Steve Jones wants nothing less than to change the world of insurance and empower consumers to make optimal decisions about financial products.
Steve first made his start in the insurance industry over 30 years ago and has worked for several of the UK’s biggest household names, including posts at The AA and Admiral. He was also part of the team behind Gladiator and created Gladiator Commercial, one of the UK’s most successful commercial vehicle insurance companies. They have been helping professionals protect their vehicles since 1998.
Fast forward to today, Steve is the founder of Comparison Creator and Protect Your Family – two companies helping consumers save money for life’s big and small moments.
From managing insurance partners to web development, Steve employs a highly skilled team that constantly adapts to the needs of its clients. They are fully invested in Steve’s vision for Protect Your Family and Comparison Creator and are quick to react to market conditions.
“We pride ourselves on our ability to continue breaking new ground in the UK comparison sector and are immensely proud of the service we have built thus far,” he says. “The fact that our services are becoming available to consumers across the country through such established and trusted brands is a true testament to the conviction and determination of the Protect Your Family team.”
Throughout his career, Steve saw that there was an opportunity for niche insurance products in the comparison market. Having created comparison tools for some of the UK’s big price comparison sites such as GoCompare, MoneySuperMarket and Compare the Market for many years, Steve believed they were missing a trick on providing a comparison service for companies looking to monetise their customer data and decided to do something about it and so launched Protect Your Family.
Comparison Creator and Protect Your Family offer an easy solution to deliver niche products, as well as comparing the products directly to the consumer. He began by offering a motor breakdown cover solution, which was quickly taken on by all of the four biggest UK comparison websites.
Following on from the success of the breakdown solution, Protect Your Family introduced many other products including wedding and gadget insurance, car warranty and home emergency cover. They currently offer more than 10 niche insurance and financial products.
The world of insurance can be pretty confusing to navigate – unless you’re well-versed in financial jargon, that is. The average consumer doesn’t have the time or energy to sift through quotes from every insurer and compare the results. There are plenty of other more enjoyable pursuits than comparing insurance. But that’s where comparison sites come in!
Sure, comparison sites have been around almost as long as the internet itself, with the first recognised site launching in 1995. However, consumers today expect comparison sites to do much more than just tell them which deal is the cheapest. Customers want to receive a complete comparison service, and want to know they have been provided all the information they need to make the best financial decision for themselves and their families.
“What sets our service apart from other comparison sites is that we use Defaqto star ratings from one to five to generate our comparisons. This allows customers to easily assess and compare the actual quality of a chosen product and not just the price.”
As you’d expect the price comparison and insurance markets have become increasingly competitive, with many websites, insurers and publishers continually moving into the market. Therefore, it is a market that could be very challenging for smaller companies – but, for a company such as Protect Your Family it offers an opportunity.
Steve says “Protect Your Family offers the same great service and same products as you would get with the bigger comparison providers but it is far more agile to make product and journey changes, as well as the ability to have more personal relationships with its insurance and finance partners.”
In fact, it’s the team’s agility that has spearheaded the business through these difficult times. Steve commends the Protect Your Family team for their resilience and drive:
“The last few years have been tough with the global pandemic, however, I am proud of my team who have delivered an increase in revenue year on year despite the pandemic.”
He suggests that “having a team you can put your trust in really makes a difference.” He goes on to say that “[he’s] truly excited about what the future holds and looks forward to taking the business to the next stage in our venture.”
Part of this next chapter involves the continuing expansion of the team. Steve says he has grand ambitions to “bring as diverse a workforce as possible into the business”. In fact, the company recently hired two new female web developers and hopes to work with local Further Education colleges to train more people to be developers as there is a great need for them in the market.
Women are a minority in the web development industry and this is something Protect Your Family hopes to change. They are shaping the industry for tomorrow, not just today.
“Every business owner should aim to promote equality and what better place to start than your workforce,” Steve says. “We want the best people in our team and have managed to do so with the recent appointment of Oliwia and Bethan – both of whom are new to the world of coding having not studied it at University. Their life experience means they bring something different to the team and we will do all we can to encourage and nurture them as a pivotal part of the future of Comparison Creator. It is great to see the next generation of female web developers come into the market and, in particular, join us at Comparison Creator.”
More than that, it doesn’t seem like there’s a better time than now to enter the industry, as there are a host of new and exciting opportunities to take advantage of.
“Opportunities within the comparison market are great, as more financial products are taking advantage of the comparison model. But there are also opportunities in the market as the cost of living crisis and rising prices affect more people, more are likely to shop around for the best deal on their insurance and financial products.”
As inflation rises and the British public are having to pay more for their everyday goods, they are going to be looking for further savings and therefore will be less likely to automatically renew their insurance products. Steve believes that “many people are now looking for financial and insurance products at reasonable, competitive prices, rather than just letting their insurance roll over, which is a great opportunity for Protect Your Family.”
When asked about the future of his business, Steve admits he has “never shied away from changing and modifying his business model to suit the market.” In fact, he says “diversification is the key to running a successful business.”
It’s hard to know how in the middle of the pandemic Protect Your Family continued to identify new ways to diversify its business model and adapt to ever-changing market conditions.
For many businesses, the pandemic was a time of uncertainty, which is quite ironic given the fact that the insurance industry is driven by forecasting, managing, and betting against risk. Though, for Protect Your Family, the pandemic has been a catalyst for positive change.
Steve and his team saw that his motoring products were taking a massive hit as there were fewer cars on the road and fewer people driving, so they were able to ride the wave by putting more work and effort into the business’ other products such as Wedding and Bicycle Insurance. These product sales grew substantially and enabled the company to mitigate the risk of losing even more revenue. In fact, that change was so successful that the business grew during that period.
“Depending on what you’re insuring, prices can vary drastically from insurer to insurer and even from policy to policy. So by using our comparison engine, consumers will get a crystal clear idea of which policy suits them and their wallet.” Steve said.
As the world returns to some semblance of normal, you could say the insurance industry is experiencing a renaissance of some sort. And other sectors previously hit hard by the pandemic are beginning to pick up again as consumer confidence returns and normal life starts ticking on again.
“Of course, the past few years have been pretty tough, but we have managed to pull through by staying true to our vision and quickly adapting to the changes in the industry.”
“2022 has been a fantastic year so far for us at Protect Your Family. We have continued to diversify the business and add new products to our offering.”
“The next few months are going to be a very exciting time for us and we look forward to seeing all of our hard work pay off.”