Insurtech start-up Dead Happy is looking to revolutionise life insurance by introducing its pay-as-you-go, flexible product to a market lacking true innovation. The complicated nature of life insurance means it is harder for start-ups to emerge in the direct-to-consumer channel, where they have had more success in general insurance. Dead Happy’s simplified approach is looking to change that.

The company is targeting the younger generations – a group all insurers (and especially life insurers) have struggled to attract. Our 2018 UK Insurance Consumer Survey found that only 16.8% of 18–25 year-olds hold a personal life insurance policy, while the overall penetration for that policy was 22.2%

Dead Happy’s premiums are priced by age and risk level, meaning the younger the customer starts the cheaper the policy will be. And the company’s website is very clearly geared towards younger consumers. It uses uncomplicated language; for example, the homepage question is “What do you want to happen when you die?” There are two possible responses: “I want a cash pay-out” or “I haven’t the foggiest.”

Its innovative feature is its “death wishes,” which allow customers to pick and choose exactly what they want to happen when they die. Potential wishes range from standard options, like paying off a mortgage, to leaving the funds to a relative or friend to buy a season ticket for their favourite sports team. The customer can also create their own specific wishes.

Dead Happy aims to make life insurance simpler by letting people select exactly where they want the money to go. In doing so it is expanding on the pay-as-you-go theme from other product lines. The theme is particularly evident within the gig economy, where companies and contractors purchase insurance by the hour, and within motor insurance, where customers increasingly have the opportunity to pay for cover by the mile. Here it allows consumers to add cover and tweak their wishes throughout the policy.

Insurers across the board are desperate to win over millennials and Generation Z, and flexible digital insurance appears to be their latest method. Aviva Plus is one high-profile example of a leading insurer looking to appeal to younger consumers by offering a Netflix-style subscription service with spread out costs and increased flexibility.

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It offers consumers the quick, digital service they have become accustomed to from all other industries. The flexibility to allow customers to pick and choose exactly what they want should help set Dead Happy apart from its more traditional competitors.