Kathryn Knowles

Kathryn Knowles, Managing Director

Hi, I'm Kathryn, I own Cura with my husband Alan. I am a mum of three and an award winning insurance adviser. I have put this page together so that you can get to know me a bit better, where I have come from, what I do and why I do it.

You can also find me on Twitter and LinkedIn.

My recent achievements

  • 2018 Shortlist - Best Overall Intermediary, Cover
  • 2018 - Chartered Insurance Institute Rising Star
  • 2018 Shortlist - Woman of the Year (Protection), Most Inspiring Returner and Social Media Influencer of the Year, Women In Financial Advice Awards
  • 2018 Shortlist - Protection Adviser of the Year, Financial Reporter Women's Recognitions
  • 2018 - Appointed as Ambassador for the Chartered Insurer's Institute Insuring Women's Futures Programme
  • 2018 Winner - Individual Protection Adviser of the Year, Protection Review
  • 2018 Presentation to University of Hull postgraduate students on career paths following completion of a PhD
  • 2017 Winner - Cura - Best Specialist Intermediary, Cover magazine
  • 2017 Winner - Cura - Best Protection Adviser, Money Marketing
  • 2017 Highly Commended Protection Adviser of the Year, Unbiased

A little bit about me

I joined the financial protection industry after completing my PhD in Business Management in 2010. My doctorate focused upon developing bottom-up cultural changes within businesses, to establish an environmental metanorm, working alongside what employees wanted to do and not dictating to them. My thesis was completed in a case study organisation of over 200 employees using cybernetics, systems thinking, rich picture analysis, soft systems methodology, social network analysis combined with the viable systems model, and team syntegrity. I developed a bespoke environmental rating system, combining ISO 14000 environmental standards and my own set of cultural indicators that evidenced normative change. I know, I know, sounds quite boring! I loved it!!

Financial services was not my initial career path, but I wanted to start work as soon as I finished studying, and was offered a job in this sector. I originally started as an Administrative Manager, with focus upon company finances and developing smooth processes between administrators and insurance advisers. In 2012 I became a Compliance Officer, overseeing the quality of advice recommendations and documentation. In 2013 I became a Compliance Director and added website design, search engine optimisation, marketing and social media outreach to my tasks.

I am now a Managing Director of Cura and have brought us to the forefront of the high risk protection insurance sector, through my bold marketing campaigns. I had my first son in 2011, second in 2014 and my third in 2017. In my spare time I like to do Zumba and Tai Chi. I like to support charities when I can and have taken part in a 2 hour zumbathon, completed 5k a race for life, 5k run or dye, 5k bubble run, and raised over £300 for Parkinsons UK by doing veganuary.

What I do

I gained attention within the insurance industry in 2016 by creating a Walking Dead infographic, followed by a Game of Gnomes quiz and video advent calendar, to simplify the message of protection insurance. I now produce a weekly episode of video marketing, CuraVision, where I take a high risk client case and explain how we met their protection needs. I want to get the message out there, that most people are insurable. Many of our clients have been declined cover in the past, given ridiculous terms or been told that there is no point in them applying for insurance.

In my videos I do not do anything fancy. I am sat with my iPhone on a tripod, with a cup of tea, just talking to the camera. There are no presentations, no statistics, no jargon cluttering up the information that I want to get across. They are designed to be human, empathetic and simple. The purpose of these videos is to educate the general public, charities, others in the insurance industry, that having a health condition, working in a dangerous job, travelling around the world, does not make you "uninsurable".

I talk about how we have arranged insurance for people with cancer, HIV, diabetes, high BMI, bipolar disorder and a history of suicide attempts. I am the face of our company when it comes to social media outreach. I am positioned in these videos as a woman who knows about protection insurance, a business owner, someone who can explain how medical conditions and high risk circumstances mix with insurance.

My challenges are having three young children, owning a company and looking after my two parents who are in bad health. I also have hypermobility syndrome, sinus tachycardia, anxiety issues, a smidgen of POTs and an underachieve thyroid. I would love to say that I have overcome all of these challenges myself, but I haven't. I am extremely grateful for Grandmas!! I often feel that I am not doing enough for my children, or contributing enough at work. But, I am doing my best. In regards to my health, for the most part I have lived with my health issues my whole life, so it is not a matter of overcoming them, they are just me, it's what I have always known. The anxiety has been tough to overcome. I am a big believer in baby steps and mindfulness. Focus on the task now, not task two, three or four.

Why I do what I do

My motivation comes from showing people that there are solutions out there for them, regardless of their circumstances. Ten years ago, I was offered insurance at special terms because of a history of anxiety issues. I was well and it was a kick in the teeth that the insurer felt that I wasn't back to "normal". My passion is to fight industry stereotypes of how healthy a person is, just because they have been labelled with an illness. I have anxiety and hypermobility syndrome, I also have my own business, a PhD and have grown three amazing human beings. My illnesses do not define me, they empower me to fight.


Insurance Outreach