Protection  

Deadhappy co-founder Zeidler steps down as director

Deadhappy co-founder Zeidler steps down as director
Phil Zeidler said he has stepped back for "personal reasons"

The co-founder of fintech insurer Deadhappy has stepped down from his post as director and secretary, according to Companies House filings.

On November 15, Phil Zeidler left both posts while fellow co-founder Andy Knott has taken up the post of secretary, according to the filings.

Ziedler told FTAdviser: “After seven brilliant years I have taken the decision to step back from Deadhappy for personal reasons. 

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“I remain a major shareholder and supporter of Deadhappy and the very capable leadership team that has been in place for several years remains in place.”

He added that the current leadership team would all take on various elements of his role, suggesting the firm is not on the hunt for a replacement.

Famous for its skull-themed branding and "deathwishes", Deadhappy has sparked controversy among protection advisers. 

The company undercuts traditional insurance players with 10 versus 25-year policy cover, which some advisers feel is an irresponsible product because it leaves clients vulnerable after those 10 years are up.

By taking a shorter, 10-year view of life, the fintech can ask just four medical questions which leads to a much slicker onboarding process.

In January, Zeidler told FTAdviser Deadhappy had started to work with advisers.

However, at the time, he did warn about the low commission advisers would receive by advising on its products.

Deadhappy’s products offer advisers just a fraction of the commission they might earn for advising on a policy from an established life insurer.

The insurer has therefore focused on the market of advisers who don’t bother offering protection because it’s too hard or complicated.

Zeidler has estimated the difference in commission between advising on a traditional insurer’s policy and a Deadhappy one could be as big as £750, with the former earning an adviser £1,000 and the latter earning them just £250.

The co-founder said Deadhappy was intent on handling more complex underwriting cases - which has inevitably led it to consider working with advisers.

Deadhappy's products includes "deathwishes", which allow its clients to decide what they would like to happen on their death, inform their friends and family about it, and get life insurance to pay for it.

Earlier this year, the company - backed by Octopus Ventures and Channel 4’s 4Ventures - was in talks with various traditional insurers to help them develop their insurance products through a white-label service.

The fintech closed a round of crowdfunding in December 2021 on Seedrs, raising £6mn from around 1,000 professional investors - nearly £1mn more than it set out to raise.

ruby.hinchliffe@ft.com