simplicity and immediate claims payment: new insurance solutions should be designed accordingly
  • Building lasting relationships with brokers, insurers, reinsurers and ILS funds is key to provide the best insurance covers: corporate and commercial insurance is not a zero-sum game, everybody should win

Building Strong Scientific Foundations

René Descartes was one of the greatest European scientists, philosophers and mathematicians of the 17th Century. Today, Descartes is recognized as the progenitor of both modern philosophy and analytic geometry. His legacy still inspires scientists and encompasses major discoveries such as the infinitesimal calculus and the convention of representing unknowns in equations.

Descartes Underwriting’s team aims to draw practical lessons from his scientific method: from doubting past beliefs in the insurance industry, one of the oldest business in existence, to building strong scientific foundations in our modelling work.

Technology & Innovation

New technologies changing insurance

Descartes Underwriting’s core competency relies in its best-in class risk modelling and its capacity to design bespoke and innovative insurance covers.

We take advantage of new data sources, growing exponentially and challenging the approach of traditional insurers. They come from the Internet of Things (IoT), from our clients, from remote sensing technologies (e.g. Sentinel data) or from third parties. The team deploys cutting edge solutions including artificial intelligence and image recognition to process them. “Big data” combined with efficient algorithms are a game changer in the insurance industry and can push the boundaries of insurability.

When requested by our partners, we also develop solutions based on smart contracts, mainly in the B2B2C space.

Internet of Things

From “Smart Home” and “Smart Ag” to new transportation systems.


Extracting value from our clients’ data to better meet their needs.

Remote Sensors

Unlock the power of satellites to better serve the insureds.

Third Parties

Data partnerships open up a whole new world of possibilities.

Insurance Products & Services

Tech-driven insurance solutions

We jointly work with brokers and (re)insurers to come up with innovative and bespoke Property & Casualty insurance solutions across a variety of sectors and geographies. We highly value responsiveness, want claims to be paid quickly and strongly believe in technology to achieve this goal.

Brokers & Corporate Clients

We underwrite a range of specialty insurance solutions on behalf of global insurance and reinsurance firms and we only work through brokers.
As long as we can get proper data, we are flexible in terms of the Property & Casualty risks that we cover. However, we tend to receive many requests to cover Property Damage, Business Interruption or Contingent Business Interruption following Natural Catastrophes (cyclone, earthquake, flood, etc.) or Financial Losses caused by wildfires, droughts, high or low temperatures, excess of precipitations, etc.

We operate across all sectors: primary (agriculture & aquaculture, mining), secondary (e.g. construction, traditional and renewable energy, cement, etc.), tertiary (e.g. banks protecting their loans and assets, entertainment industry, retail distribution, etc.).

As we know that many requests are time-sensitive, we commit ourselves to get back to you with a first answer within 48h and to process your request within the shortest possible delay.

Insurers, Reinsurers & ILS Funds

Descartes applies the highest underwriting standards to ensure a fair deal between insureds, brokers and risk carriers. For our risk carriers, our goal is to build a resilient and stable portfolio that is well diversified in terms of clients, geographies and risks. We focus our commercial development on deals based on independent and objective data to avoid moral hazard and anti-selection. The team has strong credentials in overperforming the Corporate insurance market both in terms of profitability and volatility as we use more data than traditional insurers.

For a limited number of insurance partners, we design innovative B2B2C solutions, including pricing engine, back-end and API, through a white-label.

Claims Management

Ensuring swift claims payment is one of our priorities. Most products developed by Descartes Underwriting do not incur claims handling costs and claims payments are usually triggered within a few days after the occurrence of the insured event. We know that claims payment is the moment of truth in the insurance industry and where most players fail due to lengthy claims handling processes and unnecessary legal costs.

Get In Touch

Descartes Underwriting
La Grande Arche
1, parvis de la Défense
92044 Paris La Défense Cedex