Spotlight on Zach Barnetby

Spotlight on: Zach Barnetby, Insurtech intern

No day is the same for Zach Barnetby, who works as an Intern Analyst at insurtech startup Friendsurance. Zach Barnetby loves the idea of helping to create something new- and it’s insurance that’s nothing like anything else you can get right now. In today’s environment, technology plays such a major role in our decision making and we expect organisations to be up to speed.‘When you buy insurance in Australia, it’s not hard to see the lack of growth and innovation from over the years,’ he says.

‘I like the idea of taking your basic insurance policy, and adding the 21st century technology element to it.’


Zach heard about the insurtech startup Friendsurance and the concept of peer-to-peer insurance and wanted to find out more. 

He’s recently graduated and wasn’t sure what direction he wanted to take. So he met up with Perry Abbott, the CEO of Friendsurance, and was immediately drawn to the idea. Friendsurance uses Facebook to gather friends and family together to combine their money to pay small insurance claims.

‘I never imagined myself being a part of the insurance industry and had no previous experience in this field,’ he says.

‘We all buy insurance and I personally never found the process very exciting, but Friendsurance aims to be different which is what I liked!’ 


Zach says the most surprising part of insurtech was discovering the legal side and still finding it interesting. 

‘Unaware of how the insurance industry works, I didn’t expect how much we have to think about and plan absolutely everything we do,’ he says.

‘I’ve enjoyed learning all the ins and outs of what’s involved, and no, it’s never boring!’


Zach says working at a startup is heaps of fun.

‘We all work closely together and I get to be involved in all different aspects of the business including accounting, human resources, marketing and customer experience,’ he says.

‘I also love being able to work on projects from start to finish.

‘We spend a lot of effort making sure everything is exactly how we want it, and how customers will like it best, so seeing that all come to life is really satisfying.


Zach’s advice for people who want to go into insurtech is to be patient.

If you’re trying to disrupt an industry that has remained relatively unchanged for so long, there are going to be plenty of hurdles and lessons to be learned.

‘Things can change in a heartbeat, and just when you think you’ve signed off on something that’s when a complete a set of new barriers will arise,’ Zach says.

‘But when projects you’ve been working on get finished and you can see where all your hard work and effort has gone, it’s worth the wait.’