Tag Archives: SaaS

How Low-Code Accelerates Change

The insurance market’s newfound confidence in SaaS has had a knock-on effect for the possibilities and future of low-code platforms – to the benefit of both carriers and their customers. 

Talking technology, you often hear about “revolutions,” but I like to think of them as evolutions instead. 

Take low-code. Change has accelerated as a result of environmental stimuli (much of which was unexpected before the pandemic). For carriers, the issue became about how quickly and smartly could we design, implement and push out product. Oh, and once we’re there, let’s double down to promote speed and efficiency in areas that have a direct impact on business operations. 

Tackling the pressures of tomorrow meant innovating where we could today.

The knock-on effect from all of this? The “how can we leverage low-code” conversation no longer was simply about cost-cutting and innovating in the market – it quickly became a business priority. 

Smart individuals will tell you this was coming for days, months, years – you get the point. But I challenge anyone to have predicted the speed with which the shift occurred. Many can be forgiven for not being 100% prepared.

In the case of the pandemic (as we’ve seen before with catastrophes), the expectations on systems changed. Pressures increased, as did what’s demanded of software systems, as well as the stresses they are put under. 

This isn’t a siloed event, either. Pressure on systems puts pressure on processes and, in turn, pressure on people. If you’re not clear, cracks appear. 

So, what’s being asked of core systems now?

It’s all about velocity – plain and simple.

This need is directly related to using more effective technology and rethinking processes and workflows to solve both business and market problems in as close to real time as possible. 

In a nutshell, this is what organizations are trying to achieve with low-code. (This doesn’t mean all at once. For those organizations that didn’t have the ability, resources, etc. to make this transition, the change can be undertaken in bite-sized chunks. One product, one line of business, one region/deployment – or, in some cases, entire core platforms.)

How can we get there with low-code?

Here are three tangible ways that low-code makes achieving this pursuit of velocity possible for carriers:

  1. Broadening the tools at your disposal: Quite simply, low-code allows you to do more, with more tools at your disposal. These tools, when adapted to the right business problem, allow you to solve for more and uncover opportunities to truly reimagine workflows, refine processes and empower talent. 
  2. Making integrations easier: Many will argue this is the chief selling point – low-code makes interoperability easier and opens the doors to integrate data from a wider pool of sources. As insurance becomes closer to real time and increasingly personalized, these integrations (i.e. the speed with which data can be captured and used for a product or service) will go a long way in determining winners and losers in the new year and beyond. This won’t stop, either. More data, more analysis to do more with that data, quicker ways to act on what the data informs. It’s a snowball effect, and this is an area truly ripe for tools like automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more. 
  3. Simplifying content/creating better content: You can’t speak about low-code without content. At the end of the day, low-code tools make it easier to build content and to help customers, in addition to reduced implementation timelines. Having content that is ready-made to be used by a platform is invaluable. Anecdotally, there’s a shift happening where there’s now a focus on using “rules” to create and adapt content that solves for business problems in different regions or geographies. That’s the level of maturity we’re nearing in a highly regulated industry like insurance – which should excite those innovative problem-solvers out there.  

Anyone familiar with games or gaming systems? Here’s an analogy for you. Low-code and SaaS’s ecosystem of tools is the console. The content being hosted, produced and tailored – that’s the games. The more games you have, the more value your console is providing and the vaster the experiences you can provide. The games themselves? The more powerful the console (the tools), the deeper, wider, smarter the games are – which, in turn, provide ROI to the owner of the console. 

See also: Designing a Digital Insurance Ecosystem

For those who didn’t gravitate to that example: With platform maturity comes the ability to solve business problems with robustness and completeness. This is exciting and will be realized in 2021 and beyond.

What does this say about the current (and flourishing) SaaS-driven ecosystem in insurance?

In my opinion, it’s pretty clear the industry has (finally) moved from closed to open. Now, you’re not judged on a closed ecosystem; rather, you’re judged on solution partners and how easily you can integrate with others. 

