’We are helping small business owners demystify insurance with jargon-free, tailored insurance purpose-built for them,’ says chief executive 

Lukango is aiming to “demystify insurance” after forming a new partnership to provide comprehensive coverage designed for small businesses, according to chief executive Joanne Safo.

In the UK the only legal requirement for SMEs with staff is to have employers liability cover or motor insurance for those that use vehicles. 

The insurtech announced a deal with specialist insurer Markel Direct last week (6 June 2023) to launch a range of tailored insurance policies for the UK micro-SME market.

The products, which will be offered online via Lukango’s website, have been designed to ensure clear and accessible language is applied throughout all customer interactions.

Safo told Insurance Times that partnering with Markel Direct was a “perfect fit” to allow Lukango to “protect the dreams of the new breed of small business owners”.

“Together we combine Markel’s considerable underwriting expertise and extensive small business product suite with our customer focus, accessible language and straightforward customer journey,” she said.

“We are helping small business owners demystify insurance with jargon-free, tailored insurance purpose-built for them.”

’Natural partners’

Markel Direct is a specialist insurer for small businesses and the self-employed. 

Its suite of products will also be be distributed by Lukango as part of the deal.

Rob Rees, divisional director at Markel Direct, said: “As an insurer, we are increasingly supporting insurtechs and distributors with our API [application processing interface] solution.

“The Lukango team’s background in launching innovative digital insurance products – combined with a razor-sharp focus on their target customer – made us natural partners.”

This came as price pressures from the Covid-19 pandemic, inflation and the cost of living left many SME’s relying on premium finance to pay for cover or risk being underinsured. 

Uptake of insurance for SMEs has also been historically low – for example SMEs without any cover grew from 40% in 2021 to 44% in 2022, according to a survey of sole traders by Allianz, which was published in April 2022.

The main reason given was that the business was too small (47%). 

On top of this, SMEs have also been priced out of cyber cover since the end of 2022 due to rising premiums. 

“Our innovations in the microbusiness sector dovetail perfectly with Markel Direct’s expertise in protecting small businesses,” Safo added.