ActiveQuote Health (CARDIFF)

Origins

ActiveQuote had a vision for a way to compare health insurance online. At the time, the industry said it was not possible or commercially viable, ActiveQuote challenged this and succeeded. It developed a health insurance comparison that allows consumers to tailor policies live from the comparison page by adding/removing options such as dental cover and changing variables such as excess, hospital cover. Prices are updated immediately live within the comparison page. ActiveQuote innovated the world’s first column-based insurance comparison, providing all of the details of each product and not pushing customers to the cheapest first, which was highly inappropriate for health insurance. The technology was developed from the ground up to support white labelling allowing different versions of the website to be operated for partners such as Confused.com, GoCompare, TescoCompare, uSwitch and others. Behind the scenes, ActiveQuote developed internal software systems to empower specialists to sell via the telephone following online comparisons conducted by consumers. These specialists can interact with the customer’s comparison, change options for the customer and produce a shortlist for the customer, at the same time as advising them on the telephone. The major challenges faced by the business during the first three years were to convince insurers that comparison sites represent an opportunity to grow the market for health and protection insurance and that they are not threat to their established business; to convince big name aggregators to move their propositions for these products over to the ActiveQuote solution and to convince them to invest in marketing; and to build a consultancy based sales team to advise and sell to customers via the telephone within the very strict regulatory regime imposed by the Financial Conduct Authority, now the Financial Conduct Authority.

Success Factor

ActiveQuote needed to be highly innovative to enter an established market and has grown by identifying and supporting passionate, intelligent, hard-working people within its business. It succeeded by placing itself in Cardiff which is a hotspot for financial services with a good numbers of people available, offers a great lifestyle for its staff, great infrastructure and all at a reasonable cost.

The Future

ActiveQuote expects to significantly grow the current three insurance lines that it offers and also add comparisons of new financial service product types. It aims to add to its software innovations and position itself as the most innovative financial services comparison business in the UK. It is also currently developing a new proposition in the area of Online Savings and Investments which will be launched under a new brand in 2015.