It’s an open-book test, and the richness of ecosystems (and how they iterate and evolve over time) brings others into the fold. There’s no more set-and-forget – cloud-based platforms are always up to date, and it’s where low-code tools thrive.

Being open becomes key – and the cloud provides both access and security. Accessing these tools becomes even easier still – APIs, content kits, solution exchanges, etc. It’s all there and satisfies all comers.

More good news? Talking talent brings excitement – and the prospect of continued technology acceleration

Another reason I’ve heard excitement around low-code – the doors it opens for talent in the industry. Insurance will always be highly regulated, highly specialized, and highly dependent on human empathy. 

What this doesn’t call for is an army of developers to make solutions and products to solve for these problems. 

What it does call for is smart application and solution architects, for example. More brainpower to solve some of the industry’s biggest problems. Innovators bringing more intelligent and elegant solutions to solve for problems and improve value and experiences. 

With low-code tools as a part of your organization’s arsenal, you can shift hiring foci to meet these needs. Don’t worry about keeping the lights on; worry about being creative, innovative and groundbreaking in your approach to serving customers.  

New flavor will make us stronger.

In the end, what does this SaaS and low-code transition mean for customers in 2021 and beyond?


Ultimately, it will give individuals and carriers the power to choose what’s best for their organizations and strategic goals. It truly is a constantly refilled smorgasbord of the best tools the enterprise can offer, packaged in an accessible way that makes sense for insurance.

Leave overhead behind. Get on with driving greater ROI. Think long-term about improving total cost of ownership (TCO). Solve those bigger business challenges that can return greater satisfaction. 

Empowerment. It’s exciting to see insurance companies go on the offensive rather than playing catch-up. Watch and see!

The ‘Race to Zero’ in Insurance SaaS

There has been a radical change taking place in insurance over the past few years. It revolves around the race to zero – or, the concept of streamlining the end user experience to ask less and less information when it comes time to file and process claims.

Regardless of what stage of the digital transformation journey the industry has been in, meeting and exceeding customer expectations has always been a priority – as has been the journey to find smarter ways to do business. Without either of these things, not many organizations would be successful. 

Asking less and less from consumers is not necessarily a new concept – but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t more important than ever in 2020. 

In 2020, not only is the race to zero more possible than ever (thanks to improvements in software-as-a-service (SaaS), digital technologies and data ecosystems), it’s becoming an expectation. 

This is largely being driven by two things: new generations of digitally native consumers who are used to seamless data integrations and information access across every aspect of their lives; and organizations looking for ways to evolve their processes to work smarter and more efficiently to meet these expectations while also remaining profitable.

Whether every line of insurance or business type can get to these hypothetical zero inputs is irrelevant. What’s important is that the new world of SaaS-based solutions, and a transformation to data-driven ecosystems living in the cloud, are changing the insurance game at speeds we’ve not experienced before.

Whatever that limit is, here are a few ways that any organization can realize its potential:

Enable Continuing Improvements With SaaS

It was really only five years ago that we started seeing early adopters embrace SaaS – and only in the last year or so that there’s been a drastic change wherein the majority are heading toward that model. One of the chief reasons for this is the configurability and malleability of new SaaS systems compared with legacy systems. 

Insurance is driven by data; however, in the past, as insurers would get new data feeds, it was difficult to take advantage of them in a timely fashion – because existing systems and processes were so locked in. Now, with modern SaaS systems, it’s much easier to make changes to processes, workflows and rules, so that as new types of data and analytics tools become available you can use them to your advantage – and to the advantage of insureds.  

See also: Digital Darwinism: Time to Move Faster  

Avoid Limiting the Value of New Data

Data is golden – but pouring new data into an old process often doesn’t get you where you need to go or get your processes any closer to the hypothetical zero. Instead, we must be thinking about new data sets in new ways and imagining how they can actually affect or drive a new process.  

