It has been a very busy year or so for Genasys Technologies. They passed the £1 billion GWP under management target in mid-2021, organised the Tour de Insurtech cycle event last summer, which brought like-minds together on the roads of the UK and near the end of last year, Genasys secured a £12.25m investment from Frog Capital.
So where next for this go-ahead insurtech innovation company, who are busy building the toolkits that get the business of selling insurance done faster – and better? IE caught up with joint CEOs Craig Olivier and Andre Symes.
IE; What a year 2021 turned out to be, what were the stand out moments?
AS; You know we found a great partner in the shape of Frog Capital and that is so important. Last year was one of those years when we really appreciated the benefits of working with key partners. I think to be successful in the modern insurance market depends you have to choose the right partners, who truly add value to your offer.
CO; There was a great deal of feedback from customers on our products, partly because we got much busier and so that naturally generates more comments and ideas. We saw lots of companies who wanted to transform get the motivation to push the button, partly because of the pandemic and WFH etc. but also just because the time felt right.
IE; Do you think that WFH is the future for the insurance sector?
AS; There’s no doubt that for Genasys WFH has been excellent. People are getting more done and balancing work with their home life much better too. We are also seeing less formality and more ideas being explored and discussed, both in the UK and S.A. The open channel sessions we have on Fridays have brought forward lots of creative thinking and I believe that’s the key; it isn’t the number of hours in the day, but what you do in those working hours, that’s what counts.
CO; We were chatting before about the 4-day week being trialled in the UK and it’s something we have seen before, where you work 10 hours for four days and then take three days off. That can work well for some people too. The key thing about all hybrid working models now is flexibility, because every business has had to learn to adapt to changing work patterns very quickly in the last few years. One other thing we have noticed recently is that the surge in enquiries from insurance brands looking to upgrade legacy systems, or build something new hasn’t let up.
AS; Yes we have a stack of projects in the pipeline right now, which is good news.
IE; What is the plan for 2022, now that you have new investment?
AS; How do we scale is a key question, how does Genasys refine and develop its existing strategy? Some of the answers will come from hands-on experience with clients for sure, so working closely with insurance companies is essential, you have to understand where the demand in the market is – and respond to it quickly.
I still see some development in post-pandemic health and SME risks this coming year, there is definitely space for insurers and brokers to offer products which work more effectively in a post-Covid world.
Plus, Genasys Tech is taking our offer to the market this year, as we have plans this year to attend over 20 live events – in the real world, not just online! There’s no substitute for getting out there and showcasing how stuff works, meeting people with new ideas.
CO; One other area where there is bound to be growth is vehicle insurance for cars that have increasingly sophisticated driver assistance tech built-in. Insurance brands will have to cope with more data, from more sources, as they understand risk and personalise their offer to the drivers of those cars. If you think about the question set being asked as part of a typical electric car claim in the future, it’s going to be very different from what we had in the past.
Some of the PAYG insurance brands now have over a million miles of data – quite detailed data too – from all kinds of cars, routes, times of day etc. Building products that can incorporate and understand that kind of data is going to be on the Genasys radar.
IE; The FCA ruling is set to change the car insurance market, how can brands sell on value not just price?
AS; There is this amazing opportunity now for car insurers and brokers to become the good guys, not just companies who take money every year for a legal requirement. It will take a few years to change the overall mindset of the market which has been dominated by the comparison sites, but it can be done. You can sell extra benefits, build long term relationships with customers, by selling the brand values, the expertise and helping hand aspect. Insurance is a good thing for society and it’s a message that gets lost when all people worry about is the lowest price.
CO; Part of the answer is creating products that fit better with people’s hybrid working lives, or work more effectively with new travel rules, or in-car dashcams, smartphone data apps. If you reward people for smarter driving they’ll be happier customers, plus you have the data to calculate a fair renewal price.
IE; It will be interesting to see how new products assimilate the ever-increasing amounts of data being generated. Andre and Craig, thank you for your time.