SETsquared Surrey alumni member Inzura has helped to launch two innovative businesses in the last six months, helping to transform the motor insurance industry.
The first business, Zixty, is a digital end to end insurer, providing users with temporary motor cover through an online app in 2-3 minutes. Zixty was launched in October 2022 and provides users with the ability to obtain instant cover for as little as an hour or up to 28 days. The second business, MCE, was launched in January 2023 and is the world’s first pay-by-mile motorcycle insurance solution.
Ian McWilliams, COO of Inzura says,
“Zixty comes from our desire to see this sort of digital end to end insurer. We worked closely with the co-founders of Zixty and our technology is integral to the business. We spent six months focused on Zixty and used our connections to find a senior executive from the insurance industry to lead it.”
“We then turned our attention to the next project which has been brought to market in record time. MCE, the largest motorcycle insurer in UK, had a vision and a plan to disrupt the motorcycle insurance market by moving away from the 12-month policy purchase to a pay-as-you-ride solution, and we became a partner in that process. The unique thing about the motorbike insurance market is most people ride their bike from March through to October, but then it gets too cold and wet to ride. The bikes are then put away for the winter, but owners are still paying for insurance. MCE has changed that with its Subscribe-and-Ride policy.”
The launch of Inzura
Inzura was formed in 2015 with a vision to help the insurance industry, and specifically the broker industry, to digitise their businesses and enable the administration of insurance policies through an app rather than a traditional call centre or a website.
Richard Jelbert, CEO, co-founder of Inzura and industry expert, identified a better solution for insurance companies to monitor young drivers with a telematics policy. Rather than placing a black box in cars, Richard pioneered the capability in an app, and Inzura became one of the first companies to offer app-based telematics. The company also utilised some early-stage document validation within the app, which has now been developed into an AI (artificial intelligence) based solution.
Ian McWilliams adds,
“Our earliest young driver customer proposition for Autoline in Northern Ireland was a product called ChilliDrive. When you signed up to the policy, you were required to take photos of your car, your driving licence and a selfie. The photos were stored for both the broker and the underwriter in the event of an accident and a claim. At this point, the photos could be checked to see if there was any previous damage to the car. This was innovative at the time. Autoline were one of the larger brokers in Ireland and keen to differentiate themselves and disrupt the market.
Our original vision was to give consumers the chance to manage insurance from their phone, rather than through a call centre or website, in the same way we manage our internet banking. However, the reality was that seven years later the insurance industry was still innovating at a snail’s pace. Finally, and partly due to customer behaviour and expectation changes during COVID, the market is changing. There are a few very innovative businesses out there and Zixty and MCE are two great examples.”
Responding to the impact of COVID
COVID has had a mixed impact on the motor insurance industry. During lockdown, many countries across the world introduced restrictions which reduced the number of drivers on the road, creating a hugely adverse effect on the motor insurance business in the short term. However, COVID also changed behaviours and expectations which generated opportunities, and helped to unblock resistance to an app-based insurance policy. It also emphasized the need for pay-as-you-drive policies.
When COVID hit in April 2020, every motor insurance broker had to move to a work from home model. Call centre teams were sent to work from home and that caused several challenges. Suddenly the call centre-based admin around document collation and creating policies couldn’t and didn’t take place.
Inzura built the iApprove app and signed a couple of customer contracts to automate the process of document provision. Using AI, the app could take photos of documents, upload them and check them against customer declared policy information. A new policy could be authorised without the need to manually look at the actual documents. If all the information matched data on the core admin system, policy approval is completed in seconds.
90% of customers were happy to download the app built by Inzura if they wanted an insurance policy. For Inzura customer Kingfisher, the app-based process saved about 28 minutes per policy. This decreased the company’s approval process from 28 days to around five.
During COVID, awareness of motor insurance costs also heightened, which changed consumer behaviour. Admiral Car Insurance offered customers a £25 credit if they were not using their cars and this made people realise that they were still paying insurance when cars were not being driven. This made the pay-as-you-drive model more appealing.
Influenced by these changes, some traditional brokers are now moving some of their features, functionality and services out of the call centre towards an app-based solution. This provides more opportunity for the solutions Inzura offers and the future is looking busy and exciting.
Inzura have been a SETsquared member for many years. The SETsquared model provided the start-up with business development and planning support, marketing recommendations and routes to investment.
“Being a member of SETsquared has been tremendous. We started out in the incubator being kept in shape by Lottie and Joan in the SETsquared team and supported by Entrepreneur in Residence Keith Dixon. Being in an environment where you’ve got a base to start from and access to the entrepreneurs in residence and the various advisers that can help you develop a viable solution, build your business plan, help you with a marketing plan, and how to monetise a business and gain investment is vital.“