This is no easy feat, and what we’ve seen some carriers do (innovate while understanding the legacy processes within existing organizations) is start companies or build new insurance products. This freedom to innovate, while keeping data outside existing core systems, means the data’s value isn’t limited in a legacy environment where it’s easy to get bogged down. 

This sort of innovation remains one of the more interesting recent developments – and will continue to evolve as insurers look to create data-driven products that change the way insureds engage with insurers. The market has reacted to enable this evolution with highly customizable, out-of-the-box SaaS solutions built around configurability and speed.

Think Agility

When it comes to meeting this hypothetical zero in a new data-driven world, we must also consider IT processes – and the agility that’s required to move to market at speed. Things used to take a long time (new products released on an annual or multi-year basis, for example). However, with new, low-code core systems, insurers can be very agile about when and how products are released – and the types of data sources or third-party integrations that can be leveraged in a way that makes a competitive difference in the market. 

This can be a challenge for IT departments that aren’t used to working in this fashion, so the mindset truly needs to shift toward “agility.” This goes for updates too. If there are opportunities to prefill through partnerships and integrations, or feed in new data sets, insurers leveraging new systems and processes can easily modify an app or existing product.

Use Data to Make Better Decisions

We’ve talked a lot about how to be agile and think about new ways to access data and information – and reimagine your processes around it. But, once you have that information, there’s another half of the equation you must consider – can I make better decisions and use the right information and tools, such as analytics or scores, to route things appropriately and for easy cases? 

From the front end, if I’m using data prefill and getting better data that I might have from older forms, for example, how can this contribute to making better, more informed and faster decisions in the insurance process? Taking this a step further, during times of strain or circumstances where losses pile up, can my organization find opportunities to use data and prefill to offer straight-through processing and enable our workforce to focus its efforts on the more difficult and nuanced cases that require a very hands-on, tailored approach? 

If the outcome isn’t better decisions, the value of more data often isn’t realized.

See also: Challenges Remain on Use of Data, Analytics 

Think Open yet Secure

A final point worth noting is the transition to a more open, API-based ecosystem in insurance. Traditionally, the industry has been highly closed off, but we’re seeing more and more negotiations around how to access and build around APIs. With this transition to “openness” (along with a shift in mindset for the entire industry), innovation can take strides, and the race to zero for both insureds and insurers becomes more of a reality. 

The core value of insurance will still be worth its weight in gold, but imagine the types of solutions we can develop with an abundance of new information, new processes and new technologies in place. 

For anyone in the insurance industry reading this, how do you not get excited about the possibilities in front of us? A new world of opportunity awaits in the race to zero – both in terms of how we reimagine products and policies for consumers and how we operate and process internally. 

For those of you not involved in this data-driven insurance technology ecosystem – what are you waiting for?

A P&C Guide for Digital Distribution

Property and casualty insurers aren’t shying away from digital distribution. “[F]our out of five insurers either have, or are planning to set up, wholly digital sales processes in which humans are involved only when customers need advice,” Accenture global insurance industry Senior Managing Director John Cusano reports.

But taking digital distribution from concept to reality still poses major challenges for many P&C insurers.

Here, we look at some of the biggest challenges of implementing a digital distribution strategy and how to overcome them.

Everyone’s Going Mobile

In a 2013 article for Wired, Christina Bonnington predicted that the world would contain 24 billion connected devices by 2020 and that the Internet of Things would result in people doing ever more tasks from their smartphones.

We got there early: Statista estimates that the world of 2018 already contains 23.14 billion connected devices and that the number will be more like 31 billion in 2020. And more of these devices than ever are mobile devices.

It seems as if the insurance industry only just began to embrace the opportunities afforded by digital technology when customers’ attention switched to this highly connected, primarily mobile world.

Today, customers “expect the same intuitive experience from their insurance carriers as they do from their favorite mobile app,” says Rahim Kaba at OneSpan. And they’re not the only ones. “Even insurance agents are demanding better digital capabilities from insurers to increase their ease of doing business,” Kaba says.

