Beagle Street: An ambitious future for life insurance

We speak to the Head of Distribution and Partnerships at Beagle Street, Mark Mullaney, about benefits and blockers for life insurance uptake today

InsurTech Digital speaks to Mark Mullaney, Head of Distribution and Partnerships at Beagle Street, about the history of UK life and critical insurance provider Beagle Street, the benefits and blockers for life insurance uptake today, and how the industry will look in the future. 

Tell us a little about the history of Beagle Street and how you came to work there

Beagle Street was founded in 2012, designed to be a quick and simple online service to help those usually put off by getting life insurance. Backed by the safety of the Scottish Friendly Assurance Society, Beagle Street was initially owned by BGL Group, a major financial services company. 

In late 2022, the company changed hands, joining the OneFamily portfolio. As a mutual (owned by policyholders) and ‘champion of the underserved’, OneFamily provided a great new home for Beagle Street. 

Our values really align in terms of making life insurance accessible and easier for customers as we continue to challenge and change what was, historically, a slow and cumbersome process.

I joined the organisation in October 2017 as Senior Commercial Manager, and in March of this year, I was promoted to Head of Partnerships and Distribution. 

This means creating a distribution strategy that leverages the expertise within the group to really drive benefits for our members – both current and future.  

I’m really excited to be leading a dynamic and growing team to maximise the quality and volume of policies, as well as working with others across the business to identify and deliver initiatives that make a difference to our members.

Why is it important to you that people get life insurance?

I think when you’re young it’s easy to put off thinking about the things that could go wrong in life. And that’s fair enough, in many ways no one wants to put the weight of the world on anyone’s shoulders unnecessarily.

But in our line of work, you see how important life insurance is, especially when people are making a big investment in a mortgage: they’re protecting the heart of their family and their home. 

That’s when I think getting life insurance becomes essential. We’re all feeling the pinch in terms of our outgoings increasing, but imagine the fallout if the worst should happen to the family breadwinners.

That’s why at Beagle Street we focus on making things as simple as possible for our customers to understand. 

We have numerous ‘explainer’ guides on our website, delving into any question that might occur from the basics – explaining what life and critical illness cover and what it is for – to more complex topics like estate planning or making a will. 

We don’t shy away from what can be difficult topics, either. We write about insurance for drug users, smokers and those who’ve gone through critical illness. It’s important to us that our customers can find the information they need with ease.

So, what’s next for Beagle Street?

The company was launched as a digital-first challenger to traditional insurers. Continuing to keep technology as a competitive advantage is a cornerstone of our strategy and allows us to deliver excellent customer and partner experience whilst maintaining low overheads. 

At the moment, we serve around 120,000 families across the UK, and our recent report ‘The Mortgage Cover Gap’ found that there are around two million households who aren’t covering their mortgages with life insurance. That’s a £433bn shortfall should anything happen to the bill-payers in those homes. 

I’d thoroughly recommend that financial advisors take a look at the figures, which should really be useful when talking to customers about life insurance. 

We’ll certainly continue to work hard to develop an understanding of the merits of life and critical illness coverage, allowing customers to relax and feel safe in our hands. 

I’m really excited at the opportunities ahead, including significantly increasing distribution and taking advantage of the greater agility and value provided by having a Life Licence within the group.

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