It’s been a busy 2021 for Percayso-Inform, after a successful Seedrs funding round, more new product builds and expansion of the team at their Nottingham base. But this year looks set to be another stellar journey, after Percayso announced a major investment of ￡3.4m from Praetura Ventures.
IE spoke to Percayso Inform MD Richard Tomlinson to find out more.
IE; Great news about the new investment, which must open up some opportunities in 2022 and beyond?
RT; It is a big step forward for us and the industry reaction has been really positive too. The biggest benefit for us is being able to step back slightly, just pause and plan a bit more. Having the luxury of time is fantastic in terms of product development and that’s what the new capital provides. In the normal run of things, there is never enough time to look at every single new idea, or innovation in detail either, so again we have the opportunity to do that this year.
IE; What are top trends you’re seeing this year?
RT; I would say that so many clients now want total control over their data dashboard. That’s perfect for us because we can offer that in-depth, stacked data, which insurance providers can customise to get the insights they want. So much of the market now is about adapting to demand quickly, or adding value, so having your own team control the dataflow, analyse it to suit your brand and what your company is best at, is definitely the way ahead.
You can see that after the FCA rule on the loyalty discount there is a greater demand now for extra products, added value and cross-selling. The big changes in the UK market have been driven by Brexit and Covid 19 over the last few years and that has changed people’s lifestyles in many ways.
Pretty much everyone involved in the insurance value chain is upping their level of involvement in the way data is shared, collated and used to price new business and renewals. That’s great to see actually, more people wanting that fine control of their offer online. Lots of companies now realise that if your IT is a sort of fixed service, then it might struggle to adapt rapidly to new trends in the market, so you want to be able to build and test new products in weeks, not months.
IE; Everyone in the industry has noted the rise in cyber attacks in the last two years, what’s your take on it?
RT; Cyber attacks have exploded as working from home has become the norm. We are seeing some companies responding fast to the cyber threat, others not so much, but it needs a bit of development as a product in the UK market. If you look at sectors like micro SMEs, or small fleets and so on, you can see that a one size-fits-all approach doesn’t really work and historically cyber cover has been aimed at big companies, because that’s where the hackers used to operate.
Data is one of the most valuable assets that any company or individual owns, no-one is immune and it’s inevitable that cyber attacks will continue to impact smaller businesses. It’s likely that there’ll be more developments when it comes to the growth in cyber protection for individuals in personal lines which will present more opportunities for brokers and MGAs and as with any cover in the personal lines space, pricing and risk selection will be critical.
IE; Talking of growth do you see a chance for Percayso to expand overseas now with the new Praetura funding in place?
RT; We are still very much focussed on the UK, because there are still lots of opportunities here for us, especially in providing data enrichment services to UK insurance brands. The thing about an ecosystem or a portal is that it is very much transportable, so we are looking at the insurtech scene in Australia, which is really vibrant right now.
The interesting thing about the Australian insurance market as a whole is that it has 6 or 7 players who have a dominant position, so it is ready for some insurtech disruption. The local insurtech association there is very active and pushing on with new ideas so it is an exciting time over there. Something worth looking at this year for sure and branching into new lines of business beyond the realms of personal lines’
IE; There is a shift now in many developed economies away from commuting to an office job, plus online shopping. Do you think that in broad terms property management is something where insurers could follow Legal & General’s example and become social landlords, using data to manage all sorts of risks? Maybe there is a trend towards data driven Commercial and Property insurance, not just Motor?
RT; It is an area where you physically see the changes in bigger towns and cities. We recently visited Manchester on business and saw the two huge towers they’re building in the city centre which were very impressive. For insurers this is an intelligent but long term play I feel, it will take time for people to adapt to new lifestyles and figure out what type of insurance products and services they need. Same for landlords too, whether public or private sector.
It also changes the Business insurance market in city centres if more people are living in apartments, rather than a mass commute each day supporting all the SME businesses that previously existed. The pace of change is so fast now that insurers, MGAs and brokers all need to keep on top of their IT, product research & development and dataflows that ultimately price the risk.
IE; Interesting times ahead, thanks Rich.
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