See also: Is P&C Distribution Actually Digitizing?  

Putting Numbers to the Scope of Mobile’s Impact

Mobile is an essential consideration for insurance companies, according to Andrew Sheridan at DialogTech, who cites several statistics that illuminate the opportunity available:

  • 40% of customers’ time researching insurance was spent on mobile, and 51% of these customers purchased insurance as a result of their research.
  • 25% of insurance shoppers do all their buying via their mobile devices.
  • 66% use a specific insurance company’s app.

Yet going mobile poses some challenges for insurance companies. For one thing, customers expect to be able to do everything from pay premiums to file claims, get driving tips or find a repair shop via a mobile app. That’s a lot of work for an app to do — and the more an app does, the slower and thus less appealing it is likely to be

Another challenge is the integration of older technologies with new ones. As Parmy Olson notes at Forbes, older telemetrics devices like Progressive’s Snapshot are starting to give way to smartphone apps that perform similar tasks, measuring speed, distance and other driving-related factors that can affect premium calculations.

These apps can seem more convenient to customers, but they can also make certain measurements or calculations more difficult. For instance, telemetric devices installed in the vehicle itself can more easily detect a crash and call for help, says Jim Levandusky, vice president of telemetrics at Verisk Analytics.

Embracing Industry Shifts

One solution? “Collaboration with the disrupters,” says Trevor Lloyd-Jones at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. Embracing mobile tools like telematics can make mobile apps easier for customers and more effective for insurance companies, and when these tools are approached through software as a service (SaaS) or similar providers, concerns about security or analysis are often addressed as part of the platform.

Companies that dismiss disruptors in the insurtech sphere do so at their peril, says Nikolaus Sühr, co-founder and CEO of KASKO. The era of relying solely on historical data may be coming to an end. “Disruption in other industries is actually changing user behavior and the nature of risk, so there is no relevant historical data anymore,” Sühr writes.

When moving into mobile for customers, agents or both, don’t be afraid to A/B test mobile apps, try new things and to innovate, says Amir Rozenberg, director of product management at Perfecto. While experimentation must account for the tight regulatory world insurance companies inhabit, trying out options in the mobile sphere allows P&C insurers to better understand how their customers use mobile — and how the company can use what it learns to attract and keep better customers.

Within this process, however, it’s important to keep mobile in perspective. “Even with this trend, companies need to ensure a mobile app supplements the overall experience and doesn’t dominate it,” says Rodney Johnson at Kony.

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

“With customers using more devices in more ways, there are new options for customer engagement,” stated a recent Incom Business Systems white paper. There are also plenty of challenges. Mobile devices feel personalized to customers, and with companies in other industries extending that personalization to their apps, insurance companies are feeling the pressure to personalize, as well.

A hallmark of in-person or traditional channels has been their one-size-fits-all approach to customers, according to Shashank Singh in an article at Insurance Nexus. Many P&C insurers have attempted to transfer this approach to the digital world, only to discover it doesn’t work.

Data and analytics offer insurers an unprecedented opportunity to understand and respond to each customer as an individual, from recommending products to calculating risk.

Digital distribution can also make it easier to capture a growing segment of the P&C insurance market that has changed its behavior as it finds itself priced out of coverage. “Rethinking distribution is key to successful inclusive insurance,” says Peter Wrede of World Bank Group USA. “Low distribution costs make insurance affordable for low-income people.”

A 2017 article by in The Street noted that 18 million adults in the U.S. currently cannot afford auto insurance, so they go without, often turning to public transportation or rides from friends instead. As a result, “personal automobile insurance is in a crisis,” said Dave Delaney of Owner Operator Direct. “Rates have been increasing steadily since 2011, and there is no end in sight.”

By turning to a digital distribution system to reduce costs, however, insurance companies gain the opportunity to make coverage more affordable, recapturing some of the 18 million customers who currently believe auto insurance won’t fit into their household budget.

