Founding Insurtechs and remote-first teams

I specialise in making complicated products easy to use for customers. This has lead to high conversion rates and profitable business models. With a background in customer experience, I’ve been working in the digital economy since the Dot.com boom. 

Self-funded businesses and remote-first

I have over a decade of experience managing teams and founding self-funded (bootstrapped) businesses and I wanted to find a different way to work. When my first bub was born I wanted to be a present and equal parent and this lead to a structure of work that continues to evolve around a remote-first model… well be fore it was fashionable.

The teams at each of of my companies work a four-day week and time is not tracked. Delivery and productivity are honed through an agile/scrum approach with fortnightly sprints, retros and planning sessions. This allows the teams to work asynchronously and from any location. The companies now have employees in over 10 locations around the globe.

Exposure to insurance

I was fortunate to be part of one the first Insurtech teams in Australia – WorldNomads.com. Working directly with a truly innovative and disruptive team was a steep learning curve and I was lucky to be part of the team to develop the first online Pet Insurance platform in Australia (PetCover.com.au) and key sections of the WorldNomads.com, the micro-donations platform Footprints.org and TravelInsuranceDirect.com.au.

Starting Insured by Us

In 2011 Hollard partnered Woolworths to enter the insurance market. Hollard had all the lines covered except travel and they reached out to see if we could build a platform.

With just three and a half months to go live, we built the entire platform from pricing and wording, finding capacity and claims providers to the entire online experience.

The platform grew to power over twenty brands in the Australian market and generating over $100million in GWP in a single calendar year.

Starting Agile Underwriting

I’ve always been attracted to the more prosaic industries and wanted to expand the portfolio of insurance products.

In partnership with Robin Barham, a Lloyd’s veteran and Nick Goritsas an insurance executive, we founded Agile as a MGA and Lloyd’s cover holder to create innovative products across Aviation, Casualty, Marine, Space, Cyber and Accident and Health.

Agile has a unique proposition where underwriters are able to directly own a significant share of their portfolio while mitigating the risks across the entire portfolio.

Travel with Jane

One of the projects at PLUS2 (my previous business) involved research for one of the Big-4 Banks women’s advocacy program. Within the banking industry women (as a segment) are often referred to as the next billion dollars. From my extensive customer engagement I heard over and over again how women felt disenfranchised when engaging with financial services. This was attributed to things such as language used in product documents, and even anecdotal stories about not getting a business loan until women brought their husband, bother, uncle or token male along with them.

Importantly, this came as a great shock to men in management positions within these financial institutions. They had not set out to exclude women. It’s simply a blindspot. They don’t see it happening.

It was this experience, coupled with the data we had about who buys travel insurance and when, that lead to the creation of Travel with Jane. In an attempt to raise awareness around wage parity, Jane offers a world first Gender Pay Gap discount. Ben’s team are focussed on the safety and wellbeing of female travellers and advocating for equality in all issues faced by our customers. The financial implications of a Gender Pay Gap have far reaching consequences, naturally some of which spill into the ability for women to seize every opportunity to travel, and travel safely. 

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Insurtech secrets

Learn the secrets for Insurtech products that connect and convert with real customers so you can build, measure and deploy your own Insurtech business.