Published On: April 17, 2019
If you google the word “Insurtech” and have a quick browse, you’ll notice most of the articles come after early 2017. This isn’t to say that the term didn’t exist, nor that the insurance industry possessed no technology, but it does point to the fact that it’s a fairly new term.
By coincidence Insure Apps was formed in February of 2017 and began trading in July of that year. Perhaps we’re in a good spot to talk to you about it and see what can be learnt from our journey so far.
“Journey” is actually a great way to describe being a start up in this new space, as you’ll have guessed it’s filled with lots of highs but also a few lows and it’s only fair to talk about both.
Initially there was a brilliant feeling of launching our business in the industry, a good degree of publicity meant we were inundated with enquires on the first day. “It’s a no brainer”, “That’s right up our street” were common phrases and sure enough the first few sales were completed. But then the initial excitement dies down and you begin to question whether the technology you offer is maybe a few years too early for the market?
Perhaps even you realise while your product is good, it’s not quite yet great. This is also the benefit of being a start-up, you’re flexible and able to change your company’s direction and the product quickly to meet market needs. This really is the valuable part, about 25% of our current functionality has come about through this learning process. Your product improves, more in line with the markets needs and your sales pitch becomes stronger, you begin to convert more prospect to clients.
Then as you become more successful and have more clients you realise you have to maintain their service levels, and in the world of IT this is an unpredictable beast at times. Every time Apple or Android launch a new update, you hold your breath, test, fix and deploy! In which other area do you get someone changing the rules every few months, without telling you beforehand and your customers still expect it all to work… perhaps in insurance contracts 😊. It means you have to react instantly but that keeps you sharp… all in a day’s work for an Insurtech start up. To put it into motoring terminology, being prepared makes it less of a speedbump and more of a gentle swerve to avoid a potential pothole.
So clearly, it’s a bit of a roller coaster but one year on and we’ve got over 40 customers putting 100’s of end clients and thousands of drivers on to an app. Day one reporting is at over 80% and we’ve now developed property, liability and travel apps. As an industry we’ve been slow with technology, often because we’ve tried to implement change that benefits either insurer, broker or end customer but not often all three. This however has created ‘Insurtech’ and we now need to make the most of it. Working together we can capitalise.
In summary, it’s certainly not the easiest job building a start up in insurance but it’s rewarding and a great learning experience. The UK insurance market is often seen as leading the way and interest from Canada, Australia & Spain perhaps indicate that this is the case. People often decry the level of experience that we now have in the sector but the brokers we’ve met and the direction they are going in would challenge this stereotype. Thanks for supporting new ideas and here’s to the future.