See also: The Future of P&C Distribution 

Lack of Support Systems

Personalization of the digital customer experience, leveraging tools like mobile apps, presents a profound opportunity to understand and respond to customers’ needs better than ever before, said Ash Hassib, senior vice president of insurance solutions at LexisNexis. But “data availability isn’t the issue,” Hassib said. “It’s how you use it to underpin sustainable and profitable growth that’s the real challenge for insurers.”

And for many insurers, this challenge arises the moment they try to use that customer data within their current organization.

“Insurers have focused on digitalizing the front end, with insufficient focus on the systems that support distribution,” said a May 2017 report from the Insurance Governance Leadership Network. Additional challenges in retention have resulted, with insurance companies noting that customers leave because the system doesn’t provide adequate support for their experience.

Customers who use multiple channels to communicate with insurance companies are more likely to face problems caused by insufficient systems inside the organization itself. Perhaps this is why, relative to other industries, insurance company employees rated their companies 9% lower on providing a high-quality customer experience, according to Tom Bobrowski at The Digital Insurer. P&C companies were also rated 8% lower than average at “good cooperation between functions,” allowing the company to meet the customer’s needs effectively.

One option is to take a hybrid approach, says Sasi Koyalloth in a Wipro Ltd. white paper. A hybrid approach focuses on incorporating human agents into the digitization process, focusing on giving agents and employees the digital tools necessary for seamless communication throughout the organization.

Regardless of approach, “a single view of the customer is crucial,” says Robert Paterson at Afinium, noting that software as a service (SaaS) providers already exist with the tools and support needed to help P&C insurers move to a single platform for managing information.

And the systems’ cost needn’t be onerous. “Another key driver for adoption of SaaS solutions is its use in developing pricing models that can be directly related to system usage,” Paterson says.

Final Thoughts

The switch to digital is now or never for P&C insurers. Working with knowledgeable insurtech providers can help companies address concerns about data security, analysis and customer experience, allowing insurers to take full advantage of the digital world to build more personal and long-lasting customer relationships.

How to Create Resilient Cybersecurity Model

As data breaches increase in type, severity and number, more companies plan to purchase cyber insurance. While cyber insurance premiums in 2016 in the U.S. were $5 billion, projections indicate they will increase to $20 billion by 2020. Complex cyber crimes mean insurers find themselves facing contentiously complex relationships with their insureds. To create a resilient business model, both of these parties need to communicate effectively and understand the overt and hidden risks they face.

The Underwriting Communication Gap

Information forms the basis of strong underwriting. With traditional general liability policies, insurers can easily gather information on a company’s financial solvency by reviewing publicly available documents such as annual financial reports or credit ratings. With cybersecurity policies, attack vectors extend in a variety of directions, making information less tangible for underwriters.

With a compounded annual growth rate of 41%, cyber insurers need insight into the full range of their insureds’ risks. The present model relies on questionnaires from applicants; however, when insureds misrepresent or misunderstand their risks, insurance companies suffer billions in losses. Often, the cost of a breach exceeds the limits of a policy’s liability, meaning that even those companies with insurance find themselves underinsured. Because courts generally agree that general liability policies do not cover cyber loss, business continuity plans require appropriate insurance aggregates to fully cover losses.

Even the most sophisticated companies find themselves unaware of their biggest cyber risks. When insureds lack data, underwriters cannot effectively write policies. Thus, the communication gap poses a risk for both the insureds that remain underinsured and the insurance companies that may be overextending their books of business. Security ratings act as a tool that allow better communication between insurers and their insureds when establishing a cyber security policy relationship, similar to credit ratings in the general liability arena.

See also: Roadblocks to Good Customer Relations  

The Claims Communication Gap

Insureds use insurance to protect their internal and external stakeholders. However, the communication gap creates a claims problem for insureds. Coverage litigation costs and a sense of betrayal ruin relationships between companies that share the economic ecosystem.

