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How to make friends and disrupt the industry

What did one woman do when she felt the world of car insurance needed a shake up? She created her own, of course! Allow us to introduce you to, Stella car insurance. 

Founded by Sam White in July 2020, the goal of Stella was to offer women a products and experiences that were tailored to their needs Positioned as a conscious, female-led insurance brand focused on designing products for women, providing a more intuitive experience, and ultimately rewarding women for being safer drivers. They are also huge advocates for trying to even out the balance of gender bias that exists in insurance, and let’s face it, the world. 

This month Stella is celebrating their second birthday and we caught up with their founder and CEO, Sam White to chat about her highlights over the last two years as well as what has challenged her and what advice she has for women looking to build businesses that disrupt the way we do things. 

Q: What have been your biggest highlights from the past 2 years as Founder and CEO of Stella?  

“There are simply too many to mention. Obviously, getting live at all during a global pandemic was a massive one, being able to watch the filming of the very first advert with Gen Fricker and watching the brand come alive. Building the team and watching the joy and ownership they have taken to bring the vision to life. The partnership with WAGEC and starting to see that commitment build to meaningful numbers. Hitting our first-year customer targets. Starting the journey to launch Stella in the UK and realising we truly can be a global brand.” 

Q: What challenges has the Stella brand faced since launching, and what have you learnt from these experiences? 

“Well initially launching in the pandemic meant that the available market was much smaller than we had counted on, so we had to pivot and adapt to make sure we would still achieve our goals. Building the tech out was a big one, and every day we discover more functionality that we need and want for our customers, which all takes much longer and is much harder than you would want.  Making sure that the brand was truly understood as a pro-woman and not an anti-man endeavour. Having to liaise with a new team purely over Teams as face-to-face wasn’t possible.  I’ve learnt how much a small, determined group of women can do, and how important truly honest and vulnerable conversation is in a team to create trust and intimacy in challenging circumstances. Finally, how important it is to make sure that your customers really do understand the message you are trying to convey and adjust accordingly if that message ever gets lost.”  

Q: What has surprised you the most about the Stella journey over the past 2 years?  

“For me personally, it’s been how excited I have been to have a direct brand, and we were confident that customers would connect with what we are trying to build but their support has blown me away.” 

Q: Any advice to other founders or people designing disruptive products or brands? 

“Same advice I always give for life and business: act like no one is watching. By that I mean to follow your gut and make sure you don’t let the setbacks drag you under. I’m also passionate that you can’t get too bogged down with the details to start with, make sure you get the big issues secured first and then gradually allow the detail to expose itself, a bit like looking through a microscope.” 

Just when you thought Stella was happy to stop their support for women there, they also donate $5 from every new car insurance policy to support the Women’s & Girls’ Emergency Centre (WAGEC) so not only are you supporting a female owned and run business when you insure with Stella, you’re also supporting vulnerable women and girls, and this makes paying your insurance bill so much more rewarding. 

In the last year, WAGEC has supported over 1500 women and children in crisis and provided over $300,000 in material donations. These include tinned food, pasta, shampoo, toothpaste, soap, household items, technology, opal cards, grocery vouchers and other essential items provided by the WAGEC Community. There is a significant amount of work that happens behind the scenes to ensure that women and children receive these items, including efforts from the community, WAGEC staff and WAGEC volunteers who ensure that donations are collected, organised, and distributed to crisis refuges from their drop off point in Redfern. 

As you can imagine, the team at WAGEC has benefited enormously from this partnership and have shared, “Long-term partnerships mean a great deal to WAGEC.”  

The team added “they contribute to building safe futures for women and children in crisis by providing financial support, time and expertise, material support, fundraising and awareness-raising. Ongoing partnerships are important because they help to ensure the sustainability of programs and resourcing that is critical to giving women and children what they need now and into the future so that they can thrive.” 

We’re not sure how we managed to score this deal, given it’s THEIR birthday, but Stella wants to celebrate by offering the Business Chicks community a gift! 

The team at Stella sharing “we have a gift for you as we celebrate our two years in business this month.”  

You’ll get a $100 eGift card* when you purchase a new comprehensive car insurance policy by 31 July 2022. And all you need to do is enter the code STELLA100 at checkout to claim your gift card. Here’s another year of celebrating women- how good is that?! 

You can Get a quick quote and switch to Stella today. T&Cs apply. 

*Normal underwriting terms and conditions apply. Any advice provided is general only and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. To decide if this product is right for you, please read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the Target Market Determination (TMD) available at Stella Underwriting Pty Ltd (ABN 72 633 811 319) is an Authorised Representative (AR 001282046) of Allstate Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 82 073 267 053, AFSL 239010) which is acting (under its own AFSL) on behalf of the product issuer, QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (ABN 78 003 191 035, AFSL 239545) . Promotional Ts&Cs apply. Offer available from 01/07/22 – 31/07/22. Available by using the redemption code STELLA100 at the online check out. Not in conjunction with any other offer. Limit of one gift card per customer. Visit for full details. Exchange your Smart eGift Card for any retailer Gift Card of your choice. Must exchange for a Gift Card of equal amount. Prezzee Smart eGift Card has a 36 month expiry date for users to redeem the value for a Retailer Gift Card of choice. Once the new Gift Card has been selected new expiry dates will be set and terms and conditions apply to the specific Retailer Gift Card chosen. Prezzee do not sell insurance and insurance enquiries or enquiries regarding this offer should be directed to Stella Insurance. You need to hold your policy for 30 days and have paid your first premium or instalment to be eligible. If you do not activate the Reward Code within 2 months of it being emailed to you, you will forfeit the eGift Card. Your gift card will be emailed 35 days from commencement date of your policy that remain active. You are only entitled to one digital reward

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