Niche insurer Ripe Thinking Limited celebrated the acquisition of its 150,000th policyholder, having trebled the size of its customer base in the space of five years. With 150,000 individual policyholders, Ripe Thinking Limited is now one of the largest niche insurers in the UK.
This milestone marks the company's remarkable transition over the last five years. Having started as a golf insurance specialist, Ripe Thinking Limited spent the last five years broadening its portfolio with the launch of six new sports insurance brands. It now boasts market-leading golf and cycling insurance brands Golf Care and Cycleplan, two of its nine individual sports insurance brands, and has tripled its number of policyholders in the last five years. Policyholders also include sports coaches, gun and boat owners, anglers, drone pilots and musicians.
Ripe Thinking Limited are targeting further growth this year, having grown its headcount by 40% in the last 12 months to accompany the launch of three new brands: Insure4Music, Insure4Boats and Insure4Drones.
Colin Whitehead, Chief Executive, Ripe Thinking Limited said, "We're delighted to have reached this important milestone and to be growing at such a terrific pace. 2015 was an important year for us because we worked diligently to lay down the foundations for the next phase of growth. Our new hires and new product launches have made the outlook for 2016 and '17 very positive indeed."
The company continues to identify new schemes and markets with new products in mind in search of continued organic growth. Its new three-year agreement with Accelerate Underwriting will play an important role in achieving this. It bolsters Ripe's ability to bring innovative new products to market.
Whitehead said: "For us, it's not always about being "first to market" but about being "best in market". Best, or most innovative, can mean most flexible insurance, better cover, cheaper premium, least complex proposal form, best online user experience, and more.
"When we look at possible new products we research how a market is currently served. If we can't improve that service in any of the ways mentioned above, then it's probably not one for us."
Whitehead attributes Ripe Thinking's ability to grow to its investment in digital. This includes a new marketing team and investment in IT and e-commerce infrastructure. Ripe have also nurtured a 600,000-strong customer and prospect database to develop cross-marketing opportunities for its brands and partners.
"Being able to successfully manage 150,000 policyholders requires us to have excellent IT systems and platforms. We've invested heavily in our IT and digital marketing infrastructure over the last 5-years and we're seeing the dividends as a result. We are now able to launch new innovative products quickly and have the confidence that the systems are fast, efficient and robust," Whitehead said, highlighting the newly launched Insure4Drones as an example of a rapid product deployment.
"Based on the readily available benchmarks for the industry, we're confident we're outperforming the market with the growth we've achieved. For us it's all about robust and scalable IT systems, innovative products, a focus on customer service and utilising our team's marketing experience," said Whitehead.
"We're genuinely excited about the quality of the products we've launched in the last year, and those which are planned for launch later in 2016."