HM Treasury, FCA act to address low insurance take-up

Initiative to benefit low-income renters

HM Treasury, FCA act to address low insurance take-up


By Terry Gangcuangco

Logic dictates that you don’t buy what does not fit… in the case of low-income renters in the UK, it turns out only about 20-40% take out contents insurance because current offerings do not suit them, and this is something both HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) want to address.

The two recently held an access to contents insurance innovation workshop, with the aim of generating ideas to aid the industry in designing better products for low-income consumers. The event was participated in by the likes of Aventus Platform/Homelyfe, Bought By Many, Brolly, Slice, and Urban Jungle. Also among those present were representatives from the Association of British Insurers as well as Aon, Aviva, Direct Line Group, LV=, and RSA. The workshop was hosted by L39 and moderated by 11:FS.

Technologies and services were explored during the gathering, with Simple Sure emerging as the team whose idea has the most credible impact while the Retro contingent was declared as having the idea with the most innovative approach. 

Simple Sure’s proposition centres on a “price first, no questions asked” insurance product for small, local, and underinsured communities. Distribution is designed in a way that policies are sold at community touchpoints such as post offices. Meanwhile Retro’s idea is to use loss-specific loans for gig economy workers as the gateway to offer contents insurance.

The ideas were judged by HM Treasury’s financial services director Gwyneth Nurse, FCA executive director of strategy and competition Chris Woolard, Financial Ombudsman Service’s chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman, and Anthemis associate Sophie Winwood.

“The UK is leading the world when it comes to innovation in the insurance industry,” stated the Economic Secretary to the Treasury, John Glen, during the event. “There are over 120 insurtechs registered in the UK, which are fundamentally changing the way that customers interact with insurers and transforming the way the insurance industry is perceived.

“With such low uptake of contents insurance by low-income renters, there is a clear opportunity for innovative new approaches to this area that will help some of society’s most vulnerable people.”


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