Tech & CX at the Heart of Starpeak Insurance Solutions

Julian Hucks , Founder and Managing Director of Starpeak Insurance Solutions
Founder and MD Julian Hucks Shares the Journey That Technology-Driven Customer Favourite Starpeak Insurance Solutions Has Gone on Over 30 Years

Founded in 1991, the concept for Starpeak Insurance Solutions  — originally known as SportsCover Direct — came to Founder and Managing Director Julian Hucks during a trip to France. 

“After purchasing a £25 policy from a French broker, I realised the absence of a similar offering in the UK,” he said. 

“This sparked the idea of finding a way to sell French-based policies to the UK market.”

The company sold its first policy in 1992 from brochures left in sports shops with policy numbers issued by a computer in the broker’s office in France, before it launched its website in 2002. 

“Starpeak started as and has continued to be a technology-driven business delivering niche insurance to the UK market. While our initial focus was on selling sports, leisure and travel insurance, we have leveraged our IT specialism and industry knowledge to diversify into emerging sectors under the Protectivity brand,” Hucks continues.

“Although our core vision and purpose has remained the same, the vision has evolved and so too has the brand. Our corporate name change to Starpeak in September 2023 symbolises our continuous work towards delivering the best for our customers and partners, signalling a shift away from predominantly sports related cover. 

Customer-centric digital insurance 

“Starpeak is a specialist digital insurance distributor serving niche markets and caters to a diverse range of customers in both the consumer and micro/SME markets. With more than three decades of experience, we have the industry expertise, professionalism and IT expertise that will ensure our customers and partners such as AXA XL get the best outcomes,” Hucks celebrates. 

“What distinguishes us from our competitors is our unwavering dedication to positioning our customers at the heart of the business. We empower them with the essential information and expertise, facilitating well-informed decision-making.”

Hucks believes that personalised CX at the heart of Starpeak is central to the company’s ongoing success.

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“The needs of business owners can vary significantly. A one-size-fits-all approach often falls short in meeting diverse requirements. By tailoring our services, we can create a more positive and engaging experience for each customer, enhancing satisfaction and fostering long-term loyalty. 

“Data and analytics are crucial components when it comes to tailoring services to suit the unique needs of individual businesses. These tools offer invaluable perspectives into customer behaviour and preferences, empowering insurance providers to formulate decisions grounded in data-driven insights." 

The evolving digital distribution market 

“We have closely observed the evolution of digital insurance distribution since its inception. From the early days of repetitive keyword usage and even resorting to embedding text in white to enhance organic rankings, we've transitioned to a strategic blend of maintaining organic ranking through quality content while allocating a significant budget for Pay per Click (PPC),” shares Hucks.

“The landscape, however, has seen challenges with the escalating costs and intensifying competition for AdWords. Google's ability to evaluate content from a user perspective has significantly changed and the tendency of users to disregard paid-for results has made organic position less important.  

“In response to these shifts, we’re now exploring alternatives to Google advertising, considering avenues such as print media and direct sales channels. Despite these changes, the growing internet use and increasing trust in online transactions for insurance-related products suggest a promising trend, with more people willing to invest higher amounts online. 

“Google's paid advertising is undergoing refinement, leveraging AI to enhance Point of Interest (POI) through a blended approach of both PPC and direct online advertising. While we anticipate further evolution, we eagerly await the advent of AI capabilities that can provide links to insurance providers beyond the confines of the existing payment model.”

Hucks is committed to looking to the future — including, as we all are, to AI — and continuing to develop and grow Starpeak, including through speaking at events such as InsurTech LIVE 2023.

“We’re committed to focusing on the niche insurance product areas in which we have become famous, as shown by the incredible milestone of selling our 500,000th policy in March 2023.  

“Our objective is to double the turnover of the business over the next four years. This will be realised through launching new products, the pursuit of organic growth initiatives and the development of AI initiatives - a challenge we believe we can successfully meet. We welcome the opportunities that await Starpeak, and anticipate a promising future ahead”. 

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