If you had asked me ten weeks ago to name ten insurance companies, I think I would have struggled to get past five… If you were to ask the same question now I could not only tell you specifically the insurance companies that have a commercial focus, but also those who sell direct, through brokers or have even set up their own e-trading platforms. Oh… and the names and contact details of all the CEOs as well. At the beginning of my internship I heard a lot of fluffy numbers and facts surrounding SME insurance such as that 58% of SMEs are not insured against their top three self-perceived risks and that underinsurance in the SME sector is a concern for 88 % of brokers.
It was through one of our CEO’s highly energetic Friday afternoon presentations that he highlighted to the team the significance of DFP’s real reason for existing through the example of Andi – a small business owner who lost everything he had worked towards for 30 years as a result of failing to have the correct insurance! It suddenly hit home that what the small but fast-growing insurtech that I had joined for the summer of 2018 was trying to solve!
Upon starting a 10-week summer internship at DFP in Sales & Marketing, one of the first and most surprising things I learnt is that insurance has been lagging other industries in its adoption of technology. The problem, however, is that the wider industry has not had the opportunity to learn what I have in my time at Digital Fineprint. Hesitation to adopt technologies is a large obstacle – but at the same time, it is an understandable obstacle! Why should insurers change what they have been doing (successfully) since the first “Insurance Office” emerged from the ashes of the Great Fire of London? The answer – just ask some of DFP’s clients who have benefited from GWP uplift, reduction in customer acquisition costs, cost per click reduction, more effective cross-selling and supercharged lead generation. There is a growing awareness in the industry of the need for digital transformation and it is Insurtech’s like DFP who are at the forefront. However, in my eyes, the insurance industry will not have done enough to adopt these advanced technologies until Microsoft no longer highlight the word ‘insurtech’ as a spelling mistake on Word…fintech got there so insurance, you’re up!
What I have enjoyed most about working at Digital Fineprint is the responsibility I have been given as an intern. Working at a start-up with so many ideas continually being discussed, I found that I always had something to do that was meaningful and important to the company. Some of my work has included contributing to winner-applications for competitions and awards in the insurtech space, creating a sales toolkit including an insurance fact sheet, product fact sheets, qualification sheets, updated case studies for the introduction deck, and more. I also helped facilitate the transfer of our CRM system, thanks to an initiative led by our newly appointed Commercial Director, Ben. The sales team have also provided me with endless learnings to take away with me and being able to work alongside them throughout the reshaping of the pipeline, identification of clear advancement criterion and development of a clear sales strategy has and will be an invaluable experience for my future career. Being able to sit in on meetings with my colleagues to understand the sales processes and how they go about interacting with potential clients gave me the confidence to do the same myself. By the time I left, I felt confident calling potential clients, setting meetings and explaining our products to identify a use case – something I had imagined would be challenging given my lack of experience in AI and technology.
For me, a key part of working life is in enjoying the work you do and the people you work with. Heading into the office every morning at the Metal Box factory was never a chore for me. A place I could turn up in the morning slightly worse for wear after an England world cup win (over Sweden may I add…sorry Erik) and be handed a big glass of ice cold water to help me tackle the day ahead. The company culture at DFP reflects this entirely. A family-oriented culture with regular team lunches, gym sessions, team building events and Friday afternoon drinks. From the offset, our CEO Erik emphasised that there was no such thing as ‘intern work’, exemplified by himself who could be found putting Ikea legs on tables for the office or even dealing with the dreaded recruiter over the phone. That having being said, he could also be found receiving a telling off from our COO Alex for playing with a frisbee and being told to do some actual work!
I leave Digital Fineprint this summer with 3 weeks to the fiscal year end and it has been an amazing opportunity to observe and contribute to the immense work ethic of the team, which is a testament to the success they have already enjoyed.
I also leave at a very exciting time in product development and big things are happening over at DFP, so watch this space! Although I head back to Edinburgh to finish my final year at university, I go back with an enriched knowledge of the insurance industry and an understanding how analytics capabilities and AI turns data into knowledge and insight to improve SME insurance – a great inspiration for my dissertation!
A massive thank you to everyone at DFP for putting up with me and I hope to see you all soon!
Written by Mike Ashley