InsurTech Gateway today opens the doors on the world's first insurtech accelerator authorised as an insurance broker by the Financial Conduct Authority. Removing the most significant hurdles that thwart entrepreneurs in this sector - insurance and funding barriers - InsurTech Gateway streamlines and accelerates the process of building an insurtech startup.
InsurTech Gateway is a co-investment from Hambro Perks and Robert Lumley from the Lumley insurance family, and is supported by a panel of reinsurers and angel investors from the insurance sector. The combined expertise and resource behind the InsurTech Gateway team will dramatically reduce the time and cost it takes to prove an insurtech concept enabling entrepreneurs to have the best possible chance of creating and launching a viable business.
For companies and entrepreneurs, InsurTech Gateway will reduce the time needed to get to proof of concept from two years to 3-6 months, and costs by 75 per cent.
InsurTech Gateway is seeking talented individuals who have ideas that could disrupt the insurance market, prioritising innovative products that change customers' lives and meet their desire for greater flexibility in the way in which they select and buy products. Over the next five years InsurTech Gateway envisages launching up to 25 new startups.
In addition to securing the Financial Conduct Authority to create its own innovative regulatory model, InsurTech Gateway has also arranged underwriting capability from Aspen, one of the world's biggest insurance and reinsurance specialists. A network of other insurers who will support the primary reinsurer as companies achieve growth stage, will also be in place. Now, insurtech startups can quickly achieve delegated regulatory approval, with funding and underwriting from a single team, for a very efficient new way to pilot an idea.
InsurTech Gateway provides startups with the entire environment they need for proving their idea: in addition to insurance and funding, InsurTech Gateway provides full compliance, back-end technical platforms and GDPR procedures. It also has ready-made partnership agreements with key capital providers, distributors and infrastructure, such as IT and payment platforms.
Three portfolio companies are already in place: InMyBag, specialist insurance and data recovery for freelancers; By-Miles, telematics-based car insurance for low mileage drivers; and Floodflash, an IoT flood sensor enabling instant settlement flood insurance; with five more expected to have joined by the end of 2018.
Robert Lumley, co-founder of InsurTech Gateway and an insurance entrepreneur, said: "The three main hurdles insurtech startups face are regulatory and capacity barriers, the funding gap and big insurers' slow behaviour. That means there is little innovation happening in the sector because it is too difficult to get past the roadblocks. The InsurTech Gateway will change all of that."
Stephen Brittain, co-founder and director of InsurTech Gateway, said: "For the last year and a half we have met insurance startups who by the time they got to shaping their idea, were exhausted. The InsurTech Gateway will get them through those roadblocks which killed their entrepreneurial spirit quickly, by accelerating them to proof of business so that they know whether they are sitting on a great big opportunity or wasting their time."
Rupert Hambro, Chairman of Hambro Perks, former director at Sedgwick and Chairman at Fenchurch: "InsurTech Gateway will disrupt those who believe their traditional businesses are impervious to change. One of the many ways we will do that is by supporting new ideas and innovative ways to improve the insurance products currently available to consumers."
Adam Rimmer, director and co-founder of FloodFlash: "The team behind the InsurTech Gateway has formidable breadth of knowledge when it comes to getting startups off the ground. They understand the opportunity for tech-enabled insurance, and their services and network will allow startups to leap ahead when developing their product for market."