8 insurance technology startups to watch
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.