Announcements from a variety of InsureTech companies specializing in different markets hit the wires in the past few days:
- Slice Labs Inc. just released a new on-demand pay per use rideshare app, releasing it to a select set of rideshare drivers to gather data and test the technology in advance of a full rollout.
- Startup Lifester will offer online convenience of quote sites paired with advice of seasoned life insurance agents.
- Decisely announced a $60 million funding commitment to help it expand its HR and Employee Benefits platform for small business and benefits brokers.
- Lemonade announced today it has been licensed as a full-stack insurance carrier in Illinois. Renters in the state can now buy a Lemonade policy in seconds while Homeowners policies will be available in the state soon.
Here and on the following pages is a closer look at each of these developments.
Slice releases on-demand rideshare coverage app to select drivers
NEW YORK – Slice Labs Inc., a technology startup that launched the first on-demand insurance platform in the United States, in late March announced it has completed the Slice on-demand pay per use rideshare app and released it to a select set of rideshare drivers to gather data and test the technology.
In announcing the limited release, Slice says it designed the proprietary first-of-its-kind rideshare product to protect the rideshare drivers while covering the liability associated with the commercial activity of ridesharing. The Slice policy is issued from the time the driver goes online and starts work to the time they go offline at the end of their shift – from “app on” to “app off.”
Slice says it provides the appropriate coverage needed to protect the driver and passengers – beyond state mandated minimums.
A recent survey conducted by The Rideshare Guy of 1,100 rideshare drivers showed that 85% are interested or very interested in purchasing “per use” insurance for the time they are working. The Slice product does exactly that – covering the time period when the driver is acting as a business – the timeframe typically excluded by rideshare insurance products other than annual policies.
Slice coverage is sold to the driver owning or leasing the automobile, and thereby, taking on the liability. Most importantly, Slice says it protects the driver while engaging in rideshare activity and meets the state requirements that require drivers get appropriate commercial coverage for the time they are acting as a business.
“An on-demand auto product is by far our most complex to date from both an insurance and technology perspective,” said Tim Attia, CEO and co-founder of Slice. “This product provides protection to the drivers who currently face significant gaps in coverage. It was also important to our ongoing efforts to thoroughly test the flexibility of the Slice platform to support both home and auto, which was our reasoning behind starting with a limited introduction to a select group of drivers.”
Slice is backed by Horizons Ventures, XL Innovate, Munich Re and Tusk Ventures, and is headquartered in New York City. Slice is currently licensed to sell insurance in 50 states and the District of Columbia.
About Slice: Slice Labs Inc. is a startup technology company that provides an on-demand, pay-per-use insurance platform that is cost-effective, easy to acquire with a tap, and provides superior coverage. Slice is reimagining insurance through design, data, and technology. To stay up to date with Slice, visit http://www.slice.is and follow @SliceLabs on Twitter.
Lifester marries consumers with life agents
New Canaan, Conn.-based Lifester, a new team-based decision making platform that marries online consumers together with professional life insurance agents, recently announced that it will launch June 14, 2017 to consumers and life insurance agents nationwide.
According to a recent industry study by LIMRA, 88% of all people shopping for life insurance research the Internet before they buy. Almost 40% buy direct from insurance companies or from online term quote sites, bypassing experienced advisors. The most common reasons given: fast service and inexpensive coverage.
Convenience is important. So is sound advice. Lifester says it offers consumers the opportunity to get both – online, anywhere, anytime, for free. Consumers start a “Project” and choose a licensed life insurance agent to work with, or invite their own. Together they co-build Projects that may contain not only life insurance quotes, but strategy recommendations, income maximization techniques, ownership implications and funding considerations.
Since Projects are digital, they can be reviewed by these consumers whenever they desire. Moreover, they can be vetted by trusted family, friends and advisors that consumers personally invite into their Projects to post team comments and private suggestions. Projects can then be updated in response to feedback gathered until a consensus is reached and a decision becomes clear.
“We’re trying to create a virtual conference room,” says Robert Strauss, JD, Founder and CEO, Lifester. “People are so busy today. Lifester makes it possible for concerned, interested and respected parties to come and go as they please, whenever they please, to contribute and benefit from valuable feedback, leading to creative ideas and better decision-making about life insurance.”
About Lifester: Lifester is an online subscription-based Software as a Service (SaaS) company that provides a platform for consumers and life insurance agents to create digital Projects in order to develop ideas and gather feedback to make better decisions about life insurance. Lifester does not sell life insurance or securities, nor does it receive or share in any commissions of any kind. Stay in touch at http://www.lifester.com or @lifester.
Decisely receives $60M commitment to expand HR and employee benefits platform for small business and benefits brokers
Decisely, an easy to-use HR and benefits platform for small businesses, announced March 30 a $60 million funding commitment from Two Sigma Private Investments and EPIC Insurance Brokers and Consultants, a portfolio company of The Carlyle Group.
The funding will be used to make HR, benefits insurance and employee administration simple and painless for small businesses in the U.S. Created by top benefits technology and brokerage experts, Alpharetta, Ga.-based Decisely combines the benefits of a technology platform with the personalized guidance traditionally provided by a benefits broker.
