Reinventing Insurance > The Insurtech Advent Calendar 2018

And December is upon us once again! As we begin the countdown, first to Christmas and then to New Year, we’re mulling more than just poor-quality red wine with cloves in it. It’s time to reflect on the year that was, and what 2018 has meant for buzzvault and for Insurtech as a whole.

#1 hell of a launch 🍾🎉

You heard it – buzzvault is now live. Why not come and say hi?

Find us on an app store near you, visit us at or follow us on Twitter at @buzzvaulthq!

#2 thousand more attendees at Insuretech Connect than last year

We had a whale of a time on the exhibition at this largest of all insurtech gatherings. Check out our event log and video highlights reel.

#3 products, ONE brand

What customers want first and foremost are solutions to their problems. They don’t want to put on their insurance hat and buy insurance – or indeed any other kind of “grudge” service. That’s why we’re rolling together buzzvault, buzzmove and buzzsurvey into buzz – a new brand focused on de-stressing life’s most stressful events.

#4 in 5 of UK’s Generation Rent lack contents cover

That’s 10.5 million renters who could lose everything they own overnight and be helpless to get any of it back. Get the full picture on the UK protection gap in our blog feature Where is all the Contents Insurance?

#5-Year Strategic Partnership with Munich Re

We were thrilled to announce a five-year strategic partnership with Munich Re Digital Partners at the beginning of this year.

“Munich Re is really well set up compared to other reinsurers to work with insurtechs and it is devoid of the red tape that restricts other reinsurers,” comments our CEO and Founder, Becky Downing.

#6 DIAmond Award Winners

buzzvault was delighted to be one of six companies to win the prestigious DIAmond Award at DIA Amsterdam in May this year. Watch a video of our winning pitch here:

#7 in 10 people have no gadget insurance

That’s right. Despite most UK citizens caring more about the wellbeing of their portable silicon companions than of their own children, 65% of us do not have a gadgets insurance policy. Help is at hand though. Here is our nifty guide to insuring those cherished gadgets of yours.

we #8 too many canapés at the buzz Xmas Party ’18

#9 Top Insurtech Trends

No year would be complete in the fabulous world of Insurtech without a look at the top, you guessed it, Insurtech Trends.

To keep your trend-hunger sated until the end of the year, here are our 9 Insurtech Trends to Watch, from November’s Insurance Innovators Summit.

#10 Top Fintech Trends

If you just can’t get enough trends, here are some of our choicest fintech trends for pudding.

This summer we staged our very own Fintech Love Island to see which Fintech Trend was truly the hottest. What do you get when you put AI, Gamification, Mobile Wallet, Blockchain, Roboadvisory, Chatbot, API, VR, Robotics and P2P in a Mallorcan villa together? The results ain’t pretty …

Who’s hitting it off on Fintech Love Island?

#11 startups on SBC’s 3rd London InsurTech acceleration program

How time flies! At the start of this year, eleven new startups were admitted onto Startupbootcamp’s 3rd accelerator programme. And yet it seems like only yesterday that we were part of their first ever Insurtech cohort …

#12 months to get us to launch

2018 has been a busy year for buzzvault. From our 5-year partnership with Munich Re to achieving FCA-regulated status and passing our User Acceptance Testing, it’s been a busy year, with no two weeks the same.

If you want an inside view on life at a start-up gearing up for launch, check out our Insurtech Diary – Countdown to Launch series on Insurance Post. And of course, if you want to see what the launched product looks like, then head over to your nearest app store and give us a spin!

#13 years since rap trio Salt-N-Pepa reformed in 2005. Here they are at the Insuretech Connect 2018 after-party 🎤

#14 different item classes within the buzzvault app

It’s amazing all the stuff people have in their homes, from arts, antiques and collectibles to children’s toys. Download buzzvault and we’ll categorise your home contents via a short video call. See what you’ve got, how much it’s worth and then make that all-important decision: is it time to get insured?

buzzvault insurance is powered by buzzsurvey, our game-changing video-surveying technology developed for the moving industry. To see how buzzsurvey continues to revolutionise the world of removals, check out our top-five-buzzsurvey-features blog.

#15 Christmas Jumpers

#16 million people in the UK have no contents insurance

That’s 28% of UK households – the equivalent of a £266 billion accident waiting to happen (stats from the Association of British Insurers). That’s the equivalent of:

  • 27mn TVs
  • 12.5mn dishwashers
  • 4.3bn books
  • 41mn smartphones
  • 38mn laptops
  • 33mn tablets
  • 26mn washing machines
  • 25mn bikes
  • 1.5mn golf clubs
  • 825,000 tennis rackets — to name just a few things!

