Lloyd’s of London chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown has taken a new job at a pay-as-you-drive car insurance specialist, insisting that he has time for the new role even as the 330-year-old marketplace embarks on major reforms.
Mr Carnegie-Brown is to become chair of Cuvva, a five-year-old start-up, which sells car insurance by the hour, day, week or month via an app.
His appointment comes a week after Lloyd’s unveiled a 146-page plan to cut costs and attract more business by pushing more of its policies online.
“I wouldn’t have taken it on if I didn’t have enough time,” he told the Financial Times, adding: “It will be useful for me to understand ways of working in the digital market.”
Mr Carnegie-Brown is also vice-chairman and lead director of Spain’s Banco Santander. Until May he was chairman of Moneysupermarket, the UK-based price comparison site.
Lloyd’s could have something to learn from the way Cuvva interacts with its customers, he said.
“There is an attractiveness to customers of buying insurance when they need it and in the way they need it. That’s the direction of travel,” he said. “It is one of the reasons we’re embarking on the modernisation of Lloyd’s.”
Cuvva was set up in 2014 by Freddy Macnamara and James Billingham to insure people who only need to be covered for a limited amount of time — for example to drive a friend’s car for an afternoon.
According to Mr Macnamara, Cuvva has 250,000 customers and has sold 40m hours’ worth of insurance, but he would not disclose its level of premium income. It has expanded from pay-as-you-drive motor insurance into travel cover, and has plans to go much further.
“We’ve got a really big vision for what Cuvva can become,” he said. “We’re going to be the way you buy all your insurance.”
Next in line is longer term motor insurance, where the company plans to differentiate itself from the competition by abolishing some of the industry’s more traditional charges, such as cancellation fees and fees to pay in instalments.
He added: “In order to change the game in insurance we need a lot of collaboration. Bruce can help us do that.”
Mr Carnegie-Brown has a long history in the insurance industry. Before becoming chair of Lloyd’s, he had stints at JLT, Aon, Marsh and Catlin.
He said that the proposals made by Lloyd’s in its plan last week had been welcomed in the market. “The reaction has been very positive. We need to turn the plans into action,” he said. “In aggregate, people tell us we’re doing the right thing.”