Ohio Agents Needed - Mobile Insurance App Pilot

Dec 28, 2015

  1. QuotePie
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    A friend of mine is launching a new auto insurance company in Ohio called ROOT and is looking for agents who are tech savvy to be part of their pilot group in 2016.

    ROOT is an app that is installed on your clients smartphone that analyzes how they drive. After 500 miles a quote is generated that can be purchased right from their phone. The best drivers get the best rates.

    Here is a link to more information on ROOT and to apply for the pilot group.

    I'm more than happy to make an introduction to the founder if you would like as well.

    -Marc
     
    QuotePie, Dec 28, 2015
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  2. BlockO
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    sounds interesting. however, I see a couple major road blocks implementing the launch as you've described it.... interesting nonetheless.

    how does the the phone app. figure driving scores?
     
    BlockO, Dec 28, 2015
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  3. QuotePie
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    Thanks! So it uses the internal chip that comes in your mobile phone and pair that with the ROOT software to track how hard drivers accelerate, brake, and swerve.

    It's another way to use other data points to generate a rate.

    We use this information coupled with traditional rating criteria. All of this info goes into our algorithm to generate a rate for every driver that is using the app.

    What roadblocks do you see? Your thoughts are very much appreciated.

    Marc
     
    QuotePie, Dec 28, 2015
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  4. BlockO
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    the two major roadblocks I see are as follows:

    1. (if I'm understanding you correctly) after the customer signs up, they still have to drive 500 miles before they can bind a policy. that would be a major problem for an agent. most drivers inquiring about auto insurance want coverage very soon, if not immediately... it may take over a month for some people to drive that many miles. that would shrink your market and hurt new sales. although I can see where an agent could use this as a retention tool for existing customers whose carrier has recently raised their rate.

    2. phones get turned off constantly (e.g. bedtime, work/school, batteries die, etc) ..... that would make it easy for someone to manipulate the scoring. drivers could turn their phone off when driving through heavy traffic and only run the app while they're driving on wide open highways. without something plugged in to the diagnostic port, you have no way of knowing whether the car is moving or sitting while phones are off. furthermore, someone could ride as a passenger and pretend to be driving (how would you know the difference?).

    and believe me, people will try to game the system! 2-3 years ago, I wrote a couple blog articles explaining Flo's Snapshot .... to this day, I still get visitors on my website who have search querries for things like "how to cheat snapshot", "can snapshot be fooled?", etc.


    one last thing which hasn't been mentioned: how and when are coverage levels selected? you need to make sure those decisions somehow involve the agent, and not simply the customer selecting levels of coverage on their own. most millennials are clueless about auto coverage.

    if Root can figure out those challenges, I think they have a great idea. I would definitely be on board.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2015
    BlockO, Dec 29, 2015
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  5. QuotePie
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    Hi Dan,

    Thanks for the detailed response.

    1. You hit the nail on the head, it isn't designed to be an instant solution. ROOT can help with retention and to insert yourself back into a conversation or start a new one with a client who doesn't have their auto insurance with you yet. I'm sure most people have never seen an app like ROOT and would be curious to see if their good driving can equal a good rate.

    2. I totally see where you are coming from here but within our software that we have built we have accounted for all of this. The software is pretty smart so it knows what driving motions are and what isn't.

    The agent needs to be involved so that is why we are trying to find agents who "get it" like yourself to help us out. These are great points that you are bringing up and having someone like you on board for the pilot would be awesome!

    Have you had a chance to check out www.joinroot.com/agents yet?
     
    QuotePie, Dec 29, 2015
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  6. secondcreek
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    I am missing something. Quite a few companies offer the opportunity to use a telematic device to gain a discount.

    Rather than telling a client you can save up to this % with favorable results on the telematic device it seems like all ROOT is doing is eliminating the guesswork out of how much of a discount you get.

    What am I missing? If I understand it correctly, then my gut feeling is you are just creating obstacles to gain a new client.

    Would it help with client retention? I would think so.
     
  7. QuotePie
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    Your right there are a few companies out there that do this like Progressive with the Dongle....But you have to install that in your car. The reality is installing something in there car is something that most people won't do.

    However, we all have a smartphone....and it's very easy to use.

    It can definitely help with retention. If you have time we should talk in more detail.
     
    QuotePie, Dec 29, 2015
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  8. secondcreek
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    As I recall, in the past few months I read where Allstate is leading the way on a similar app.
     
  9. QuotePie
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    You are correct. Allstate has built an app; however, that isn't available to all agents, naturally.

    I think once you see ROOT in action you will realize that it's a beautiful app that is much easier for the consumer to use than anything on the market.

    We are really hoping that ROOT will help agents open some new doors with the smartphone generation.
     
    QuotePie, Dec 29, 2015
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  10. djs
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    djs Super Moderator Moderator

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    What carrier does this work with? Who is underwriting it? Does this have approval through any DOI yet?

    An app is great, but unless a carrier is onboard with it, I don't see it going anywhere. Without that, it is gimmick marketing.

    Dan
     
    djs, Dec 29, 2015
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