Reinventing Insurance > Launching an Insurtech – Week 2

Week 2: Into Insurance as an Out-Of-Industry Player

In the second of our five diary posts covering the buzzvault journey from November to January, we follow Charlie Vinall, buzzvault’s newly appointed Business Operations Manager.

I wake on Monday morning feeling a lot better than this time last week.

You see, last week I’d learnt that I would not be going to Manchester for this year’s Movers and Storers Exhibition. And that my buzzsurvey colleagues would be showing the removals industry why video is the future of home surveys – without me.

However, my fears – the fear of being stuck in the office, of missing out, of abstinence itself – soon proved unfounded. Indeed, my exclusion from Movers and Storers concealed a promotion.

Big things are afoot at buzz headquarters. Indeed, we are about to unleash the video technology behind buzzsurvey on UK home insurance. And last week I was appointed Business Operations Manager in readiness. buzzsurvey is used by removal companies all around the world as a way to conveniently detail customers’ household effects before their move, without actually having to send a surveyor out in person – all the customer needs is a mobile phone and an Internet connection.

And now, buzzvault, our video-powered insurance app, lets you create a secure, digital record of your household items on your mobile – for insurance purposes. This way, you can get the right cover, or make a claim, at the tap of a button. I’ve accumulated lots of stuff over the years, so I’m looking forward to quantifying it and making a proper decision about what to protect. Finally, an app that makes me more like a responsible adult, not less!

Anyway, gone the age of high-ceilinged exhibition halls and free croissants – this week, I roll up my sleeves and get seriously stuck into insurance.

We have Charlotte Halkett and Darius Medora of course, our MDs of Insurance. But many of us, including myself, are coming to Insurtech fresh, from outside the industry. I bring plenty of experience from the removals world though, helping homeowners move house and moving firms to deploy video surveying.

What first struck me about insurance was its antiquity… I imagined underwriters sitting at big mahogany desks in front of shelves of leather-bound books – though that could just be my love of the movies coming through.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, I catch up with different department heads across the business to discuss how we’re going to ensure everything runs smoothly when – very soon! – we throw buzzvault into the mix. We’ve been preparing our insurance debut for a couple of years now, so there aren’t any surprises – just a batch of new partners for underwriting, claims and policy management, and many, many moving parts.

To give you an idea, the customer journey I manage is about to get a whole lot more complicated. It won’t just be home-movers, it’ll be insurance buyers – and there’s plenty of crossover in between as well. This opportunity to combine home removals with home insurance, to create one end-to-end service, is what I for one am most excited about.

After all, we don’t want to be just a seller of insurance, a mere video-technology company or yet another comparison site. We want to be the brand that makes customers’ lives easier: managing, moving and protecting their belongings.

People will say Rome wasn’t built in a day. Well, I have some news: it was. What might be given a leisurely 6-month runtime at a corporate, gets bundled into 2 weeks here at buzzvault. It’s an emotional rollercoaster but it’s a way of life – and an addictive one at that.

Friday brings glad tidings: our Christmas Party at Six Storeys Soho. After last week’s privations, I get my complimentary eat, drink and schmooze after all. And if that’s not karma, I don’t know what is.

To continue reading about our journey to launch, jump forwards to Week 3, in which we follow the marketing team across the most important week of the year: launch week.


>>> Click here for Launching an Insurtech Week 3: Our Insurance Goes Live

<<< Back to Launching an Insurtech Week 1: On the Conference Trail


This diary piece was first published on Insurance Post. For more info on home and contents insurance, check out the buzzvault guide to contents insurance.