Arguably the biggest challenge most independent insurance agencies face is finding and onboarding new clients. That is precisely the challenge year-old InsureTech startup Apliant is aiming to solve.
Boston-based Apliant is a turnkey Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution that enables independent insurance agents to reach more customers in their existing market and beyond – and do so in a more efficient manner than they have to date.
The company was founded last year by former Boston online insurance agency Goji executive Casey Gustus. Gustus realized that insurance is a very complicated product, and that the insurance agent will continue to play an important role in educating consumers and helping them select the appropriate coverage that best fits their particular circumstances.
Backed by MassMutual’s VC arm MassMutual Ventures, Kepha Partners and several individual investors close to the insurance industry, Apliant raised a seed round of financing last fall and built a leadership team that includes Gustus as CEO, co-founder and COO Reilly Bayer (formerly of EverQuote) and CTO Jon Erickson. Apliant’s nine employees are focused on personal auto with plans to branch into homeowner’s, renter’s insurance, and beyond. The company is also in the minority of tech startups that are decidedly pro-agent, as opposed to many that intend to use automation to minimize agent involvement or bypass it altogether.
The personal insurance industry has earned its reputation as opaque and inefficient. Consumers often have difficulty finding an accurate price and a positive shopping experience, which is mirrored by the difficulty that independent insurance agencies have finding new customers and retaining existing ones.
Seasoned insurance agents provide consumers with a professional experience and optimal product. Apliant is building intelligent technology to empower the traditional agent by helping them to grow their existing market, and expand beyond their immediate geographical market while improving overall agency productivity. Apliant’s platform combines resources that were previously disconnected for agents, including, plan comparison tools, marketing intelligence, CRM, and integrated telephony.
Apliant is completely focused on independent insurance agencies. “We have a product for all independent agencies regardless of their size and their current reach. We just want to help them grow.” Gustus says.
Apliant has partnered with a number of marketing channels that help refer customers to agencies that may not be easily accessible or close in proximity – and don’t have to be. One example would be when one agency needs to refer a customer to another agency because they don’t have access to a certain market.
Independent agencies using Apliant can essentially enter into an on-demand economy. Gustus says agents can still acquire customers in the same traditional way they always have, but can now use Apliant’s “uber-like platform” to pick up new customers “on-demand.” As uber helps drivers and customers find the most efficient route, Apliant drives independent agents to acquire customers in the most efficient way.
Insurance Forums members are invited to give Apliant a trial run or request a demo by visiting http://apliant.com/for-agents.html. Take advantage of a limited signup opportunity and complete the “Get Started on Apliant” form. Follow next steps and enter “INSURANCEFORUMS” as your promotion code.