Sponsored: Richard King, founder and chief executive at Ticker, talks to Insurance Times about what’s on the cards for the insurtech going into 2024
1. What does the recent appointment of Andrew Burgess as chairman of Ticker mean for the business?
I went to Goodwood to watch one of our investors racing and met up with Theo Paphitis, another Ticker shareholder, who was with Andrew. He was previously the global partner at Carlyle that led the UK private equity team and I knew he’d led the deal to acquire the RAC – including the insurance business – from Aviva for £1bn.
We were introduced and, in a follow-up discussion, I asked Andrew to take a look at Ticker. Theo told me not to be upset if the discussion didn’t lead to anything, explaining that he does invest, but is extremely hard to convince. What happened next was a journey over many weeks that had me marvelling at his process and diligence.
After deciding to invest and having got to know each other, I asked him to consider joining the board as chairman. Andrew is a highly skilled multinational chairman, non-executive director and investor and, subject to FCA approval, we are delighted to have his guidance in this next phase of growth for Ticker.
2. It’s been a difficult time for fundraising in the industry, with many finding it very hard to land investment and some running out of cash.
Since day one, we had a plan to achieve operating and underwriting profitability as quickly as possible. Whenever we did raise money, we kept to valuations that wouldn’t come back to bite us.
In Summer 2023, we added £6.4m into the investment pot, knowing this figure would see us beyond break even and into profitability. The total raised since formation is £22m.
3. When are you predicted to break even?
The good news is, it’s happened. We passed the break even point in November 2023, just over four years from launch, which we think makes us the first insurtech in the UK to achieve it.
We’re driving towards best-in-class profitability margins, combined with high levels of growth.
4. Is that all from connected business?
We’re all about connected motor. In 2023, we wrote £107m of connected motor insurance and achieved an annual run-rate of £150m.
We have four products –novice drivers, van drivers, convicted drivers and pay-per-mile – with more in development for launch in 2024. We’re especially excited about the product we’re developing for older drivers.
5. What are you predicting for next year?
We’ve budgeted to write £168m of premium with £28m of revenue, which will place us high up the league table for MGAs in the UK.
6. There have been so many issues with capacity in UK motor this year. How have you fared?
We’re in very good shape for one reason – we made it our mission to achieve underwriting profits as quickly as possible.
We’re currently writing business at an attritional rate of loss ratio of around 50% and our large loss experience is unrivalled.
7. Isn’t that quite unusual for an insurtech?
Yes, exceptional. But you said that word ‘insurtech’, which I don’t believe is a badge of honour anymore.
There are exceptions, but what we’ve seen in all the announcements and PR over the years is founders with no insurance experience driving huge operating and underwriting losses.
It’s created a culture of insurtechs being treated as pariahs.
When all the beans are counted and all the hype valued at nil, I would hope that Ticker will stand out as the one providing the most value to shareholders and capacity partners.