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January 23, 2019

Kingsbridge looks to the gig economy to digitalise the broker sector

By GlobalData Financial

Freelance specialist broker Kingsbridge has acquired on-demand insurance start-up Dinghy in a move that looks set to ignite innovation in the broker sector.

Dinghy offers UK freelancers professional indemnity, public liability, cyber liability, and business equipment insurance for flexible working hours. It covers over 200 professions and is available as a package from £0.55 per day. Kingsbridge is a specialist broker for contractors insurance, so its new acquisition should fit in well with its existing proposition. It no doubt hopes Dinghy can improve its digital presence and perhaps strengthen its appeal to millennial freelance workers.

Consumers are increasingly moving online to purchase insurance policies across all product lines. A strong digital presence is especially beneficial within the freelance and contractors market, where there are often time pressures and last-minute schedule changes. If it is available, freelancers and contractors are always likely to choose easy, digital, on-demand insurance rather than having to organise a policy over the phone with a broker.

GlobalData’s 2018 UK SME Insurance Survey found that 31.9% of SMEs currently purchase insurance from brokers online, while only 2.8% do so via a smartphone. This highlights that within small business insurance, the broker channel is ripe for disruption. Kingsbridge’s acquisition of an easy-to-use digital insurer should help it stand out from its competitors.

Going forward, this will likely see Kingsbridge offer more flexible, online-only policies to a range of freelancers as it takes advantage of Dinghy’s expertise within the gig economy. This demonstrates that some brokers are looking to enhance their digital capabilities and product offerings. Hopefully others will follow suit.

Dinghy acquisition

At the time of the deal, Kingsbridge CEO James Twining said: “The acquisition of Dinghy further broadens our ability to reach into an even wider segment of the important creative and ‘gig’ markets where freelancers demand a different approach to insurance and an improved user experience.

“We are delighted to welcome the Dinghy team into the Kingsbridge family and are very excited to deliver the next phase of growth that they and the Dinghy platform, will deliver for us both in the UK and internationally.”

Dinghy co-founder Ben Wilks said: “We are delighted to have joined forces with Kingsbridge, who are known as one of the largest and most successful players in the contractor insurance market.

“The combination of Dinghy’s unique flexible product and technology platform and Kingsbridge’s marketing and commercial strength, will enable us to improve our offering to our existing customers and significantly accelerate our growth plans.”

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