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The naked truth about Hedvig’s 1st year

Lucas Carlsén
20 maj 2019
Lucas Carlsén

In 2016 in a hotel room in Sweden we realised that the problem with traditional insurance companies is that they earn more when paying people less. We thought this was wrong, so we did something scary, we quit our jobs to create Hedvig – a remarkable insurance experience for the smartphone generation that’s disruptive, easy and good, not just for people in general, but for society as a whole.

Insurance is actually a very nice service. At its core it’s about a community of people coming together to pool their money (into an insurance company), so that it can be used to help people when something terrible happens. But if insurance companies try to keep the money instead of paying it out we have a very big problem. We started Hedvig to solve this problem. The insurance business has been tricky since god knows when, and if insurance companies want to go to heaven we think it’s time to play nice now.

One thing we’re committed to is showing our numbers, so we want to take this opportunity to share this with you. We are not just saying it, we actually are different from all other insurance companies in Sweden and as a part of that commitment we wanted to talk very openly about how our first year went. You can print if you like, or throw it in the bin.

So how did we do?

In the first twelve months since we launched we’ve gone from insuring nothing to insuring a total value of 5,3 Billion SEK, yes Billion with a B, in apartments and goods for our members.

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We are currently insuring 7568 Swedes after our first year and we have lots of room to keep growing that with a balance sheet of over 600 Billion SEK backing us. We’re extremely proud of this growth and grateful to everyone who’s joined our mission so far.

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Who’s joining?

Our members come from every corner of the country. From the far south in Ystad all the way up to Abisko and every spot in between. Most of our members are concentrated in the larger cities and university towns.

Img The average age of a Hedvig member is 26 years old and we have an 61-39 split, males to female. It’s quite understandable that we’ve been successful in attracting a younger demographic who are looking for alternatives to the old way of doing things. However, we were pleasantly surprised that almost 30% of people joining are 30 years old or older. It’s clear that people of all ages and backgrounds feel a need for a better insurance experience and fairer treatment.

38% of our members are leaving another insurer to come to Hedvig. We’ve helped 3415 members switch from their old insurer to Hedvig. Even if you have insurance currently you can join Hedvig by simply telling us who you’re currently insured with and providing us with authorization to switch for you. We don’t think it’s fair for you to be locked into long-term contracts or have to go through time-consuming processes if you’re unhappy with your insurer. Which is why Hedvig is the first insurer in Sweden to get rid of fixed length contracts.

We’ve also had a few members leave us. It’s natural as people move or their insurance needs change as life changes. In total 179 members decided to cancel their insurance. The majority of them left us because they were moving or had a partner who was insured elsewhere. Hopefully they’ll be back soon. 👋

How we’ve helped

We’ve handled over 774 claims in our first year of business. We’ve handled a huge range of claims - everything from large water leaks to phones dropped in the sea to flying someone from Japan to Stockholm within a few hours so they can reunite with a seriously ill family member.

By default we trust our members to be honest with us. Combine that with an amazing app experience the likes you’ve never seen in insurance, zero paperwork and our beloved member experience team, we’re able to handle most claims, both complex and simple, very quickly. Our quickest claim was for a member who’s watch was stolen. From the time they had it taken to getting money in their bank account they had to wait 3 whole minutes. Faster than we thought we’d do in our first year and almost like the watch was never stolen!

You like us. You really, really like us.

To help measure if we're helping our members in the right way and building a service you want to use we regularly ask our members “How would you feel if you could no longer use Hedvig?” and measure the percent who answered “Very Disappointed.”

Now the magic number where it's considered that you're on the right track is said to be about 40% who answer they'd be very disappointed. Since we started tracking this in early March our number has been 69%! This melts our hearts. ❤️

We’re growing to help you more

As for Hedvig the company – we moved out of Norrsken into a new office last May. Only to outgrow it already by March. We’ve moved again into a great new space and we’re now 26 full-time employees and growing. Let’s see how long this office lasts.

Excited to donate

Last but definitely not least, we’re celebrating our birthday by donating 18 000 SEK to our two charity partners, Barncancerfonden and SOS Barnbyar.

Our business model is based on taking only a low flat fee for delivering our service, the rest of your money goes into a claims pool that is used to pay claims. We donate excess money from our claims pool to charities once a year rather than keep it ourselves, this way we never gain by not paying a claim.

In certain years our excess pool might be very large and we’ll pay out more. In other years it’ll be smaller and we might pay out very little. Since this is our first year, the claims pool had no excess money in it. As a first-year insurance company it takes time for the premiums paid to build up enough to cover all claims. We expected this outcome and it’s why we have a great insurance partner backing us.

But for Hedvig, giving back is more than just a talking point or a line item in our budget. It’s part of our very DNA. Which is why, regardless of lack of excess, we are committed and proud to donate a base amount to good causes every year.

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