We are not natural insurers. Bikes and technology are our thing, and our simple vision has always been to create exceptional services that enable people who love riding bikes to spend more time doing just that. Riding bikes.
The state of play
Insurance was always on the cards with Bikmo, but I switched our entire focus to it over an 8 week period after doing research into the state of the sector. The gap was so huge from how existing insurers were doing it to how I knew it could be done, that the decision was obvious.
Check out any reviews on insurance in general and it’s clear to see why the sector has such a bad reputation. Unclear pricing, hidden fees, awful claims experience and dire customer service feature heavily, and no insurers really talk about it. Add to that archaic technology and laborious, 20 question, 5 page forms just to get a quote, and you get a feel for the opportunity.
Insurance is a really simple concept and over 3,000 years old. A simple transfer of risk from one party to another in return for money (a premium). When an event occurs that’s covered under that transfer of risk, the insurer pays out.
It’s hard to understand then, why there’s so much ambiguity and misunderstanding around the policy and pricing, how companies get away with treating customers so badly (ever been charged to make a change or cancel your policy?), and why it’s only now that companies such as Lemonade in the US are starting to be more transparent.
So this is our Open Project. It’s how we’re going to lift the bonnet on insurance and be open about our whole business from premiums and pricing through to claims and technology.
The insurance companies of tomorrow will look very different from what we know now. That will be largely driven by technology and data, and there’s no doubt that the buzz of social data, machine learning, AI and augmented reality will play a large part.
But before starting to play with the clever stuff, the basics need to be explained in a way that lets customers understand what they’re buying, and why.
Hopefully, by being open and asking customers to challenge their insurer, it’ll help accelerate the pace of change in insurance, which has been long overdue. Naturally, there’s some risk in being open about what we do and how we do it, but I’d rather Bikmo be leading the way than looking sideways.
David George // Bikmo Founder + CEO