Jeremy King, founder and CEO of Attest, discusses the insurance for a market research company such as his to consider, including directors and offices insurance, professional indemnity, liability and key person risk.
1. When did you start the business, why, and what were you doing before this?
The business was started in June 2015, and was based on the realisation that almost every business is trying to be customer-centric and data-driven, but very few have a way to actually do it. Attest exists to help companies and customers to continuously share information, in ways that both sides trust, value and enjoy. Before starting Attest, I was at McKinsey, Harvard Business School and involved in a range of start-ups.
2. Talk about when you first attempted to insure your business.
It was 2015, and came at the same time as our first VC funding round. Directors and offices insurance was a requirement specified in our investment agreement, so we didn’t exactly have a choice! We agreed the right level of cover with our investors, and then sought feedback from other start-ups on the insurers they use and the best process to confirm coverage. The onboarding process was smooth, although a little manual admin was required at times.
3. How did your insurance needs evolve?
With our second VC funding round, we had to expand our coverage to include professional indemnity, liability and key person risk. It was very easy to add professional indemnity and liability coverage to our existing package, after talking through the range of coverage options and confirming the right structure/level of coverage required by our investors. Key person insurance was much harder to discover, and required a rigorous on-boarding process, including a medical. This was essential to ensure we had the right level of coverage, matched with the precise risks we needed to insure. We haven’t made any claims, but I was surprised just how tricky it was to discover the different key person insurance providers, compare their offerings, understand what’s involved to onboard, and even to pick them.
4. What advice would you give to others looking to get insurance for a market research company?
Definitely keep all relevant company information and documentation readily accessible. This made each step while putting the right insurance in place easy and seamless, with the right information to hand when required. I’d also suggest to seek referrals and best practices from other companies at a similar stage, particularly on how to future-proof your insurance needs. If there’s a single provider or process that helps you maintain and add the right coverage over time, that will really help you as your company grows.