8 in­surance tech­nol­ogy star­tups to watch

Digital Insurance - - INSURTECHS - BY DANNI SAN­TANA

Th­ese tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies are tar­get­ing the claims, dis­tri­bu­tion and underwriting pro­cesses with mo­bile tech, un­manned aerial ve­hi­cles and an­a­lyt­ics


Founded in 2014, BetterView cap­tures valu­able claims data from homes us­ing drone tech­nol­ogy. Fly­over in­spec­tions or­di­nar­ily gen­er­ate 350 roof and prop­erty im­ages in roughly 20 min­utes, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany. Ad­di­tion­ally, BetterView pro­vides car­ri­ers with ad­vanced vi­su­al­iza­tions such as 3D mod­els and dig­i­tal el­e­va­tion maps to iden­tify mois­ture and flood risk. The San Francisco-based startup has com­pleted more than 6,000 roof top in­spec­tions for in­sur­ers since its in­cep­tion.


Ladder’s motto is to make the life in­surance cus­tomer-ac­qui­si­tion process shorter — tra­di­tion­ally, it could take up to six weeks. Its prod­uct al­lows prospec­tive cus­tomers to re­ceive a quote and ap­ply for cov­er­age in min­utes. Founded in 2015, Ladder un­der­writes all of its cov­er­age, up to $8 mil­lion, in real-time. No in-per­son meet­ings with agents or phys­i­cal pa­per­work re­quired, the com­pany says. All poli­cies writ­ten by the startup are rein­sured by Han­nover Re.


Nexar pro­vides vi­sion-based telem­at­ics soft­ware, lev­er­ag­ing smart­phones as dash cams to de­crease ac­ci­dents, bet­ter price auto risk, and avoid in­surance fraud. Com­puter vi­sion al­go­rithms are used to iden­tify dan­ger­ous driv­ing be­hav­ior such as tail­gat­ing and speed­ing com­pared to other cars in the vicin­ity, ac­cord­ing to Nexar’s web­site. The com­pany’s deep learn­ing tech­nol­ogy also alerts driv­ers when a col­li­sion is bound to hap­pen through its ad­vanced driver as­sis­tance sys­tem.


Pil­lar’s smart sen­sors mon­i­tor pres­sure, noise, hu­mid­ity, smoke and dust for con­struc­tion com­pa­nies. The web plat­form of­fers cus­tom­ized real-time alerts that help speed first no­tice of loss in case of an ac­ci­dent and re­duce paper work as­so­ci­ated with claims, the com­pany says. All de­vices are con­nected to a cel­lu­lar network and have 10 months of bat­tery life.


Jumpstart sells sup­ple­men­tal earth­quake in­surance, of up to $10,000 to home­own­ers and renters. Cus­tomers sign up on­line and pro­vide a phone num­ber. If there’s an earth­quake, Jumpstart proac­tively starts a claims process: it sends a text that cus­tomers can re­spond to and get paid within three busi­ness days. Jumpstart’s goal is to be a cheaper, eas­ier alternative to tra­di­tional earth­quake cov­er­age as its sell­ing point to cus­tomers — liv­ing up to its name by be­ing a “jump start” af­ter a quake.


Waygum pro­vides a plat­form to man­age the in­dus­trial In­ter­net of Things via mo­bile. Its app con­nects smart­phones to ma­chines, al­low­ing work­ers to con­trol equip­ment, man­age in­ven­tory and an­a­lyze data, ac­cord­ing to the com­pany’s web­site. Com­mer­cial in­sur­ers use data col­lected by Waygum to iden­tify po­ten­tial prob­lems with heavy equip­ment and re­duce risk as­so­ci­ated with man­u­ally op­er­at­ing ma­chin­ery. Hartford Steam Boiler, a unit of Mu­nich Re, is an in­vestor in the Dublin, Cal­i­for­nia-based com­pany.


Hover’s ma­chine-learn­ing plat­form cre­ates three-di­men­sional views of home­own­ers’ prop­erty for con­trac­tors and in­sur­ers, us­ing four to eight sim­ple pic­tures that the cus­tomers can take with their own smart­phone. The mod­els en­able car­ri­ers and con­trac­tors to pro­vide bet­ter es­ti­mates on claims by pro­vid­ing a base­line for what a struc­ture looked like be­fore a dis­as­ter hit. Hover is based in San Francisco, Cal­i­for­nia.


Ital­ian startup Neosurance, founded in 2016, uses a smart­phone vir­tual agent to help car­ri­ers sell mi­cro-in­surance. The plat­form is AI de­pen­dent and is built us­ing the com­pany’s cloud tech­nol­ogy. Upon signup, cus­tomers re­ceive per­son­al­ized mo­bile no­ti­fi­ca­tions with pro­posed short-du­ra­tion in­surance plans from car­ri­ers. Neosurance’s mo­bile app is used to com­plete trans­ac­tions.

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