These are exciting times for the insurance sector, both in the UK and across the world. The development of AI, big data projects and blockchain finance are fundamentally changing the way new ideas, services and products reach consumers. It isn’t just faster, it’s more intuitive, targeted and ultimately, trackable.
InsurTech Gateway today opens the doors on the world’s first insurtech accelerator, authorised as an insurance broker by the Financial Conduct Authority. Removing the most significant hurdles that thwart entrepreneurs in this sector – insurance and funding barriers – InsurTech Gateway streamlines and accelerates the process of building an insurtech startup.
Why does this matter? Simple really, insurance is a highly regulated product and dealing with that ever-shifting tide of rules and regulations can take up a great deal of time and money when a start-up needs every working hour it can get.
InsurTech Gateway is a co-investment from Hambro Perks and Robert Lumley from the Lumley insurance family. It’s also supported by a panel of reinsurers and angel investors from the insurance sector. The aim of the project is to dramatically reduce the time and cost it takes to prove an insurtech concept, and then get to the crucial point where they launch a viable business.
The team behind the Gateway claim that they can reduce the time needed to get to proof of concept from two years to 3-6 months, and cut costs by 75 per cent. InsurTech Gateway is seeking talented individuals who have ideas that could disrupt the insurance market, prioritising innovative products that change customers’ lives and meet their desire for greater flexibility.
Here at Insurance Edge we’ve recently covered stories on PAYG travel insurance, cover for couriers and `gig economy’ contractors and looked at the way smartphones look set to replace the traditional dashcam for many drivers – big changes are on the way, almost everyone in the insurance business can see that.
Over the next five years InsurTech Gateway sees the potential to help launch up to 25 new startups. To help make that ambition a reality, InsurTech Gateway has arranged underwriting capability from Aspen, one of the world’s biggest insurance and reinsurance specialists. A network of other insurers will support the primary reinsurer as companies achieve growth stage. In addition to insurance and funding, InsurTech Gateway provides full compliance, back-end technical platforms and GDPR procedures. It also has ready-made partnership agreements with key capital providers, distributors and infrastructure, such as IT and payment platforms.
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Three portfolio companies are already in place: InMyBag, specialist insurance and data recovery for freelancers; By-Miles, telematics-based car insurance for low mileage drivers; and Floodflash, an IoT flood sensor enabling instant settlement flood insurance; with five more expected to have joined by the end of 2018.
Robert Lumley, co-founder of InsurTech Gateway and an insurance entrepreneur, said:
“The three main hurdles insurtech startups face are regulatory and capacity barriers, the funding gap and big insurers’ slow behaviour. That means there is little innovation happening in the sector because it is too difficult to get past the roadblocks. The InsurTech Gateway will change all of that.”
Stephen Brittain, co-founder and director of InsurTech Gateway, said:
“For the last year and a half we have met insurance startups who by the time they got to shaping their idea, were exhausted. The InsurTech Gateway will get them through those roadblocks which killed their entrepreneurial spirit quickly, by accelerating them to proof of business so that they know whether they are sitting on a great big opportunity or wasting their time.”
Adam Rimmer, director and co-founder of FloodFlash:
“The team behind the InsurTech Gateway has formidable breadth of knowledge when it comes to getting startups off the ground. They understand the opportunity for tech-enabled insurance, and their services and network will allow startups to leap ahead when developing their product for market.”