Hedgehog, a new online motor insurance provider targeting drivers who face higher than average premiums, has been launched to the insurance market this morning.
Capacity for the Gibraltar-based MGA is being provided by AA+ rated Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance.
The founders of Hedgehog Insurance are CEO Pete Storey and business partner Ben Gower, who together also own direct travel insurance MGA 1Cover, the largest independent travel insurance business in Australia and New Zealand. Underwriting and claims for Hedgehog will be handled in the UK by Cardiff-based sister company Rostella run by director Nigel Lombard who has 25 years’ experience in car insurance, e-commerce and operations.
The Cardiff operation, based in Capital Tower, is recruiting 50 staff from customer service roles through to underwriting, data scientists and claims managers – as it ramps up for its public launch in the fourth quarter of this year.
The direct motor insurance provider will be available exclusively on fellow Cardiff-based aggregator Confused initially.
Hedgehog uses intelligent, automated underwriting and data analysis to drive advanced risk pricing and fraud prevention, powered by its own cloud-based software platform Engage. It is targeting 50,000 customers in the first year in the 21 to mid-40s range that face higher than average premiums for reasons such as holding points on their licence, a driving conviction, or being blacklisted by certain insurers because of their postcode. “This is no made-up, pie in the sky target” commented Pete Storey, “but is based on cold hard data analysis and is supported by our capacity provider.”
Pete continued: “Having our own technology platform gives us complete control and flexibility to ensure we can provide sophisticated policy optimisation for individual customers and make full use of additional data sources such as My Licence. It also means we have the complete dedication and attention of our software provider – not something many insurance providers can boast.”
Nigel Lombard added: “By implementing augmented capabilities and automated processes our employees can focus on the fun stuff – including driving improvement in our processes, the customer experience and in pricing risks correctly – rather than getting caught up in day to day drudgery.”