Interview with Sten Saar, CEO and co-founder of Zego

  • Founded in 2016 by Deliveroo directors Harry Franks and Sten Saar, Zego provides insurance policies fit for the 21st century.
  • Since its creation, Zego has been breaking down outdated insurance barriers, helping to revolutionise the way people live, travel and work. Through its mobile app is offered easy, flexible policies that can cover various different industries of all shapes and sizes.
  • To date, the firm have received a total funding amount of $51.7 million, and are now backed by an impressive team of investors, including LocalGlobe, Balderton and Target Global.

Zego – Great British Fleet EventWho are Zego and what is your company ethos?


Sten Saar, CEO and co-founder: We are an insurtech company that provides flexible motor insurance to the gig economy, via work providers, such as Uber and Deliveroo, and to fleet businesses, and new mobility services such as car sharing, car leasing and e-scooter companies. We offer a range of policies from by-the-hour insurance to annual cover, providing more flexibility than traditional insurance policies, with pricing based on usage data from vehicles. We currently operate in five countries including the UK, Ireland, France, Belgium and Spain.

Our mission is to provide cover that creates possibilities. From making it possible for part time delivery drivers to get affordable, flexible insurance, to helping fleet managers ensure they’re not paying big premiums if vehicles aren’t on the road. The products we create reflect the way that real people work, and the changing needs of a world that’s moving in new ways. Whilst the future may not be set in stone, it is certain that the rigid model of insurance that has existed for hundreds of years is no longer fit for purpose.


How have Zego developed from when they were first founded?


Zego was founded in 2016 by my co-founder Harry Franks and I. We had both been working at Deliveroo and discovered that costly annual insurance premiums were acting as a barrier to entry for gig economy workers. With this in mind, we set out to build a more flexible pay-as-you-go model that would allow people to start working without needing to pay for insurance up-front. We have since shifted some of our focus to the B2B insurance market, which has barely changed for decades, and we now provide flexible insurance to fleet and new mobility businesses.

We currently insure a third of the UK’s food delivery market and have provided over 230 million hours of cover to over 110,000 vehicles. We have also partnered with a number of fleet and new mobility businesses across Europe, providing customised insurance policies to companies including WeFlex, Drover and Splend.

In November, we became the first UK insurtech to get its own insurance licence, allowing us to build and sell our own policies. We have also grown our team massively and currently have a headcount of around 200 people.


What is your role at Zego and what does it entail?


I am CEO and Co-Founder of Zego, primarily responsible for business growth and oversight.


Our guide to pay-as-you-go delivery insurance - Zego - Medium


What are the main products that Zego offers, and how do they differ from other products in the market?


Traditional insurance is rigid and long term. Our polices are flexible and usage-based and customers can choose to pay by the hour, by the week or annually if they wish. This means customers only pay for what they need, when they need it. For example, when a delivery driver starts their shift, a signal will be sent to us and the insurance cover is switched on, and once they finish, we will be notified to switch off.

Another way in which we set ourselves apart is our approach to data. The insurance industry sits on vast amounts of data that is never really used. We are collecting telematics data from customers and using in-house technology to offer insights to customers on driver behaviour and risks.


How does Zego work to alleviate pre-existing problems in the market?


There are many issues in the insurance market and we are certainly addressing a few of these. The first point, which I’ve already spoken about, is around flexibility. There is also a lack of transparency. Customers are not communicated with in the right way and as a result, there is no understanding of how they can reduce their risk and as a result, their insurance costs. When we partner with fleet businesses, our goal is to work with them over the long-term to improve their drivers’ performance and ultimately reduce their risk and costs.


How have Zego been able to maintain a ‘personal touch’ to their business whilst simultaneously expanding?


When we founded Zego, one of our goals was to make insurance feel more personal to the customer, and this is reflected in the flexible, bespoke approach that we take when creating and selling policies, and also in the support that customers get from our team. While we’ve grown extremely quickly in the last year, as a rule we only hire people who are going to be passionate about Zego and what we’re trying to achieve. This has enabled us to maintain the personal approach we take when serving customers.


What is Zego’s five-year plan?


We are still a very young company and as a result, things can move quickly and plans can change. While I can’t tell you exactly where we’ll be in five years’ time, I can say that we will definitely be operating in more countries in Europe than we are currently. We will be offering a more diverse range of insurance products and we will have a significantly larger headcount than we do now. We ultimately want to build a global insurance brand and help to inspire positive change in the industry and everything we do is geared towards this.


What does Zego do to stay one-step ahead of its competitors in the market?


We are very much focussed on what Zego is doing, rather than what competitors are up to. We are constantly looking for ways to improve our products and build new and better ones so that we can better serve customers. If a by-product of this is that we move ahead of others in the market then it’s a win-win.

We also place a lot of emphasis on listening to current and potential customers to understand what they want or what they’re not currently getting from their insurance policy. These conversations help to shape our approach. Most importantly though, we have hired an extraordinary range of talent and any success we’ve had so far is really down to this.


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