The Equifax breach offers a contemporary example. Most recent estimates place Equifax’s breach costs at $275 million, but the company retained only $75 million in cybersecurity insurance. A single employee’s failure to patch a known vulnerability in the Apache Struts Java application created an opportunity for hackers. Equifax’s failure to understand its own patching cadence led to its underinsured status and, ultimately, its severe losses.

Information Enables Resilience

The information security community focuses on resilience. When a distributed denial of service attack causes a company to shut down services for days or weeks, the company lacks cybersecurity resilience.

An insurance company’s resilience requires setting aside financial reserves to cover claims costs. Because cyber policies often cover business interruption costs, businesses that lack cyber resiliency too often claim losses and file insurance claims. Security ratings provide insight into an insured’s resilience. Because data breaches are inevitable, even companies with strong security ratings may be hacked, but their continued attention to their environments means they will have strong disaster recovery protocols limiting business interruption. To remain financially stable and resilient, insurance companies need to adequately estimate potential losses so that premiums adequately align with their risk acceptance.

Insurance companies and their customers need shared visibility into the protected cyber ecosystem. Otherwise, insurers continue to dissuade financial safety by overestimating premiums while companies risk their solvency by underinsuring their business. This business model promotes neither economic stability nor resiliency.

Continuous Monitoring Builds Continuous Relationships

Remedying the information and communication gap between insurers and insureds provides the only solution to the current resilience problem. Companies often prove, through audit reports, that they engage in information security, yet those documents show proof of only a single moment in time. Insurers need tools providing visibility into their insureds’ ecosystems on a continual basis, such as security ratings.

Organizations face data security threats from both their IT environments and those of their vendors. One breached vendor creates a domino effect of cyber insurance claims as the damage travels through the supply chain. Insurers and insureds need to be able to communicate both visible and hidden cyber risks. Security ratings continuously monitor insureds’ endpoint security, IDS and antivirus, while also providing a shared language so they can effectively communicate with insurers. Insurers, conversely, can use the shared language of security ratings to communicate to insureds the impact that security vulnerabilities have on insurance premiums and coverage.

See also: The New Agent-Customer Relationship  

In the cyber insurance space, increased claim complexity degrades the symbiotic relationship. As insureds shop around for better premiums, insurers lose valuable business. To promote continued business relationships, the two parties can both benefit from automated tools that enable continuous communication about continuous monitoring. Tools to facilitate visibility help establish metrics for the appropriate pricing of risk to cover potential losses and set reasonable premiums.

Insureds must communicate with their insurance companies; however, companies focusing on the daily tasks of conducting business lose track of communication and time. Therefore, insurance companies need to protect themselves by monitoring their insureds. Security ratings are poised to help promote resiliency between, as well as within, industries by offering publicly facing data. With the right continuous monitoring metrics, SaaS platforms can enable continuous relationships that reinvigorate the insurer-insured symbiotic relationship.

Lemonade: From Local to Everywhere

In a meticulously planned operation, we filed for a license in 47 states simultaneously. We’ll be revealing the first states in which Lemonade will become available in a couple of months. One thing’s for certain, 2017 is going to be an interesting ride! Stay up to date with news about our progress here

Now that I got this off my chest, I can add some color to why we’re doing this.

Many tech startups go through the famous Local vs. Global debate as they start to plan a market penetration strategy. This dilemma was born with the arrival of modern internet commerce and became even more prevalent with the emergence of SaaS companies that provide global coverage right out of the box.

When you’re selling a digital product, going global may seem like small overhead. Reality is a bit different, though, and, more often than not, small startups that take a bigger bite than they can swallow get into trouble.

When feasible, startups should consider aiming their launch beams at a single city or even a town with population that represents their typical customer.

Here’s why:

1. Know thy users, and design for them

It always amazes me how often startups overlook usability testing during the initial design phase. Having videos of random people playing with your (barely working) mockup is priceless. We learned more in a couple of days of testing than we did in months working in our office.

