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Start-up of the Week: Flock & ‘Connected Insurance’ for commercial vehicle fleets

IFM_Flock
Flock uses telematics data to ensure your client's premium always reflects the trips they make and the risks they take

In today’s episode of the ‘Start-up of the Week‘, International Finance will talk about United Kingdom-based scale-up company Flock, which was founded in 2015 with a vision of making the world “Quantifiably Safer” with connected fleet insurance that enables and incentivises safer driving.

Flock’s specialisation lies in issuing insurance for commercial drone operators, using real-time data to provide policies that are tailored to individual flights. In 2023, the venture raised USD 38 million in a Series B funding round led by Octopus Ventures and from 2015-March 2024, has raised just over USD 59 million.

Trusted by Land Rover, Amazon Logistics and Virtuo, Flock uses its clients’ telematics data to help them pinpoint safety risks in their commercial motor fleets. These clients can even use the venture’s “Safety Insights” to identify their fleets’ high risk drivers, before taking proactive actions and improving the overall safety scores.

Also, Flock’s customers can earn a rebate of up to 10% of their fleet insurance premium by reducing speeding and by driving less than their estimated mileage.

Knowing The Company In Detail

Flock plays the “Insurance Game” differently from its industry peers, as its real-time, data-driven approach means that the venture is able to price connected vehicle insurance on a per-second basis, whilst giving fleet owners the insights they need to improve safety.

“We don’t just pay claims; we help our customers prevent them. We now insure thousands of vehicles with connected insurance. We are trusted by hundreds of businesses in the UK, and we’re proud to have support from some of the world’s leading venture capital funds, including Octopus Ventures, Social Capital/Chamath, and Anthemis,” the venture stated further.

Flock, which has emerged as one of the United Kingdom’s fastest-growing insurtechs backed by some of the world’s leading venture capital funds, became the gold winner of the “Excellence in Underwriting Prize” during the Insurance Times Awards 2022.

Flock started creating waves in its early days as it started its operational journey by providing insurance to commercial drone operators such as Netflix, the BBC and a medical delivery service operated by Britain’s National Health Service (NHS).

The company’s “real time risk engine” back then allowed it to charge customers per flight instead of asking them to take out an annual policy like many traditional insurers do. From July 2020 onwards, it expanded the same offering to companies in the automotive sector.

Ed Klinger, the venture’s CEO, told CNBC back in 2021 that his start-up wanted to disrupt the “clunky and slow” USD 160 billion commercial motor insurance market, dominated by traditional insurance firms like Aviva and Direct Line. And now in March 2024, Flock’s connected fleet insurance method is winning the laurels.

“We’ve built a technology that can essentially price insurance on a per second and per metre basis. Every single journey is priced independently. We’re building a core piece of the financial infrastructure that’s going to allow those companies to succeed and help those companies mitigate risk, and ultimately save lives,” Klinger stated back in 2021.

Since then, self-drive hire companies like Virtuo and Jaguar Land Rover’s The Out have signed up as Flock’s customers and the start-up’s growth journey has accelerated like anything.

Here Are The Product Line-Ups

Flock has insurance solutions for both brokers and commercial fleets. The motor fleet solutions for brokers come with fast quotes, fair prices and expert service. Upon working with Flock, brokers get online policy management with expert support, along with quick generation of customer quotes (in hours) and real-time reporting of policies sold and commission earned.

“Flock uses telematics data to ensure your client’s premium always reflects the trips they make and the risks they take. Monitor your portfolio’s Safety Scores on Flock’s digital dashboards and help clients improve safety with Risk Insights. Reward fleets with discounts when they improve safety and help them reduce claims frequency to unlock a better price at renewal,” the venture commented further.

In terms of working with commercial fleets, Flock’s solutions cover fleets of 10-plus vehicles that rent out cars and vans to other drivers, fleets of over 20 vehicles transporting employees and equipment and fleets of 10-plus vehicles transporting items for other people.

In 2021, Flock partnered with the European arm of Asia’s largest insurer, Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, to transform how commercial fleet insurance is priced and distributed. The two firms have jointly developed connected motor fleet insurance products, which are now available for self-drive hire, own goods, courier and tradesperson fleets in the United Kingdom.

A marriage between Aioi Nissay’s automobile sector experience and Flock’s risk intelligence and policy management platform has resulted in fleet managers getting insurance products tailored to their operations and designed to help improve safety over time.

Since Flock’s launch into the flexible connected motor insurance market, the insurtech venture reportedly helped one of its initial clients achieve a saving of 25% on its previous insurance policy.

Talking about the partnership between Flock and Jaguar Land Rover’s “The Out,” the latter, which enables its customers to hire vehicles and get them delivered to their homes or offices in a couple of clicks, uses Flock’s usage-based fleet policy. “The Out” only pays for insurance when vehicles are on hire. This has allowed it to embed insurance in its offering, meaning all vehicles arrive with customers fully insured and ready to drive.

Flock’s insurance mechanism for commercial fleets is known for proactively enabling and incentivising safer driving. The whole policy can be handled by the client online, where the venture can add new vehicles, and make insurance claims easily, apart from saving up to 25% with personalised prices based on the venture’s fleet safety. The client business can even access Flock’s free safety workshops to minimise their fleet risk and unlock premium rebates.

One such successful example of this particular product is its usage by the fast-growing vehicle movement solution Engineius. The Birmingham-based venture is using Flock to insure the hundreds of vehicles it moves for commercial fleets every day. The move has enabled Engineius to enhance the experience of its customers, while effortlessly aligning its commercial activity with insurance costs.

Flock provides dedicated support to safeguard its customers from costly third party insurance claims. For this, the venture has appointed global claims specialists Davies Group, whose job is to provide 24/7 claims handling on the start-up’s behalf.

The Road Ahead

Flock raised USD 38 million in its Series B funding round in February 2023.

“This capital will be used to fuel the company’s expansion into new segments of the automobile industry as well as new geographies, both supported by an increase in the size of its data science and engineering teams and more than doubling the size of its UK team in the coming years,” reported Tech.Eu.

“At Flock, we believe that insurers should help customers save time, money, and even lives. With our radically different insurance model, enabled by an immense amount of data, we hope to actively reduce the number of people needlessly killed or injured on the road. The best possible claim experience is no claim at all” he continued “We want to help our fleet customers predict and prevent crashes – before they even take place,” Klinger commented during the fundraiser.

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