An insurtech disrupter that provides customers with insurance in just six clicks is upping its investment in robotics and AI as it gears up to hit the £15m turnover mark this year.
Manchester-headquartered Ripe, which last year rebranded after 20 years as the JRW Group, will also be using data analytics to study behavioural economics and determine what drives customers to buy policies.
Ripe was established in 1997 and has been disrupting the traditional insurance model ever since. It uses cutting-edge tech and digital marketing to provide customers with better products, competitive pricing and a slicker online experience.
The firm has built its own end-to-end technology platform which it claims allows customers to get a policy in just six clicks.
“In some ways, we’re the anti-insurer,” says executive chairman Paul Williams, who heads up the business along with chief executive Colin Whitehead and managing director John Woosey.
“We do the opposite of what most insurers do. Most insurers package things up and say: ‘Here’s a really nice product Mr Customer, it’ll fulfil everything you want’.
“In the current world, it just doesn’t make any sense to do that.
“People want transparency and choice. Is my claim going to be paid quickly? Can I choose the cover I want? Will it be competitively priced? People don’t want to go through a 20-page form they can’t understand. They want to click on a few buttons and get their policy.”
Woosey says the company’s rebrand in September 2017 was long overdue and that it made perfect sense from a marketing point of view.
“As more brands came on board, we realised that we were missing a cross-marketing opportunity and we knew that the day would come when we would needed an umbrella brand to group everything together,” he said.
“The feedback we’ve had from both the insurance and marketing worlds, as well as our customers, has been very encouraging. It also helps speed the process of launching new products because we don’t have to go through a brand building exercise each time.”
Ripe, which employs 55 staff at its trendy offices in Wythenshawe, specialises in niche insurance products, providing cover for golfers, musicians, anglers and even commercial drone pilots.
It plans to launch a number of new product lines this year and CEO Colin Whitehead says the company expects to hit the £15m turnover mark in 2018 thanks to its focus on marketing and technology.
“It’s no accident that our two largest departments are IT and digital marketing,” he said.
Williams told BusinessCloud that Ripe’s three areas of focus in 2018 are around the use of robotics, which allows the business to harvest data and create a much more efficient way of working; behavioural economics to predict the probability factors of customers’ buying propensity; and looking at pricing algorithms.
“We want to get to the point where we can almost price you as an individual, rather than you being a member of a block of individuals who are aged 30 and are male,” he said.
“We want our pricing model to be driven by data, not anecdote.”