’It’s been quite a journey already – the next phase is about maturing as the scale comes,’ says chief executive 

Lloyd’s broker and insurtech Superscript has come a long way since it was founded in 2015. 

Originally established as a subscription-based insurance provider, known as Digital Risks, the business started its growth trajectory back in November 2022, when it gained authorisation to operate as a Lloyd’s broker in Europe.

Subsequently, in January 2023, the business completed a £45m series B funding round, with ambitions to use this investment to boost its small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) insurance platform.

Superscript has also secured a number of partnerships to further its reach – this included a deal with trade directory Checkatrade, signed in January 2024, and an agreement with high street bank TSB, inked in October 2023.

Now, as 2024’s Q1 progresses, Superscript plans to enter its next phase of growth, building on foundations it built over the past six months – this work sought to ensure that the insurtech broker could work easily with a variety of distribution partners.

Cameron Shearer, co-founder and chief executive of Superscript, told Insurance Times: “It’s been quite a journey already – the next phase is about maturing as the scale comes.

“In the past, we were very much trying to be the direct provider to market. But we have pulled back from that direct investment and now we are seeing more growth and central business through partnerships.

“We are at that stage where we have got past that ‘certain point’.

”Now we underwrite enough business, have enough customers that we’ve started to have a bit of influence with carriers. But at the heart of it, we are very much innovation and technically driven.

“We are just an insurtech that has had to get to a certain size in order to make sense.”

An underserved market

According to Shearer, the SME insurance market is hugely underserved, despite being a 50% broker-led market. This, therefore, is a key area of focus for Superscript – especially because SMEs are typically ”so complex” to insure.

Cameron Shearer_Superscript

Cameron Shearer

Shearer added that the “demographic of SME business owners every year is obviously changing – it’s getting younger” and many company owners now also work non-traditional hours to suit their business needs.

He compared SME business owners to consumers because both have grown up in a digital world. However, when it comes to insurance, SMEs are expected to engage with brokers over the phone or face-to-face, despite the fact that they “expect to be served digitally”.

Historically, a key issue in the SME market has been low insurance penetration.

For example, only 56.2% of medium-sized businesses, 40% of small businesses and 16.8% of micro businesses had a cyber insurance policy in 2022, according to the GlobalData 2021 and 2022 UK SME Insurance Survey, published in October 2022.

However, Shearer noted that the awareness that businesses need a particular cover in order to operate is changing this take-up rate. This approach formed the basis of Superscript’s partnership with Checkatrade – its members needed public liability insurance.

Shearer explained: “The stigma around insurance is changing – insurance was this thing that you bought and hoped you never had to claim for. Whereas now, it’s becoming something that you know you’re going to pay for and claims are a normal part of having cover.

Chris Barclay

Chris Barclay 

“There are hundreds of different trades [and] risks and you’re trying to underwrite them. Some of those products you can find off the shelf, but some don’t yet exist.”

Shearer believes insurtechs need to work with carriers to create new products for SMEs – some of these insurtechs may even gain MGA status to achieve this, he noted, but insurtech platforms will be essential for product delivery.

’Cradle to grave’ offering

According to Chris Barclay – Marsh’s former managing director and head of UK affinity, who joined Superscript in September 2023 as its new chief commercial officer – Superscript has ”absolute momentum” in terms of its growth this year.

”The start of the year for us has been massive – we have got absolute momentum. We see the size of this business doubling over the next 12 to 15 months, which is quite significant,” he explained.

“From a technology perspective, we have got ambitions to be able to put that in more hands. The 150 plus staff that we’ve got here all have a voice and a part to play.”

Alongside growing and scaling in step with its SME clients, Superscript is also looking at how it can further develop its team and national presence. The firm will additionally explore how its proposition can extend internationally, building on its June 2022 expansion into the Netherlands.

Barclay said: “My responsibility is to make sure we showcase the best of Superscript to our customers, clients and carriers.

”My objective is to continue to put the right products in the hands of the right customers and for everybody to know who we are and what we represent – nationally, internationally and in between.

“It’s our job to make sure we’ve got open channels that [get customers] the outcome they need.”

Barclay added that Superscript is a “cradle to grave insurance product provider”. By this, he means providing cover for every step of the SME or mid-market firm’s business journey.

“The more people who find out about that, the stronger our position in the market,” he said.