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Start me up

Risto Rossar, veteran of two insurance start-ups, explains how to get a successful business of the ground.

Thinking of breaking out and starting on your own? The 'start-up' route is popular in the tech sector and increasingly being used in the insurance market.
But what are the key things you need to know if you're considering going down the start-up route?
Risto Rossar of Insly, a cloud-based insurance management software, has the lowdown.

Consider new routes into insurance

newroutesOne way to develop the insurance industry is to provide unique, valuable services to established insurance companies or intermediaries, but as a startup it can be very difficult to get your proverbial "foot in the door".
Plus, real implementation of your product is not directly in your control. Insly has taken this road by offering insurance management software to help insurance brokers, agents, and MGAs become more efficient.

Shake up the way insurance is distributed

fistInsurance is a very habit-driven industry, and changing it is challenging.
I admire what is being done by Guevara, BoughtByMany, Friendsurance, Worry+Peace, etc.
Some of them are making a bigger revolution, while some are making incremental improvements. Consider new ways to work with insurers, brokers and MGAs to see what you can do to shake-up the market in your own way.

Ease up on the ties

tied_up_handConsider finding funding from organisations that are not related to insurance.
These founders offer a fresh perspective and innovative thinking that is sometimes lacking in the insurance industry

Shift to the Lean Startup methodology

solar_panelAlthough you are surrounded by compliance stories and risk managers, do not be afraid to implement Lean Startup (a way to shorten product development cycles) principles: build, measure, and learn.
The traditional business principle - "Build it and they will come" - just does not work here.

Simplicity takes grit

simpleWhenever you start cooperation with insurance companies, do not believe them when they tell you it has to be complicated.
My experience with Insly and my previous startup IIZI is that when you're determined to simplify insurance, it is possible.
I hope these tips help you on your way to launching a successful insurance startup, or give you confidence that you're already on the right path.
And I especially hope to see more and more innovators enter and change this unsexy industry.
Risto Rossar is the CEO and Co-Founder of Insly. He has been at the helm of two insurance startups, one in London and one in Tallinn.
The blog post was initially posted on InsuranceAge.

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