The cool thing is that you only need about five testers to get value out of a session like that, so there’s really no excuse to not doing it. The smaller the area you launch in, the better the chance of getting valuable data in a user testing session.

We spent hours in WeWork and Starbucks with our early stage, smoke-and-mirrors version of the Lemonade app. We would show it to people, ask for their feedback, ask them some questions and record the entire session. We would then sit in the office and analyze the videos to figure out what worked and what didn’t.

Our early Starbucks user testing sessions allowed us to launch a relatively mature product into the market and achieve faster adoption by our New York customers.

See also: Let’s Make Lemons Out of Lemonade  

2. Budget

Product launches require spending some money. To improve the chances of success, it is recommended to fuel the organic interest generated by social noise and PR efforts with some paid channels. Got a story in TechCrunch? Bloomberg? It will probably die down quicker than you think.

A nice trick is to use content recommendation tools like Outbrain and Taboola to promote content to users who may be interested in it. Google Ads are another obvious choice. Choosing the right outlets is one thing, but there’s a huge difference in costs between a global campaign and a local one.

This becomes much more dramatic when your company requires additional resources to operate in each region like Groupon and Uber. Lemonade recently closed its third round of financing ($60 million in one year of operation) from top VCs such as Google Ventures, General Catalyst, Thrive, Sequoia, Aleph and XL Innovate. We’re going to use this money to drive our expansion throughout the country and activate specific markets the way we did in New York.

3. Surgical use of media coverage

Getting great media coverage takes a lot of attention and time. Whether you can afford an agency or not, you’ll have to choose your battles well. Launching in a specific city allows you to focus on the outlets that are most relevant and will simplify your pitch to journalists.

If you’re creating something exclusive for a certain region, reporters who cover that region usually have a hunger for tech stuff that is happening, or launching in their hometown before everywhere else. BTW, there’s a case for launching in unexpected places like Portland or Philadelphia, which usually don’t get much attention from the tech and consumer industry for new products. There’s a good chance that media reach (which expands far beyond just the place you’re starting from) will be much stronger.

We chose New York for Lemonade’s home. We see NY’ers as an ideal representation of our target demographic and personality. So we invested our efforts in a select few outlets that are read by our first wave of early adopters of the city’s financial workers and young professionals — NY Post, Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal.

4 . Brand and messaging

Building a great brand involves a lot of consumer psychology. You spend weeks trying to figure out the best tagline, the perfect ad and the right illustrator to do your art. If you get this right, you have a real chance at grabbing your customers’ attention.

The first few months of brand activation are critical. Limiting yourself to a select region or demographic allows you to be laser-focused on framing and positioning.

Lemonade Local

Building an insurance company from scratch, in New York, one of the toughest regulatory environments in the country, is a huge undertaking. The sheer complexity and investment required to get to the starting point includes raising a lot of capital and hiring the right people to be able to get licensed by the state’s Department of Financial Services.

This is the life of a company that operates in a highly regulated industry, and it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen in the tech space. For Daniel and me, the decision to start in one state was simple. There’s no other way. Insurance carriers have to choose a state. Just one. And then maybe, if you play nice, regulators will let you go for more.

We wanted to launch Lemonade in one state — NY, and even more so when we realized we had no choice 🙂

See also: Lemonade: A Whole New Paradigm  

In the last three months since our New York launch, we’ve had overwhelming demand coming in from all over the country to open up for business in more states. This was very encouraging because it showed us hints of initial demand and product market fit to people and age groups that we never thought would be our early adopters.

But what surprised us most was the excitement coming from unexpected places, such as government offices and regulators. Having a favorable regulatory environment is a great opportunity to bring an honest, affordable, transparent and fun insurance experience to everyone in the U.S.!

Be the first to know how we’re making progress with our nationwide expansion.

Here’s the list of states where we will gradually launch in the coming year or so:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

* States in bold represent the ones most requests to launch came from

This article originally appeared here, and you can find more about Lemonade here.