Get all the stats and analysis in our recent blog feature Where on Earth is All the Contents Insurance.

Where on Earth is all the Contents Insurance?

#17 students in 20 are smartphone owners. But over half have no contents insurance …

Despite the average student taking a whopping £2,150 worth of belongings with them to university, more than half of students begin their studies without any form of contents insurance. And the student protection gap is only getting worse, with:

  • 52% of university students now owning a tablet
  • 89% having their own laptop
  • 85% being smartphone owners

For all the stats – and more importantly, how to get protected – check out our recent post on student insurance!

A Quick Guide to Student Insurance

#18 policyholders in every 20 cannot understand their policy

Law firm Brown Jacobson this year teamed up with the University of Nottingham to expose something we already suspected: 90% of policyholders do not understand their policy document. The culprits?

  • overlong sentences
  • uncommon words
  • excessive policy length

Or, as Lemonade’s Dan Schreiber has put it: ‘To normal people, insurance policies are the ultimate word salad.’ Lemonade’s “Policy 2.0” initiative has seen a 90% reduction in the length of their typical renters’ policy document. Additionally, they estimate that reading time is down to 10 minutes, from over an hour and fifteen.

For more on Lemonade, check out our Founder Becky Downing in Why All The Hate For Lemonade?

Why all the hate for Lemonade?

Only #19 % of customers feel valued by their insurers

Today’s insurance customers are weary of a one-size-fits-all approach to their cover …

According to a survey by customer-loyalty firm Collinson, a mere 19% of customers felt valued by their insurer and only 24% said that their insurer treated them like an individual rather than a number. 31% reported receiving communications that weren’t personalised at all, and 15% said they’d switch insurer due to a lack of personalisation.

At buzzvault, we are placing personalisation at the centre of customer experience. No two customers are the same – so why should their insurance be?

The Future of Insurance is Personalisation – Not Exploitation

#20 % of home insurance claims are rejected

Of all the flies in the home-insurance ointment, this one’s the biggest. Everyone loses out. Customers with a poor claims experience. And insurers – who find themselves shackled with bloated claims-processing costs.

The problem here is one of transparency. If I’m insuring my car, everyone knows at the outset what model it is, and what age. With home insurance though, people don’t know up front exactly what’s being insured.

That one in every five claims gets rejected suggests a fair amount of confusion among customers about what’s covered. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. Even if a claim is accepted, that’s no guarantee that the customer will recover the full value of what they’ve lost. Some estimates suggest as many as 6.8 million UK homes are underinsured. And in these cases, it’s common for insurers to apply a “percentage rule”,  allowing only a fraction of an item’s value to be recovered. Which means: even more unhappy claimants.

The future of insurance is not about accepting every claim, it’s about sparing customers nasty surprises at the point of claim – by giving them greater transparency into their policy and what it covers.

#21 months since we launched buzzsurvey – the technology that underpins our video-powered approach to insurance

We’re not just an insurance company with a video app – we are seasoned practitioners of video surveying. buzzsurvey has been deployed by dozens of removal firms as a quick, customer-friendly and cost-effective way to create household inventories for customers the world over.

And what happens when you combine video survey with insurance, the new with the old? The answer: a smarter way to protect our stuff.

#22 – don’t let it be you!

With an average of £400 per household spent on gifts over Christmas, it’s no marvel that there’s a 17% spike in burglaries over this period. Yet only 1 in 10 people think about updating their contents cover for the month of December. And, while some policies have extra Christmas coverage built in, this is by no means automatic.

So – because it might not just be Santa coming down your chimney this festive season – make sure you check your coverage!

More protection than wrapping paper

#23 thousand calories in this Christmas Cookie sent to us by claims partner Davies

More on buzzvault’s partnership with Davies here!

#24% – the average amount by which people’s household contents grow in value over a 3-year period

Yes, that vintage wine you keep in the cellar may be inching up in value with each passing of the seasons. But the reason people’s contents get more expensive is more straightforward: they buy more stuff.

Buying more stuff is great. It’s what all the adverts keep telling us. But if our insurance coverage doesn’t keep pace with our possessions’ ever-expanding footprint, then we could get caught out. Basically – if our umbrella has a lesser diameter than our wellies, then we’ll get wet feet.

And, with as many as 6.8 million under-insured households in the UK, you are right in thinking this happens all the time. We are talking about customers who want to cover all their things, who have the money to cover all their things, who think they are covering all their things … but who find out too late, only at the point of claim, that this is sadly not the case.

