The UK insurance market is one of the world’s biggest and a new wave of insurtech startups are spearheading digitalisation in the sector.
Some of these insurance companies make up some of the UK’s list of unicorns – businesses worth $1 billion. Zego, Marshmallow, ManyPets and Tractable are four of those, but there are many more potential insurance unicorns coming through the ranks.
It is worth noting there are different types of insurance startup. There are direct insurers, who will offer – predominantly more competitive and flexible – premiums in competition to more traditional lenders, marketplaces like Information Age owners Stubben Edge and apps to manage existing premiums.
London and the UK is world-leading when it comes to insurance startups. Here are some of the top InsurTech companies in the UK right now.
Top insurance startups in the UK
#1 – Zego
Zego is a UK unicorn which provides insurance for self-employed drivers like taxi drivers and couriers. It uses data analytics to calculate its pay-as-you-go premiums and in 2022 featured in the FT 1000 list as the UK’s 14th fastest growing business. The company was founded in 2016 and has raised £227 million to date.
#2 – YuLife
YuLife is a group life insurance startup based in Islington, London. Its products offer rewards for activities such as walking, cycling and mindfulness. The company was founded in 2016 and has raised £164 million to date.
#3 – Marshmallow
The oldest startup on this list having been founded in 2017 and a UK unicorn, Marshmallow is still exploding in growth. The startup gives newcomers to the UK a cheaper deal on their car insurance and was listed in the Financial Times as the UK’s second fastest growing company in 2023.
#4 – Laka
Laka has been around since 2017 and is insurance for cyclists. A self-proclaimed ‘collective’, Laka’s Pro offering covers theft, vandalism, damage (including from races) and third-party loss. The young start-up has raised $31 million in total and counts Porsche, Local Globe and 1818 Venture Capital among its backers.
#5 – Ben
A global employee platform that brings all benefits together in one place – including insurance. Its offerings include dental cover, critical illness, income protection and sickness insurance. The start-up has raised $19 million (£14.9 million) from investors in total, including a recent $16 million (£12.6 million) Series A round.
#6 – Loadsure
Loadsure is a freight insurance platform that allows retail brokers to offer single shipment cover in 40 seconds or less. It uses AI to stabilise premiums instead of offering extreme high and lows associated with unpredictability over time. The startup was founded in 2018 and received $11 million (£8.64 million) in Series A funding in 2022.
#7 – BirdsEyeView
BirdsEyeView uses climate analytics technology to calculate the risk from global climate and natural disaster exposure. The startup has access to research level weather analytics through its partnership with the European Space Agency and when a disaster does occur, can make an immediate payout to help build financial resilience to such events. With a year of record-breaking global temperatures, wildfires and earthquakes, the company is one to watch in 2024.
#8 – Collective Benefits
Collective Benefits is a platform that offers benefits to independent workers. Although the startup doesn’t define itself as an insurance company, it does offer benefits such as time off work pay and public liability insurance in its suite of products designed to protect independent workers’ physical and mental health impacting their finances.
#9 – Diesta
Diesta in its own words ‘automates reconciliation and distribution of insurance payments’. The flow of money in insurance can be long and slow – mainly because of manual operations, it says. Diesta uses tech and partnerships to speed up the process, and ensure customers get their hands on payouts fast. The startup was founded in 2022 and raised £1.5m in funding in November 2023.
#10 – Eleos
One of the smallest and youngest startups on this list, having only been founded in 2023, Eleos has secured $750,000 (£615,200) in pre-seed funding to date. The life insurance company pays out when work stops because of injury or illness. Extra benefits available include gym discount, remote GP and life cover.
More on insurance startups
How insurtech is using artificial intelligence – Insurance technology (insurtech) is rapidly evolving, allowing for digitalisation of insurance sector processes. Here, we explore the role of AI in this trend
Insurtech disruption trends: is traditional insurance broken? – four leading insurtechs discuss the decline of traditional insurance.
Insurtech UK – Home of this trade association set up for the sector in June 2019.