“Decisely is the only dedicated small business and broker–collaborative solution. We deliver a unique, complete service to both small businesses and the brokers who have traditionally served them,” said Kevin Dunn, CEO of Decisely. “We combine dedicated, licensed trusted advisors and a complementary technology platform as a full-service broker-friendly solution for small business.”
“We are pleased to be partnering with Decisely as it transforms the small business segment for HR and benefits,” said Brian Modesitt, Managing Director at Two Sigma and board member of Decisely. “In addition to our investment, we are excited to provide Kevin and Decisely with access to Two Sigma’s significant platform capabilities, which we work to do with each of the companies in which we invest, including our insurance capabilities, which are aimed at bringing Two Sigma’s deep expertise in data science and technology to the insurance industry.”
Decisely’s goal is transforming benefits insurance with dedicated account management combined with modern HR administration and an automated technology platform for pain-free employee management.
About Decisely: Decisely is reimagining the way brokers and small businesses work together. The Decisely solution provides the best combination of benefits, HR resources, and technology to support small businesses in the United States. Decisely is headquartered in Alpharetta, Ga., with offices in California and Utah. To learn more, please visit www.decisely.com.
About Two Sigma Private Investments: Two Sigma Private Investments is the private markets investment division of Two Sigma. TSPI focuses on making investments that provide attractive diversifying sources of return primarily on behalf of the proprietary capital of Two Sigma. TSPI invests through 3 primary business units: Private Investments, Ventures and Real Assets. In Private Investments, TSPI employs a long-term flexible capital approach and a principal mindset to build business platforms with experienced management teams and strategic partners across industries including financial services, transportation and natural resources. TSPI also works to capitalize on Two Sigma’s highly disciplined institutional management capabilities and strengths in data science and technology to help its business partners successfully grow. TSPI has a growing team of over 40 professionals with significant institutional private investment experience that have made investments totaling in excess of $1 billion.
About EPIC: EPIC is a unique and innovative retail property and casualty and employee benefits insurance brokerage and consulting firm. EPIC has created a values-based, client-focused culture that attracts and retains top talent, fosters employee satisfaction and loyalty and sustains a high level of customer service excellence. EPIC team members have consistently recognized their company as a “Best Place to Work” in multiple regions and as a “Best Place to Work in the Insurance Industry” nationally. EPIC now has 1,100 team members operating from offices across the U.S., providing Property Casualty, Employee Benefits, Specialty Programs and Private Client solutions to more than 20,000 clients. With run rate revenues of $280 million, EPIC ranks among the top 20 retail insurance brokers in the U.S. Backed by The Carlyle Group, the company continues to expand organically and through strategic acquisitions across the country.
About The Carlyle Group: The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with $158 billion of assets under management across 281 investment vehicles as of Dec. 31, 2016. Carlyle’s purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Investment Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,600 people in 35 offices across six continents.
Lemonade expands to Illinois
Lemonade, the insurance company powered by artificial intelligence and behavioral economics, on April 4 announced it has been licensed as a full-stack insurance carrier by the State of Illinois. Renters in the state can now buy a Lemonade policy in seconds using the Lemonade app or by visiting lemonade.com. Homeowners policies will be available in the state soon.
“We’re excited to launch Lemonade in Illinois, and after the enthusiastic reception from New York, we can’t wait to see what Illinoisians have to say,” said Daniel Schreiber, Lemonade CEO and co-founder. “Lemonade offers a unique combination of value, values and tech, and we’re on track to make these available across the nation.”
Nationwide expansion has been a top priority for Lemonade, with the company saying it has had hundreds of thousands of requests for Lemonade insurance piling in from around the country, and the world. The company announced in November 2016 that it had filed for licenses in 47 states, aiming to reach 97% of the US population in 2017.
“Lemonade’s forward-thinking business model and incredible tech are now available for the Midwest, and that’s a good sign for both the tech industry and consumers,” said Bradley Tusk, CEO of Tusk Holdings (a Lemonade investor) and former deputy governor of Illinois. “As a former Illinoisian and a current New Yorker, Lemonade’s rapid expansion to Illinois is fantastic, and I look forward to watching Lemonade grow nationwide throughout 2017.”
Buying Lemonade insurance is done through an app in no time and with no paperwork, the company says, and unlike legacy insurers, Lemonade takes a flat fee, giving back unclaimed money to causes policyholders care about. This unique ‘Giveback’ program derives from studies by Lemonade’s Chief Behavioral Officer, Professor Dan Ariely, and earned Lemonade a B-Corp certification.
About Lemonade: Lemonade Insurance Company is a licensed insurance carrier, offering homeowners and renters insurance powered by artificial intelligence and behavioral economics. By replacing brokers and bureaucracy with bots and machine learning, Lemonade aims for zero paperwork and instant everything. And as a Certified B-Corp, where underwriting profits go to nonprofits, Lemonade is remaking insurance as a social good, rather than a necessary evil.Stay in touch at www.lemonade.com, @lemonade_inc or www.facebook.com/lemonade.