Vladislav Solodkiy for InsurTech Conf 2016 in Singapore.
Yet over the last 18 months, over 100 insurance startups have launched. VentureScanner counted about 550 insurtechs total. Many entrepreneurs are waking up to the fact that insurance is arguably one of the most old-fashioned, analog consumer services in existence, and they are creating companies to upend this premise.
One branch (Oscar, Zoom+, Clover Health, Melody Health Insurance, Beam Dental, etc) is composed of actual insurance companies that pay medical claims, contract with hospitals and doctors, and take on some kind of risk on behalf of their members—all with a bigger emphasis on consumer-friendly technology and data. The second branch (Zenefits, Collective Health, Stride Health, GetInsured, SimplyInsured, Gravie, Picwell, etc) comprises purely tech-focused companies that are involved with buying, selling or managing health insurance.
While other insurance companies make money when denying claims, Lemonade only takes one flat fee. In addition, they give all unclaimed money to the charity of your choice. What’s more, your charity is pooled with other Lemonade customers who also want to give to that same charity – whether it’s a big international non-profit or your local PTA. So the more leftover money from all of you, the more your charity gets. Since its public launch with a $13 million investment from Sequoia Capital and Israeli venture investor Aleph late last year, Lemonade has amassed a series of impressive wins.
The New York health insurance start-up Oscar Health is “a better kind of health insurance company” that aims to use technology and design to improve the experience. The company is now valued at a whopping $1.5 billion after $145 million dollars in a Series B round, just a year-and-a-half after its launch.
In May 2015 Zenefits has raised $500 million in a round led by Fidelity and TPG at a whopping $4.5 billion valuation (now Zenefits loses over half of its value for internal problems reasons). Unlike most companies that sell HR software to small businesses, Zenefits gives its software away for free. Instead, the company collects a fee from insurance companies every time a customer buys insurance through Zenefits. It’s this piece that has enraged traditional insurance brokers.
Hong Kong-based Horizons Ventures, a private investment arm of Li Ka-Shing, has led a US$15.3 million funding round in Berlin-based P2P insurance startup Friendsurance. The way the model works is that everyone contributes to a common pool to mitigate risk, that’s the very nature of insurance. However, in Friendsurance’s case any premiums left over in the fund at the end of year are paid back to contributors, as the risk didn’t happen.
German insurance startup Clark closes €13.2M Series A. Calling itself an “insurance robo-advisor”, Clark’s iOS and Android apps let you manage and purchase various insurance products. Specifically, it uses algorithms to analyze your current insurance situation and automatically propose opportunities to improve your coverage or the deal you are currently on. The startup’s insurance experts are also on-hand via the app to help with more bespoke insurance questions.
The Floow gathers data from phones and in-vehicle ‘black boxes’ to help make insurance premiums more accurate and even reduce the likelihood of a driver ever having an accident. The Floow monitors smoothness of driving, weather conditions, other road users and multiple other data points to tailor insurance premiums to each individual.
Trov is an on-demand insurance platform that lets users buy insurance for specific products, for a specific amount of time. Recently with $25.5M in new funding, Trov launched on-demand insurance for individual items. Insurance isn’t necessarily an inviting word, especially for millennials. When a user inputs a certain product (a television, appliance, phone, laptop, musical instrument, surfboard, etc.), Trov simply needs the make and model to generate all the metadata necessary to insure that item. Alongside information about the insurance purchaser, Trov can then generate a to-the-second price for insurance. That user can then turn protection on and off for their various items through a simple swipe.
Cocoon makes an internet-connected security device for the home.
Kasko provides a white-label option for instant insurance purchases on affiliate platforms.
BimaAfya is connecting low income populations in sub-Saharan Africa with health insurance.
Buzzmove provides price comparison for the removals trade; information that is important to insurers after a loss.
Myfuturenow helps connect dormant pension accounts to holders.
Roost makes a smart battery for smoke detectors and counts USAA among its investors.
Augury makes sensors for heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
CoVi Analytics is a platform for insurers to use the required reporting from Solvency II data in their enterprise in other ways.
Domotz is an Internet of Things management system that offers a platform for insurers to rate risk and manage claims.
FitSense helps life and health insurers leverage data from wearables.
Quantifyle allows users to “shop around” their wearable and other health data to insurance companies and find the best price.
MassUp uses APIs to connect insurers to retailers so people can quickly and easily add coverage to new purchases.
Rightindem is a self-service total loss claims platform that claims to reduce insurers workload and leakage while improving customer service.
Safer is designed to help millenials identify what kind of insurance they need by tapping into their social data.
Equally, we must not forget firms using distributed ledgers, like Everledger, who are guaranteeing the provenance of rare items for insurance purposes.
BigML democratizes machine learning solutions that enable insurance companies to build analytics capabilities faster than ever before.
Qiy Foundation provides a groundbreaking structure to identity and personal data protection.
Traity creates a network that allows people to owe their reputation while increasing trust and transparency in doing business online
TrueMotion creates solutions that enable insurance carriers to implement usage-based insurance concepts at much faster speed to market.
Brooklyn-based PolicyGenius provides users with price comparison information on life insurance, long-term disability insurance, renters insurance and pet insurance, and has raised $15 million in a new round of funding to expand its price comparison insurance brokerage service.
Quartet Health, a company that wants to close the gap between physical and mental healthcare, has raised a $40 million Series B led by GV (formerly Google Ventures).
In situations where you aren’t worried enough to call the police, but where you do want to reach out to a friend and say “something’s not right here,” freshly launched Guardian Circle has your back. The idea is simple: You add your friends and local contacts to an alert list on the app.
Zendrive, a startup that uses smartphone sensors to measure drivers’ behavior, has raised $13.5 million in Series A funding led by Sherpa Capital.
Austin-based The Zebra, a startup that’s something of a “Kayak for auto insurance,” has been working to bring the process of shopping for insurance online, where consumers can more transparently compare quotes and understand how insurance companies determine rates. The company has raised an additional $17 million in Series A funding.
Metromile, the provider that lets you pay-per-mile for insurance, has raised a $191.5 million in funding. Metromile will use the money to acquire an insurance carrier called Mosaic Insurance to handle the underwriting of its policies itself; as well as to expand new states in the U.S. and continue building its platform. Metromile provides a mobile experience that lets users see and track just how much they are using the insurance and how much they will need to pay. It also has other features like vehicle location, travel data and more. Investors behind this deal include a couple of insurance giants, Canada’s Intact Financial and China Pacific Insurance (CPIC); top VCs Index Ventures, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), First Round Capital, Mitsui and SV Angel; Metromile founder and Chairman David Friedberg (of Climate Corporation fame); and Mark Cuban.
Slice Labs offer insurance for on-demand workers and providers like Uber and Airbanb, starting with rideshare drivers and then homeshare hosts. The startup has raised $3.9 million in seed funding from Horizon Ventures and XL Innovate. These products will be available on a transactional basis — so a ridesharing driver should be covered from the moment they start driving or get into the car, but they’re only paying for coverage during the time that they’re working (making it more affordable than just taking out a pricey commercial insurance policy).
PolicyBazaar is an Indian startup that can sell policies direct-to-consumer. They recognized that only 4 percent of Indian consumers have any non-health insurance and only 2 percent of that 4 percent bought their insurance online.