’What we are doing in insurance is a long-term play, which means slow and steady,’ says founder

Motor insurtech Darwin has hit 250,000 customers since launching in 2019 and is on track to achieve 300,000.

That was according to founder Sumit Bahukhandi, who told Insurance Times that the Direct Line Group (DLG)-owned business was currently executing its long-term strategy of restoring margins and improving profitability in the motor sector.

Motor insurers continue to experience inflationary pressures as well as delays in their repair and supply chains, with the cost of parts and materials going up as a result.

Figures published by the ABI earlier this month (8 November 2023) revealed that the average premium paid for cover between July and September was £561, up 9% from £511 in Q2 2023.

Bahukhandi said Darwin was “doing motor differently” by using technology, data and machine learning models to provide good value to its customers on price comparison websites.

As part of this, the insurtech has invested in machine learning operations, which controls and defines the parameters of machine learning in a way that can also improve customer service and keep prices low.

“What we are doing in insurance is a long-term play, which means slow and steady,” he added.

“It’s about sharing risk and uncertainty across a pool across the populace. And we said, we’ve got to find a way of doing that in a way that minimises the cost to society.

“We spend a lot of time in in building things, which allow us to simplify machine learning to visualise it in a way that humans can understand.”


Bahukhandi added that Darwin also operates an innovative startup culture, which enables it to have agility.

For the top boss, this means not being afraid to do difficult or risky things.

“We run the whole insurance business with about 50 people, half of them are engineers, a quarter are data scientists and the remainder covering everything else,” he said.

“We’ve got a great engineering culture, the large majority of people are engineers in some shape or form.”

He also compared his team to the concept of cricket, describing them as batsman in the game rather than commentators.

“Everyone gets their hands dirty, but weird and wonderful things happen,” he added.

“The bigger we get, in my mind, the more profitable and bigger the group can get.”