They aim to overturn the insurance industry’s views on gender 

Two chief executives, Smartdriverclub’s Penny Searles and Pukka Insure’s Sam White, have teamed up to spearhead connected car data in pricing and claims.

It allows the two to collaborate from a claims and underwriting perspective.

Van MGA Pukka will provide the backing for the telematics brokers’ policies, having recently secured further private motor capacity through New India Assurance.

By utilising Pukka’s existing capacity, it will help Smartdriverclub attract small van business for the first time.

The two firm’s key objective is “to enable Pukka to become a market leader in leveraging telematics data at FNOL as part of its Action 365 motor claims accident management service.”

Penny Searles left Sam White right

Penny Searles (left) and Sam White

It follows the ABI recently vowing to track the industry’s progress regarding diversity.

White told Insurance Times: “The power of the press brought us together. The two of us just sparked, it’s really unusual for me to meet another female entrepreneur let alone in the insurance industry.”

The two soon became firm friends and were determined to find a way to work together.

Gender inequality

White explained: “This partnership is exciting on a number of levels – not least because it flies in the face of the considerable gender inequality in this sector to show how women are empowering one another and challenging ‘the old guard’ with fresh ideas and game changing services.”

Searles added that both herself and White focus on bringing the best people into their businesses. She stressed that this is because these people are the best at what they do.

Shaking up the industry

White added: “I see lots of different opportunities to take this collaboration into different segments of the market.

“On an emotional and cultural level, there’s a bit of a joke in the industry when you have two strong entrepreneurs that are female that we would somehow be at each other’s throats. I think to some degree people like to perpetuate that.

“But the reality is we are on each other’s side and I want to show that actually women empowering each other is an incredibly powerful force.”

Searles weighed in: “I think there’s a misconception sometimes in the industry that women working together is bitchy, political, its just looking to violate each other to succeed as that’s what women do and this is wrong.

“What I want to demonstrate to both men and women in the industry is that you can motivate and inspire each other.”

Telematics in claims

Searles, added: “Sam and I have always been supportive of each other’s ventures, sharing the same values and culture so it is great to now be in a position to do business together.

“The use of telematics in claims is rare in the sector so it is refreshing to work with a capacity provider with the skills to fully leverage the data we provide.”

White added: “As a group we have worked with telematics from a claims perspective and we have other partners that have telematics functionality.”

She said that her team and Smartdriverclub’s team is working closely to make sure there is full understanding of the data and therefore responding appropriately from a commercial perspective.


Searles explained that she wants to be able to have the capacity to provide consumers with an innovative insurance product, with additional benefits.

She cited the dilemma getting larger insurers to adopt telematics within claims effectively at point of impact.

She put this down to legacy systems and traditional processes making it difficult to bring innovation to smaller parts of the business.

Going forward White has business in Australia and she is enthusiastic to get Searles involved there as well.