Bitesize InsurTech: PolicyGenius
February 25, 2017 Chris Sandilands
PolicyGenius is a US-based online insurance broker.
The business was launched in July 2014 by former McKinsey consultants Jennifer Fitzgerald and Francois de Lame. In their former lives, Jennifer and Francois noticed that US insurers were struggling to build direct-to-consumer propositions. After advising several companies on the topic, they decided to develop a proposition themselves.
The company does not release data on policyholders, but they do report 2.5m “users” to date.
That number doesn’t tell you much in itself; however, their KPIs were good enough to raise $15m in a recent Series B funding round, led by Steve Case, the founder of AOL. This was on top of $6m raised in their Series A round and seed funding.
The company’s mission is to help people buy insurance through an “easy, honest and informative” online experience. The company offers decision-making support and advice on all insurance products but only offers direct purchase options on life, health, long-term disability, pet and renters insurance.
But there’s a social element too: data shows that life insurance purchases have dropped by 15% over the last 30 years in the USA and that 30% of eligible US households – 37.5m – are without life insurance today. The company is on a mission to close the “protection gap”.
PolicyGenius recently achieved top spot in the inaugural US life insurance digital sales functionality benchmark report by Forrester, the research company. They said that “even leading auto insurance sellers can take a cue from PolicyGenius when it comes to best practices for driving digital insurance sales.”
The Oxbow Partners view
Even by insurance standards, PolicyGenius is not a sexy business. They don’t use fashionable tech like AI to power their proposition and they don’t have a particularly flash website.
It goes to show that you have to be better than the market, but not perfect, to be a success with customers.
It has been said that 2017 is the year when InsurTech and innovation reaches the life market after its strong start in non-life. We expect to see more companies like PolicyGenius pushing digital propositions in the future.