The Tour de Insurtech is fast approaching in a few days time. Excitement is building up, T-shirts are being openly modelled online and banter is reaching Inbetweeners levels already. It’s all good fun.
Some of the movers n shakers of the UK insurtech scene will be taking to two wheels, led by Genasys TechCEO Andre Symes, so Insurance Edge asked some of the riders a few quick questions before the stratline flag drops. Watch out for more pics and updates over the next two weeks.
Q. What got you into cycling, what bike do you ride and why ?
Alex Fletton from E-Zee Insurance Services summed it up nicely;
“The ability to consume a few more guilt free calories. I ride a Pinarello Dogma 65.1 Italia because its the closest I could get to a Lambretta SX200.”
A classic scooter, created especially for the British Lambretta importer back in the late 60s by the way.
Meanwhile Rich Tomlinson from Percayso-Inform likes the pure escapism of two wheels;
“I have found myself getting more and more into cycling as I get older, team sports are too time consuming with kids and I seemed to get injured more and more so I drifted into cycling for commuting and then pleasure. Now I enjoy cycling to keep fit, de-stress, push myself via various challenges and catch up with friends. I ride a Cannondale CAAD road bike – nothing too fancy but its fine for me.”
Q. Fave cycling routes?
Dave Bilham, from Verius Risk Solutions has a few;
“My favourite ever ride was out of Monte Catini Terme in Tuscany. It hosted the 2013 world championships. Riding north into the national park we found a tiny local restaurant over looking a valley and I often think about it as the definition of why I ride’. Back home in the UK, I’m lucky that the Cheshire lanes and North Wales hills offer a real variety, the route for the this ride, out to the Horse Shoe pass, is a real ‘local classic’ and hard to exclude from a favourite route list.”
Max Pell from Fennech Financial keeps it simple with, “Anywhere in the South Downs,” and who can blame him? However George Stokes at Claim Technology has to cope with the cut n thrust of urban London, although he always has an escape plan up his sleeve;
“I’m lucky to live in Camden by the C6 cycle superhighway so I can cycle from my home to the River Thames and up to Westminster. If I want a more challenging, but equally scenic route, I live by Regents Park, Hampstead Heath and Highgate. Last weekend, I cycled a few minutes to St Pancras station, took the train to Brighton with my bike and then did a 50km round trip to Seven Sisters along the coastline – the climbs were tough but the views made it all worthwhile.”
Q. Apart from potholes what’s the biggest annoyance on the roads?
Paul Reading at TIF Group noted;
“The increasing number of drivers who smoke cannabis when they’re driving – the smell of ganja coming out of white vans on my evening commute home is frightening.”
IE can only add that vapers can be interesting to follow too, one vehicle seemingly had a driver who was smoking a raspberry jam jar in downtown Horwich last year.
Q. Is insurtech like a cycle race; there’s a peloton and a few companies pushing for the stage wins every day?
James Bilham again;
“I’ve never thought about it like that, but its a really good analogy for a variety of reasons. Sometimes you are the nail. Sometimes the hammer. Also, whilst we are all in competition there is a close knit community and ultimately moving forward together to achieve a common goal.”
Chris Carney at CGI.Com adds;
“There are a lot of similarities. The Insurtech world will succeed through partnerships, just like the GC riders can only win because of their Domestiques. Along the way there will be the opportunity for individual companies to shine in niches, just like the Polka-Dot and Green Jersey competitions.”
Rich Tomlinson at Percayso commented;
“You could defintely develop that analogy – various specialisms in Insurtech akin to the cycling specialisms – sprinting, GC, mountains etc as well as some superstar cyclists with big profiles, akin to the more well known insurtech founders perhaps!”
Q. Music while you cycle via earbuds – good thing/bad thing?
The general feeling was it’s an option, but a distraction. Paul from TIF Group shuts down this notion completely;
“BAD! How could anyone think that it’s a good thing? I do like those sportive riders who have a Bluetooth speaker gaffer-taped to their bars to give a lift to the ride.”
Q. Best idea or product you’ve seen in insurance this year?
Alex from Ezee IS likes some disruption;
“I really like what Dead Happy is doing in disrupting Life Insurance…a super cool bunch of people with a great approach to work and doing their best to make a pretty sombre topic as thought provoking and as simple for a customer as possible.”
Meanwhile James Bilham likes the idea of pooled knowledge;
“There are too many to name one company or idea. Its a cop out but I’m going to say Insurtech UK. Back to that cycling analogy, a community with a common goal. “
Meanwhile George Stokes at Claim Technology goes for a two-wheeled product;
“I’m a big fan of Buzzbike – for as little as £17 a month you get your own bike, on-demand maintenance and theft insurance. It’s perfect for use in London, plus you can sign up for one of their free Lab courses to learn more about maintaining your bike yourself or join one of their fun ride events at the weekend. If you do want to join, use my referral code (MICHAELLEWIS18258) to get yourself a discount!”
And on that shameless plug bombshell, we wish everyone a safe and sunshiney ride. Many thanks for your comments and apologies we couldn’t include every answer. See you on the road!
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