Near-death experience sparks £2million business: Meet the man reinventing life insurance

Life insurance: Do you need to purchase it?

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Co-founding the industry disruptor DeadHappy alongside Andy Knott, the pair created the UK’s first digital pay-as-you-go life insurance with their unique design feature Deathwish. In seven years of business, DeadHappy now has a multimillion pound turnover and aiming to generate one billion Deathwishes.

Despite the taboo nature of death and end-of-life-planning, Mr Zeidler has sought to revamp the life insurance industry and DeadHappy has earned a comfortable £2million during 2020 doing just that. 

Mr Zeidler had spent the first 15 years of his career as an entrepreneur with three businesses in the general insurance space.

By age 40 he was a chair and non-executive for a range of businesses and a deputy chair of his local hospital trust. 

He commented: “I have never had a ‘real’ job, entrepreneurship is all I know.”

Mr Zeidler explained that the freedom entrepreneurship provides coupled with the ability to have an impact is what drew him into the field alongside the financial freedom his business success has provided. 

Often entrepreneurial ventures are started when one encounters a problem that has no current solution on the market, and this was a very personal experience for Mr Zeidler. 

In 2005, Mr Zeidler was otherwise enjoying a good life until he felt a bit ill and left work early one day. 

Waking up two weeks later in ITU, Mr Zeidler had been in an induced coma after getting an infection which developed into sepsis. 

Confronted with his own mortality, he began thinking of the consequences his death would have on his wife and children and found that the life insurance industry was full of “Dry, complex, expensive and inconvenient range of products and services that failed to meet my needs. That set me on the path to founding DeadHappy.”

Mr Zeidler explained that life insurance is generally a lengthy and expensive process: “As it’s a long term policy, you pay tomorrow’s price today, as you pay the price based on the average risk of you dying over the 25 years, not your risk dying based on your age today.”

“No one needs the same level of life insurance for 25 years as your needs change – which is why most people cancel their long term policies after seven years.

“People should be wary of inflexible policies that lock you in but can’t meet your needs in the future – often they are just not fit for purpose.”

DeadHappy looks to do away with inflexible life insurance cover to create a policy as complex as the client’s own life.

“Our product takes five minutes to take out on your mobile phone any time day or night without having to talk to anyone, four simple medical questions, is guaranteed to be cheaper as it’s based on your age today, and is flexible, so as your needs change, you can change your level of cover.”

Additionally, DeadHappy offers a unique and inspirational Deathwish platform that can help client’s identify what they need and how to personalise their policy to meet their needs. 

He commented: “A Deathwish is simply something you would like to happen when you die. The purpose of DeadHappy is to break down the taboo of thinking about, talking about and planning for our own deaths. 

“We believe it’s illogical to avoid thinking about the only thing that is certain to happen to us all, and none of us really know when that event will be. 

“Facing our mortality and imagining some of the extraordinary things we can make happen after we die for our loved ones is both hugely important and healthy, giving us genuine peace of mind.” 

Mr Zeidler added: “The alternative, dying without any plans in place, makes a tragic situation for the family 10 times worse as they are often plunged into financial ruin too.”

While it may not be the most pleasant of topics, not preparing for death, especially for breadwinners of young families, can be devastating both emotionally and financially for those left behind. 

Mr Zeidler noted that across the UK 112 children lose their parents everyday and 50 percent of them had no will or life insurance in place to care for their loved ones. 

The main cause behind this is the taboo and social prejudice against speaking about this topic, but understanding life insurance as well as what it should and can offer can make the biggest difference to one’s family once they have passed away. 

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