Tag Archives: Mojio

Be Afraid of These 4 Startups

The 1926 Model A is a far cry from the self-driving Tesla we see on the road today. The automotive industry has progressed light years since Henry Ford first paved the way for automobiles. From refrigerators to cars, technology is moving at warp speed. There’s just one industry that hasn’t quite kept up with the Joneses: the insurance industry. For over one hundred years, the $1 trillion industry has stayed pretty constant — consumers purchase a policy from an agent, pay their premiums and really don’t think twice about it. These four startups from Silicon Valley, New York City, etc. are about to turn the insurance world upside down. And, if you ask us, it’s about time.

Mojio— Some may remember Mojio as a “connected car” hard- and software company, but the brand recently went through a major overhaul.  With a seasoned startup CEO on their hands, Mojio looked at industry trends and discovered a major hole and an opportunity for change. They plan to roll out their new business model in North America sometime this fall, in conjunction with the revamped AutoMobility LA, the first smart car technology trade show of its kind.  With their new model, Mojio hopes to create an automotive ecosystem where the automotive industry, insurance industry and telecom services thrive together. While staying mum about their North American partnerships, Kyle MacDonald, head of marketing had this to say:

“This open approach enables the owner of the car to become the owner of his or her data. Novel? Yes, but we believe this is simply the logical evolution of car ownership. As software continues to eat the world, startups like Mojio are poised to take a big bite out of the connected car market.”

Needless to say, your connected car is about to get a whole lot better. Mojio has been experimenting with their new model oversees with wild success. In an article posted on the Mojio blog, CEO Kyle Hawk said, “Deutsche Telekom and ZTE are turning to partners like Mojio to provide the platform for global, scalable connected car offerings, signaling an exciting time for not only the automotive and mobile industries, but ultimately for end users who’ll soon be able to enjoy a new era of car ownership and driving experiences.”

See also: InsurTech: Golden Opportunity to Innovate  

CoverHound— CoverHound is built for one-stop shoppers. With the wild success of things like Amazon’s 1-click ordering, consumers are used to comparing and purchasing things in one place. Why not apply this philosophy to the insurance world? The brilliant minds behind CoverHound are doing just that. With $33.3 million in their series C round seed funding, this San Francisco startup is everything you would imagine. With urban chic offices and a mass of young professionals with immense potential, this start up is poised to rocket to even more success. They’ve already clobbered over similar sites like the now-defunct Leaky, and they’ve just secured a new round of investors. With this, they plan to take on business insurance coverage for small startups. CoverHound board member James D. Robinson III said, “The industry is ripe for change, CoverHound paves the way into the next generation of insurance.” They’re not just relying on a great user experience website; CoverHound allows potential customers to tweet at them for quotes, capitalizing on high traffic social media. With these innovative business practices, CoverHound will be the new way to get insurance as technology continues to push on.

Trov— Insurance isn’t just about cars.; what about your house and all your belongings? There is nothing worse than coming home to a ransacked home and discovering that all your valuables have been stolen. Panic sets in. Did I pay my premiums this month? Will my renter’s insurance cover the cost of my bike? Do I even have proof of all my valuables? Trov solves all of these in one glorious mobile app. The brilliant minds behind Trov thought pretty critically about the behaviors of millennials before designing the platform Trov is built on. Insurance companies of the past have two fatal errors. The first is they don’t account for the fact that today’s consumer is far from stagnant and that moving every two years is commonplace. Home insurance policies for 30-plus years just aren’t happening anymore. The second, and perhaps the more frustrating, is claims. Insurance giants intentionally make the claims process difficult to discourage you from filing them. Trov solves it all with its cloud-based insurance app that — with a few swipes, photos and texts — you can catalog, insure and file a claim right from your phone. It’s a dream come true when it comes to insuring your valuables without the hassle. Right now, Trov is only available in Australia, but this Bay Area-based company plans to launch in the U.S. by 2017.

Lemonade— For a company that has yet to launch after receiving one of the highest amounts in first-round seed funding, Lemonade is getting a lot of press. Claims like, “We aim to be the Facebook of insurance” are pretty bold, but we would be lying if we said we weren’t intrigued. Lemonade is a peer-to-peer insurance company. To put it simply, a group of small policyholders pay their premiums into a pool to pay claims. If there is still money left in the pool at the end of the period, the group gets money back. The company is backed by notable investors Sequoia and Aleph Capital and has brought on AIG and ACE veterans execs. A simple search of “Lemonade insurance” and you’ll find article after article of its “plans” to launch. As the end of 2016 creeps closer and closer, we can’t help but wonder what’s going on behind the hot pink doors. With a concept that’s yet to be tested in the American market, Lemonade has potential — but, then again, good press doesn’t last forever.

