If you think you have an insurtech idea that could change the industry, the best thing to do is seek feedback, an expert has said.
Jason Wilby (pictured), director and co-founder of Huddle Insurance, said that the most important step when embarking on a start-up journey within the insurance industry is to canvas the opinion of others.
“I would say, get out there and speak to as many people as possible,” Wilby told Insurance Business. “The industry is very competitive but it is also a lot more open and collaborative than you might imagine. Don’t be afraid to go and dip your toe in the water.”
Wilby said that the advice and feedback received from discussions throughout the process of developing an idea can prove beneficial for the end product. With Huddle products underwritten by Hollard, Wilby said that approaching firms both big and small offers differing insights.
“Very few ideas are truly unique, but often what these organisations are looking for are people who can execute them,” Wilby continued.
“Going out there and having a chat with someone at say, Firemark Labs, they can tell you very quickly about the similar ideas floating around and they can give you some feedback very quickly on what they see as being critical to success and getting off the ground.
“Getting that initial piece of feedback is so critical for being able to put your efforts into ideas that are likely to have legs.”
Launched in August 2016, Huddle uses AI to pay claims within 60 seconds in the rental, travel and car insurance markets. The firm, launched by Wilby and co-founder Jonathan Buck, also enables customers to donate any unused premiums (once claims and fees are paid) to causes such as Oxfam Australia or local charities.
Wilby came to the insurance industry following a career in consultancy within the financial services industry. In the close to two years since launching Huddle, Wilby said that one of the most important lessons for the firm has been brought about the fact that they weren’t experts in all areas of insurance. Wilby said that learning that others can help further develop an idea and fill-in knowledge gaps was vital.
“We weren’t always insurance experts and I think the biggest learning for us was that is OK,” Wilby said.
“There are lots of people who would be only too happy to step in and give advice. It is good to be challenged by others and to not have that view that we know everything – that is what enables us to innovate. People in the industry are generally very motivated to explore new ideas.”
With a limited background in the industry, Wilby and Buck chose to launch in insurance thanks to its very nature.
“Insurance, when you take a step back, it is incredible,” Wilby said. “Modern insurance has been around 200 or so years and the idea that complete strangers can pool their resources so that, on the off chance, if anything bad happens they are covered… it is one of humanity’s biggest proof points.”
While Wilby admits that the co-founders fell in love with the industry, they see Huddle as a chance to have a positive influence on the future direction of insurance, by looking at its past.
“In most people’s minds, it has lost its way. It is something that many people buy grudgingly and some people even hate it, but they pay money for it,” Wilby said. “We fell in love with the old way of insurance and the opportunity to use technology to breathe new life into it.”
To hear more from Jason Wilby, and other insurtech experts, be sure to attend the inaugural Insurance Business Insurtech Summit at the Amora Hotel Jamison Sydney on Tuesday, May 08.
Insurance Business readers are encouraged to register now to secure the best possible rates for this event. Save $300 per person with the Super Saver rates; or four could attend for the price of three with a Team Pass.
This event has been accredited for 5 CPD points by the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA).
Check out the full program here.
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