International-first Insurtech Standards released providing vital support for UK startups

Meera Last, March 13, 2019 3 min read

  • Do you run an insurtech business?
  • Are you looking to enter into a partnership agreement with a corporate, but you need some legal assistance?

Look no further.

We know that access to legal services can be costly and impact startups more acutely than other businesses. That’s why Tech Nation’s Insurtech Board, with support from our expert legal partners at Dentons and Simmons & Simmons, have built a suite of free-to-use legal documents specifically designed for insurtechs.

Will Thorne, Chair of the Insurtech Board and Innovation Lead at the Channel Syndicate, said: ‘I am proud to chair this industry group and am delighted we have now launched the toolkit. Insurtechs operating in the UK will benefit directly from the output of this collaboration between startups and incumbents. The Board will continue to seek solutions to the most pressing problems in the UK insurance sector, always striving to keep insurtechs at the heart of our mission.”

View the Insurtech Standards >

Conceived and created by Tech Nation’s Insurtech Board, the Insurtech Standards aim to support startups through their growth journey. The documents are publicly available to download, standardised and ready to use for insurtechs looking to launch and settle partnership discussions with leading incumbent businesses.

Phoebe Hugh, CEO of insurtech Brolly said: “We established these standards to support and encourage the development of insurance startups in the UK, by developing practical guides and documentation to navigate the regulatory and incumbent landscape. I’m delighted to be supporting this industry-led initiative.”

A government-backed initiative, the Insurtech Board’s membership is made up of representatives from leading insurtech startups, insurance industry incumbents and representatives from HM Treasury, the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Departmens for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It aims to work collaboratively to solve key challenges for the insurtech ecosystem. After thoughtful discussion, the panel agreed legal support in partnership discussions, particularly for early-stage insurtech businesses, was a challenge that they could do something about. The board, in partnership with leading firms Dentons and Simmons & Simmons have created legal documents – including a non-disclosure agreement, an appointed representative agreement, a terms of business agreement, and amendments to create an MGA – to help you and your insurtech start and form corporate partnerships more quickly.

Lidia Bozhevolnaya, Head of Strategy & Corporate Development at Hiscox said: “Doing something new and innovative usually requires a flexible approach, where traditional corporate tools and processes often come up too cumbersome or heavy handed. It is therefore delightful to see that there is now a whole toolbox of onboarding documents available that are targeted at facilitating collaboration between us, insurers, and insurtech startups. These template documents serve as an excellent starting point for getting various agreements in place. They give everybody a head start to the process.

In a global industry first, these documents are free to access, are created by legal experts in the insurance industry, and are designed to support insurtechs directly. 

Pollyanna Deane, Partner at Simmons & Simmons, said: “The world of insurance can be pretty arcane and steeped in jargon. As the Insurtech Board, we wanted to help new entrants. Too often, the start-ups feel at a disadvantage, through lack of knowledge or lack of clout. The insurance industry is familiar with standard forms. These agreements draw on collective experience and I believe, provide a reasonable starting point for any negotiation. As they gain familiarity, it should be easier to see positions that are being taken contrary to common practice or which force substandard terms on a party.”

Meera Last, Programme Manager at Tech Nation, said: “When I joined the secretariat of the Insurtech Board, I was keen to ensure the group delivered some tangible work that would directly support the UK’s growing insurtech ecosystem. Created in the hope that insurtechs will be more able to seek meaningful partnerships with large incumbents, I am really hopeful that these documents will be a useful resource for all.”

Martin Mankabady, Partner at Dentons said: The standard documents cover all the key issues to be considered and represent a balanced starting point for negotiation; it is hoped that the documents will smooth the path of such negotiations and, in the process, reduce friction, time and cost. This will enable the relevant parties to focus on the key commercial issues. This is one example of how key stakeholders have risen to the challenge of the UK Government to make the UK a centre of excellence for Insurtech; moreover, the stakeholders are committed to making the UK not only one of the most attractive places for investment but also one of the easiest places in which to do business.

View the Insurtech Standards >

Fintech, Early Stage, Mid Stage