The no code insurtech outlines its overarching goals for the year ahead - it aims to ’keep polishing its own diamonds’
After completing a $45m (£36.71m) funding round in June 2022, no code insurance technology platform provider Instanda is now set to grow.
Over the next 12 months, it plans to use this funding to increase its engineering capacity, deepen its relationship with clients, as well as expand its teams in the UK, Portugal and Romania. In the US, it will set up new engineering teams.
The firm currently employs around 150 staff and has approximately 80 clients worldwide – however, the insurtech still has ambitions it wants to fulfil.
Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, the insurtech’s chief executive, Tim Hardcastle, says: “Firstly, we’re investing in some new markets - like Japan, for example.
“We’re a very diverse company and we celebrate having lots of different cultural backgrounds in the business – at least 50% of our senior team are female.”
Hardcastle identifies himself as an ethnic minority since he is Anglo-Indian – someone of mixed British or European and Indian parentage.
The insurtech sector has historically lacked ethnic minority participation, especially in senior leadership positions, and retention of diverse talent is an ongoing industry-wide issue.
For example, research by the ABI that was published in February 2021 found that only 2% of senior insurance executives are from an ethnic minority group, despite 10% of entry level professionals identifying as minority ethnic.
Instanda wants to help rectify this situation - it aims to increase its staff diversity in the year ahead.
Hardcastle says: “[Diversity] creates a very rich working environment, but you can’t just say ‘we’re diverse’ - you have to have an environment that has inclusive communication, so the environment is based on meritocracy.
”You have to have the environment and framework to make that really come to life – otherwise you will just have tokenism in diversity.”
Tokenism is a symbolic effort to be inclusive without making changes that are designed to have a long-lasting and meaningful impact. This could include, for example, hiring a small number of diverse applicants to demonstrate that a firm is inclusive.
Hardcastle continues: “We want to deepen our approach to working with a real range of different people and markets – that helps us with client engagement.”
Building on this diversity focus, Instanda also aims to “keep polishing [its] own diamonds” in 2023. By this, Hardcastle means the insurtech plans to continue improving its platform and how it interacts with clients.
Instanda’s final goal for 2023 is to contribute to its 10-year vision of being able to work with every major insurer in all the markets that the insurtech operates in.
“We are embracing companies in major markets - we are focused on property and casualty, as well as life and health [insurance],” Hardcastle says.
Starting from nothing
For Hardcastle, “insurance is like an unpolished diamond”. He says insurance is important for both business commerce and individuals’ personal life - however, it has always been a grudge purchase and a product that consumers typically only engage with at the point of a claim.
Hardcastle’s entry into the world of insurance came in 2005 with insurer Hiscox, when he was headhunted and subsequently appointed as the firm’s chief information officer. Hardcastle notes that he was inspired by former Hiscox chief executive Bronek Masojada, who retired from the insurer at the end of 2021.
“Sometimes life hits you with serendipity and after a period of time you look back and think – wow,” he adds.
After a year in this position, he then became a founding partner of business management consultancy F2X Group in 2006. Although F2X Group owns Instanda, which was founded in January 2012, it was Hardcastle’s tenure at Hiscox which inspired him to pursue his own business.
“We started Instanda from nothing in Starbucks,” he says. ”We were building something that [customers] had asked for and the thesis we had was insurance is quite complicated.”
This was when the firm decided to look at the end to end chain of insurance, customise it and put more of the process in the hands of consumers. Hardcastle described this as “democratising technology”.
For Hardcastle, changing consumers’ mindsets about insurance involves applying a ’show don’t tell’ approach. “As humans, we only believe what we see,” he adds.