See also: The Start-Ups That Are Innovating in Life

Fast forward to 2017, and this list could be entirely different. That’s the beauty of startups: they’re constantly pushing boundaries. All of it is good news for the customer, who desires a better experience when it comes to their insurance policies. Giants such as State Farm and Progressive will have to rely on more than just clever marketing spokespeople to keep up with the tech trends. These four startups are already causing some mayhem of their own in the industry. With a piece of a $1 trillion pie at stake, it’s surprising it has taken this long for the shakeup.

This article first appeared on obrella.com.

Innovation Trends in 2016

For the past few years, the innovation rate in the global insurance industry has run at peak levels, in good part because of digitization, which continues to be a pervasive influence—if not as disruptive as early projections.

Initial expectations of a departure from traditional distribution channels turned out not to be the case. Clients preferred direct, personal contact when buying insurance products. While online channels have not generated major changes—for example, in the vehicle insurance sector in Italy (5% of premiums today are generated online, compared with 1% in 2012) —telematics has had a substantial impact. It represents 15% of all insurance policies today in Italy. (These policies did not exist in 2002.)

Digital transformation is, of course, leaving its mark in four macro areas.

First, consumer expectationsA Bain survey suggests that more than three out of four consumers expect to use a digital channel for insurance interactions.

Second, product flexibility: The traditional Japanese player, Tokio Marine, for example, started offering temporary insurance policies via mobile phone, e.g., travel insurance limited to the dates of travel and personal accident coverage for people playing sports.

Third, ecosystems: They are created when the insurance value proposition depends on collaboration with partners from other sectors. For example, when Mojio sells a dongle (at, say, a supermarket) that requires connection to an open-source platform to be installed in a car, third-party suppliers are able to extract driving data from that platform and create services based on it. Onsurance, for one, offers tailor-made insurance coverage based on the data collected.

Fourth, services: Insurers today are moving away from the traditional approach of covering risks to a more comprehensive insurance plan, which includes additional services.

Connected insurance: a telematics “observatory” to promote excellence 

The fact that the Italian insurance market represents the best of international automotive telematics practices gave rise to the idea of creating an “observatory” to help generate and promote innovation in the insurance sector. Bain, AniaAiba and more than 25 other insurance groups are among its current participants.

The observatory has three main objectives: to represent the cutting edge of global innovation; to offer a strategic vision for major innovation initiatives while reinforcing the Italian excellence paradigm; and to stimulate research and debate concerning emerging insurance issues such as privacy and cyber risk.

The Observatory on Telematics Connected Insurance & Innovation, will focus not only on vehicle insurance (where Italy has the highest penetration and the most advanced approach worldwide), but on additional important insurance markets related to home, health and industrial risk, which, I am convinced, represent the next innovation wave.

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Italy is currently the best practice leader in connected insurance. Italian expertise in vehicle telematics is finding applications in other insurance areas, particularly in home insurance—where Italy is the pioneer—and in the health sector, where we recently launched our first products.

InsurTech on the rise

Another sector that has seen an increased number of investments in 2016 is InsurTech. Until last year, attention focused on many types of financial service start-ups. Today there is significant growth in investments in insurance start-ups: almost $2.5 billion invested in the first nine months of 2015, compared with $0.7 billion in 2014 [according to CB Insight]. Many new firms are entering the sector, bringing innovation to various areas of the insurance value chain. The challenge for traditional insurers will be to identify firms worth investing in, and also to create the means for working with those new players.

The challenge is integration

Ultimately, the main challenge for insurers will be to find ways to integrate the start-ups into their value chains. The integration of user experience and data sources will be key to delivering an efficient value proposition: It is untenable to have dozens of specialized partners with different apps in addition to the insurer’s main policy. It will be necessary to manage the expansion and fragmentation of the new insurance value chain.

To come up with an answer to this problem, start-ups are generating innovative collaborative paradigms. One example is DigitalTech International, which offers companies a white-label platform that integrates various company apps and those of third-party suppliers into a single mobile front end, even as it offers a system for consolidating diverse client ecosystems (domotics, wearables, connected cars) into a single  data repository.

Integrating and managing complex emerging ecosystems will be one of the greatest challenges in dealing with the Internet of Things (IoT) for the insurance industry.

(A version of this article first appeared on Insurance Review.)