Interview with Simon Ball, Director of Quotall

Simon, you founded Quotall before “insurtech” was even a term. How has the industry evolved since then?

The insurance industry has seen tremendous changes since we founded Quotall in 2010. In the early days, technology adoption was relatively slow, with many processes still reliant on manual handling. Over the last decade, there has been a significant push towards digital transformation, driven by the need for increased efficiency and improved customer experience. The term “insurtech” has entered the mainstream, heralding a wave of startups that introduced innovative solutions to age-old industry problems. However, this period also witnessed a boom-and-bust cycle within insurtech, with high-profile failures and insolvencies overshadowing the emergence of a few unicorns. The industry is now at a critical juncture where sustainable innovation is key, and companies must focus on long-term viability rather than short-term hype.

Customer expectations have shifted dramatically over the years. Is the industry serving them better now?

Customer expectations have indeed evolved, especially with the proliferation of digital technology. Today’s consumers demand convenience, relevance, speed, and transparency in their insurance transactions. While the industry has made considerable progress in these areas through the adoption of digital platforms and improved service delivery, there remains a significant gap. Many customers still find insurance processes cumbersome and opaque. At Quotall, we strive to close this gap by simplifying insurance through technology and services. Our goal is to make insurance more accessible and user-friendly, ensuring that customers can easily understand and manage their policies.

You mentioned that part of Quotall’s evolution is due to inertia in the industry. Can you elaborate on that?

Simon Ball: The insurance industry has traditionally – and in many ways understandably – been slow to embrace change due to its regulatory complexities and risk-averse nature. This reluctance often stifles innovation and prevents rapid adaptation to market demands. Recognising this inertia, Quotall has expanded its role to address these challenges head-on. We started as an insurtech firm but quickly realised the need to take on more responsibilities to drive meaningful change. For instance, we offer incubation services, regulatory support, and capital sourcing to help startups and Managing General Agents (MGAs) navigate these complexities. By providing a comprehensive suite of services, we enable these companies to innovate and grow without being bogged down by administrative and regulatory hurdles.

Can you share an example of how Quotall’s approach was ahead of its time, like your work with Coverzones back in 2008?

Simon Ball: Certainly. Coverzones was one of our pioneering efforts back in 2008, launched as a digital insurance platform that provided a seamless online experience for customers. At the time, digital insurance was a novel concept, and many in the industry were sceptical about its feasibility. Coverzones allowed users to quote, buy, and manage policies entirely online, setting a new standard for customer interaction in insurance. This initiative demonstrated the potential of digital transformation in the insurance sector and laid the foundation for our future projects when we formed Quotall in 2010. Our work with Coverzones proved that with the right vision and execution, significant advancements in customer experience and operational efficiency are possible.

With all these developments, what is Quotall’s current focus and philosophy for the future?

Simon Ball: Our current focus is on fostering sustainable growth and driving innovation within the insurance ecosystem. Unlike many insurtech ventures that have fallen into the trap of high loss ratios and market failures, Quotall emphasises stability and long-term value creation. We leverage thorough market research, robust due diligence, and strategic partnerships to build a resilient ecosystem. A significant frontier for us now is embedded insurance, where insurance offerings are seamlessly integrated into the purchase process of various products and services. This approach not only enhances the customer experience but also opens new revenue streams for businesses. By providing end-to-end support—from regulatory assistance and capital sourcing to marketing and technological solutions—we aim to help our clients navigate the complexities of the insurance market and achieve sustainable success.

How has the development of embedded insurance impacted the industry, and what is Quotall’s approach to this frontier?

Simon Ball: Embedded insurance represents a significant shift in the industry, offering insurance products seamlessly integrated into the purchase process of other goods and services. This model meets customers where they are, providing immediate and relevant coverage without the need for a separate transaction. The impact on the industry is profound, as it opens up new distribution channels and enhances customer experience by making insurance more accessible and convenient.

At Quotall, we see embedded insurance as a pivotal area of growth. Our approach involves collaborating with various partners—from retailers to service providers—to integrate insurance offerings directly into their sales processes. For instance, our recent work with Embri, an embedded insurtech platform for the luxury retail sector, exemplifies this strategy. By ensuring immediate coverage at the point of purchase, we enhance the customer experience and provide additional value.

Our proprietary insurtech platform is designed to support these integrations, offering the flexibility and scalability needed to deploy embedded insurance solutions across different industries. By focusing on embedded insurance, we aim to drive innovation and create new revenue streams for our partners while delivering seamless and relevant insurance products to consumers. This approach aligns with our broader philosophy of fostering sustainable growth and building a resilient insurance ecosystem. Watch this space for further updates!