The Arma Karma
As we ready ourselves for our launch date this summer, its important to take a look back at what we’ve managed to achieve so far, and to give our subscribers a taste of the Arma Karma story.
I suppose it all began in 2010, at the University of Essex. I was a fresh- faced teenager studying International Relations and looking to make my mark on the world. Along the way; I met Chris – a half Norwegian, half Australian international student, with an American accent and a brain for
numbers. We quickly became friends, and many late-night chats were dominated by conversations about how we should work together in years to come and maybe even create a company of our own.
During our time at University, we moved accommodation many times, once along with 12 other students (not something I would recommend). Needless to say, contents insurance was never top of our list, and if it had been, you can only imagine the hell of trying to arrange it.
Years passed, and we soon forgot our hopes of going into business together. I entered the world of insurance, and Chris turned his talents to banking. The insurance industry allowed me to push up the career ladder quickly and taught me lots along the way. However, one thought always loomed over me: the industry norms, its operations and ambitions were typically unethical and unwilling to change with the times (the deals struck at Lloyds of London are almost always agreed by hand, some are even signed off with quills!).
Through this time, and like most others in their early/mid-twenties, I was stuck in the unavoidable rental whirlpool: countless apartments in numerous areas. But one thing remained constant, I never bought contents insurance (not something one would usually disclose working in the industry). Quite simply, it never worked for me and didn’t fit my needs or lifestyle. I was either in part/fully-furnished accommodation, had flatmates, or didn’t have enough possessions to make the cover worthwhile (I really only cared about my laptop, phone and TV).
In my spare time, using the experience I had gained in the insurance industry, I began formulating the initial plans for an ethically minded insurance company to take on this challenge. I wanted to provide a solution to the problems that people like me were facing as renters. In
other words, the Arma Karma seed had been planted. I sat with these ideas for a long time, thinking of every issue and working out a way to solve it. Naturally, I also spent a lot of time questioning whether to take the leap. After a while, I got tired of waiting and knew there would never be a right time to try to launch a start-up, so I called Chris. I knew his methodical brain would be the perfect antidote to my dream big, ideas-focused attitude, and would help bring my vision to life.
In the 18 months since that initial chat, a lot has changed. Like most start-ups, the blood, sweat and tears of the past year and a half of development can only be described as a rollercoaster: with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. One minute we had investors knocking down the door, with smooth sailing on all fronts: the next, coronavirus had forced us to furlough our new employees after only four months, and our launch was delayed.
The strength of the ecosystem around us, along with the friends and partners we have made, has helped us to weather every storm and get past every obstacle that has come our way. With a lot of hard work and a sprinkling of luck, the final pieces fell into place for our launch.
It’s time to transform insurance – for good.
Arma Karma Limited is registered in England and Wales under company number 12002692.
Arma Karma Limited is an Appointed Representative of Innovative Risk Labs Ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm reference number 925873.