The Festival of the Dead is something that is (and was) celebrated by many cultures all over the world. The Inca, Peruvians and the Tonga Islands (to name but a few) all celebrate their dead ancestors.
The celebrations usually occur after the harvest in August, September, October and November. So, right about now then and it just happens to also fall around the time when we celebrate Halloween.
It’s no coincidence that this all coincides around the same time. Many cultures have ‘borrowed’ traditions from another over the centuries, but we all still do celebrate the passing of our ancestors or things that scare us with subtle differences.
While these traditions were rooted in beliefs and ancient celebrations, companies have commercialised these celebrations in a bid to make us spend more and boost their pockets at a time when there’s usually a lull as people knuckle down to get the year done and save for Christmas.
With companies making money off people celebrating death and ghoulishness it’s no wonder then that one life insurance company has taken it one step further and turned death into something we think about but in a happy way.
Here I’d like to introduce Dead Happy. It’s a quirky life insurtech start-up that’s built its brand around changing attitudes around the concept of death. They have ambitions to create one million ‘death wishes’.
“It’s a big deal” they say but add that it’s “one we’re up for”. They recognize that British people are uncomfortable talking about death, but their mission is to change all of that. Dead Happy say: “We want death to be less taboo, and more accessible to talk about”.
They tap into the usual statistics about the fact that Brits are underinsured. They point out that 8.1 million of us don’t have a life insurance policy. But they do offer an answer to all of it. To solve this, not only are they providing a life insurance product that can be simply applied for online (they only ask four questions) but they are offering it up in a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) style.
They boast about being easier to deal with and better than their traditional counterparts. They claim that by cutting out all the frills it enables them to be cheaper, with an average life insurance premium of £14.78 a month across ten years compared to an existing industry average of £23.25 per month.
Dead Happy also, importantly, enables life policy holders to declare during the application process what they want their loved ones to do with the payout. This, says Dead Happy, can be anything from the more sobering action of paying of the mortgage to the more celebratory ones, such as a wake party in Ibiza.
It seems to have an appeal among investors too. Back in February, they issued a statement which revealed that they were backed by £1.5 million in seed funding from European venture capital firm Octopus Ventures. Now it looks like the Leicester based company has raised another £4million in Series A funding from global venture capital fund e.ventures.
It seems that when you blend tech with taboo that something magical happens. People start talking about the product and some invest in it too. Being imaginative, embracing technology, and simplifying what is usually a complex issue appears to be the magic mix in getting people to talk about life insurance in away they’ve never done before. The question wannabe insuretech start-ups need to ask themselves is how they can provide this mix of simplification and accessibility to the next product and how they’ll get tongues wagging in a similar fashion…