Wouldn’t it be simpler, if, whenever you wanted, you could see what you were covering? And add all those new things you got this year to your policy right away? Oh wait …

This isn’t one of those boring traditional Advent Calendars – we bring you daily goodness well beyond Christmas Eve, all the way through to New Year 👍


#25 million dollars of Series B funding for US home Insurtech Hippo back in January

This was followed by a whopping $70 million in Series C funding in November, led by Felicis Ventures and Lennar Corporation. This takes Hippo’s total funding to $109 million and confirms what we already sort of suspected – the home line is a particularly fertile lode in the grand old insurance massif.

And it’s not the only one. Indeed, investment in Insurtech overall continues to go from strength to strength. 2018 has seen nearly $2 billion in total poured into over 90 deals.

Oh… And Merry Christmas! 🎅

#26th of December is Boxing Day. And, of course, we know all about boxes …

Since 2014, we have helped thousands of people move home via buzzmove, our price-comparison and booking platform for removal services. Which has certainly taught us a lot about packing boxes! But what we also found was a very natural place to embed home and contents insurance – hence the development, and now launch, of buzzvault!

We realised that the sort of household content data we were capturing was gold dust from an insurance perspective: a secure digital list of exactly what people own. At this point we’re one step away from being able to offer hyper-personalised cover – without so much as mentioning the dreaded I-word*.

This evolution from the world of home removals to insurance has been an interesting journey, both as a company and on a personal level. For a first-hand perspective, check out this mini-feature from buzzvault’s new Business Operations Manager, fresh on Insurance Post: Getting Stuck into Insurance.

*Insurance – which most people aren’t as excited about as us insurance types 😉

#27 million TVs in the UK (at least)

According to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB), there are 27 million “TV households” in the realm. But plenty of households have more than one TV, so the overall figure for UK TVs could be higher still. How many TVs are uninsured? We reckon quite a few – given that 28% of households have no contents insurance whatsoever.

But perhaps, in this new age of digital technologies, people are consuming their video media on their laptops, tablets or smartphones. Perhaps, in this case, people are right not to protect their TVs. Except that the insurance situation for gadgets isn’t looking too rosy either. If you’ve got gadgets, get them covered – or at least have a plan. Our nifty guide to protecting your gadgets should help.

All You Need to Know About Gadget Insurance

#28% of households have no contents insurance

But who’s worst affected? Renters, students and poorer households have been shown to be particularly exposed to the protection gap. And this despite them, in many cases, representing higher-risk demographics. For example:

  • 60% of those earning £15,000 or less each year lack contents cover
  • Lower-income households live with 30 times the risk of arson as more affluent households
  • They are also 8 times more likely to be on tidal floodplains

For more info on the UK protection gap – and plenty more stats! – check out our feature Where is All the Contents Insurance?

#29 Fintechs in this year’s FCA Regulatory Sandbox

Including 3 Insurtechs!

One further sign of maturity in the Insurtech sector… We’ve already had massive year-on-year growth in the value of UK Insurtech deals. In 2016, the figure was at $19 million; in 2017, it was $364 million (stats from Accenture). And now this financial clout is having an impact on policy-making and regulation – and also bringing into being cross-industry alliances like Insurtech UK.

#30 years old – the average age of first-time buyers in the UK

Buying a house is a major trigger for buying insurance, as most mortgage lenders make home insurance a condition of their loan. And, generally, home insurance means home and contents.

Over the last decade the average first-time-buyer deposit has soared by 91%, with Londoners in particular being priced out of the market (a 26% fall in London first-time buyers over the same period). This has bumped the average age for first-time buyers up to thirty years old.

What this means is that there are thousands of twenty-somethings who have never been prompted to think about contents insurance. And it’s not as if the youth of today have no valuable items. Gadgetry, juicers, hummus-makers – it could all do with protecting!

So, renters, remember: your landlord is responsible for the building you inhabit but not for any of your own things that you’ve put inside it.

For more renting tips and best practice, check out our recent post on tenant/landlord responsibilities.

#31 founding members of Insurtech UK

We are buzzed to be one of the 31 founding members of Insurtech UK – a new industry alliance aiming to make the UK the best place for insurance innovation in the world. Insurtech UK is looking to become a formal association – with a 5-year mandate – in 2019. Which is only 1 day away!


Herewith ends the Insurtech Advent Calendar 2018 …

Happy New Year and see you all on the other side!