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Ticker Talks Telematics: the little device with big potential

Founded in 2018 and launched in 2019, Ticker is a new, 100% telematics-based insurer. It’s policies reward good drivers with lower cost insurance and is aimed at young and new drivers. Its target market is those who follow the rules of the road – the better the driving, the greater the discount.

Ticker insurance works with a self-installed box and an app. The Ticker box is posted directly to the customer, which is then installed simply by sticking the small device to the windscreen and pairing it with the Ticker app. The box then sends driving data via the phone – the better the driving, the sweeter the renewal. Since going live in 2019, Ticker has launched products for van drivers, novice drivers and electric vehicles. Its 2021/22 roadmap will see five more propositions launched.

Ticker and integrated, next-gen insurance distributor and underwriter Abacai Group have also recently partnered to increase Ticker’s capacity and introduce new levels of pricing sophistication, using machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Richard King, Founder and CEO of Ticker spoke to Modern Insurance Magazine on the beginnings of Ticker, the initial niche market it aimed at and how it will expand its offerings and meet its destiny of mass-market success in the near future.

Q. What gap in the telematics market did you see as the inspiration for Ticker and does this still inform the central objectives for the company two years on?

A. Before I launched Ticker, I was starting to notice that many groups beyond young drivers were struggling to get insured affordably. I’d previously built one of the first connected insurers, and I knew that the benefits could be taken to a much wider market.

That’s still the goal. We’re building propositions designed for specific audiences, but with the aim of achieving mass market coverage.

Data is at the heart of the business

Q. Known for your cover of drivers facing high insurance costs, (novice and van drivers). How will your increased pricing sophistication allow for an expansion in your capacity to support a more inclusive range of policyholders and vehicles?

Ticker was destined to be a mass market insurer from the beginning, so everything we’ve done since has been with the goal of having many connected propositions in the market. Our pricing strategy is no different: every enhancement whether that’s integrating AI and machine learning or growing our data science team – furthers the goal of taking connected insurance to a wider market.

Q. How does Ticker combine both a data-led, technology-based approach and a holistic approach across the company for both a complete customer picture and accuracy in pricing?

A. Data is at the heart of the business, but creativity is also very important to us. It starts with an exec that’s made up of experts in a wide range of disciplines, and that filters down to hiring.

As a remote-first business, we have access to a wider pool of people from diverse backgrounds, which means we get access to the different ways of thinking that we need. Across the business, we might have a data scientist working on a customer experience project with a product designer and a pricing analyst.

We’re building propositions designed for specific audiences, but with the aim of achieving mass market coverage

Q. As a 100% telematics-based insurer. What differs in Ticker’s approach versus other insurtechs in attracting and retaining the volume of consumers required to compete with direct insurers and become part of the mainstream insurance industry?

A. That will always come down to pricing, which is why it’s such a focus for us in terms of investment. Anywhere that we can optimise our pricing sophistication, for example by integrating machine learning and AI, is a win for us.

The quality of service and customer experience is then what gives you retention. Customers who can interact with us digitally will have higher loyalty because we’re making insurance easy, when they’re used to it being a struggle. An example is self-serve renewals: it’s so easy to renew through the app that, combined with great pricing, a customer has less reason to automatically go back to the comparison sites.

Anywhere that we can optimise our pricing sophistication, for example by integrating machine learning and AI, is a win for us

Q. We are seeing rapid innovations in the role smartphones can have on wireless connectivity and onboard devices, what can we expect to see from both an industry point of view but also from a UK specific point of view on the future of smartphone connectivity in telematics?

A. We’ll start to integrate far more with the phone’s other functionality, combining data sources. Something we’ve heard a lot in focus groups is, “That’s the way it’s going, isn’t it?” Consumers understand the volume and power of their data, which enables the services they want. It does require trust, but that’s why brand is so important.

we’re making insurance easy

Q. With Ticker’s recent partnership with Abacai Group, how will your shared vision for clear, fair and transparent products inform and define your new insurance offerings from here on out? 

A. Our shared vision aligns very much with the direction the whole industry needs to take. Insurance needs to be easier and fairer.

Our new partnership will reinforce our focus on transparent, clear and value-adding products even more by combining the latest in AI and machine learning for underwriting and pricing sophistication.

Richard King, Founder and CEO of