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InsurTech Spotlight with Harry Franks

Welcome to the ABI InsurTech Spotlight, Week 3. Each week I’ll be putting questions to one of the movers and shakers of the UK InsurTech arena – the leaders of exciting InsurTech businesses, InsurTech and innovation leaders within ABI member companies, InsurTech experts, commentators and investors. This week we welcome Harry Franks, the CEO of ABI Associate Member, Zego.

Hi Harry, could you tell us in one sentence what Zego is all about?

Zego is focused on providing flexible insurance products for workers in the on-demand economy that empower people to work when they want to.

And what about you – could you tell our audience something surprising about you?

I enjoy the challenge of endurance sport, putting myself through hours of discomfort, just to get to the end!

So why should insurers, and their customers, care about Zego?

Zego’s founding team came from the gig-economy, and understands the challenges that workers in the space face, and built the business to serve a need identified. We work with insurers, and cutting edge technology to bring together traditional players in the insurance market with non-traditional customers. At Zego we are truly focused on our customers, creating products that give them the flexibility to work when they want to, paying in proportion to when they earn.

Talk to us about the influences that led to your decision to build a business in the insurance sector.

We saw first-hand the way in which the insurance and on-demand sectors were clashing, whilst working in the on-demand space. We saw that the products available were not fit for the changing face of work, and knew that we had the understanding of the sector, with the technological capability to bring the two areas together.

And what are the biggest challenges you’ve faced up to this point in doing so?

We are not “from” insurance, and working with insurance companies on a completely new scheme, with limited past data was extremely hard at the outset. As we have grown and developed, and started working with some leading and innovative insurance players, this has reduced.

We hear a lot about the on-demand economy these days, including various areas of controversy on things like employment benefits and customer protection, not to mention the insurance issues you’re setting out to solve. In that context, what’s your perspective on how the on-demand economy will evolve over the coming years?

It’s very easy to challenge the aggregating platforms that utilise on-demand workers to grow their businesses. I believe that platforms offer these services in many cases due to the desire of the workers to work when they want to, around their lives, along with the significant demand. Due to technology and the on-demand culture that we expect now to be in place for our every whim, I do not see growth in this slowing down, and think that industry needs to catch up. I would rather see industry offering targeted and pragmatic solutions to benefit an emerging workforce, rather than looking to regulate the way people work and suppress it.

And do you think it presents opportunities for Zego beyond motor insurance at some future point – maybe moving into liability or even property insurance?

At Zego we focus on the connection between customers and insurers and how we can use technology to bring the two closer together for the benefit of both parties. I can see how this can be applicable across a range of sectors in the long term.

Finally, what would you expect to have achieved with Zego in a year’s time?

I expect to maintain the growth rate of the business that we have achieved in the last twelve months, both from a customer point of view, but also will be very happy if we can maintain the development of the fantastic team that we have started. We will be offering more choice to our customers and be working with innovative and forward thinking insurance partners.

Last updated 31/08/2017