INSHUR on Six
In February this year, INSHUR announced the launch of its entirely digital insurance product for New York’s professional and rideshare drivers. Keyword: entirely. Here’s how things went down.
1. Built a Tech Platform on Top of a Fax Machine
INSHUR was an early mover – digitizing the commercial auto insurance sector for professional drivers since 2016. It has since worked hard to make the process of TLC insurance more digital and the experience faster, more convenient and affordable for drivers.
Between October 2016 and February 2018, it had operated as an aggregator with a digital front end; allowing drivers to add details and obtain a quote within minutes. The fastest time was around 171 seconds. That quote would later be presented to INSHUR’s carrier partners (a total of 4) to obtain a quote manually. Hence, the backend process wasn’t digital and relied on skilled insurance professionals to address any further questions and bind coverage.
This btw, was satisfactory for many of INSHUR’s clients, evident by INSHUR’s $5M in GWP in the 15 months to the end of 2017.
2. Move Beyond MVP
By the end of 2017, INSHUR has proved a market-product-fit. And à la ‘performance attracts’, INSHUR partnered with Munich Re Digital Partners (MRDP), which meant that MRDP and their insurance partner, Clear Blue, would quote and underwrite a policy in real-time via the INSHUR’s app. The new partnership removed the manual work to deliver immediate policy binding through INSHUR’s proprietary cloud-based underwriting model.
Straight From the Source:
“We realized that we needed to do a better job explaining coverage to mainly immigrant professional rideshare drivers and as part of that effort we simplified the product offer; drivers now choose from Silver, Gold or Platinum cover. Our rates are exclusive to us and combined with the process and time we save a driver; we are a more efficient way to get insurance in NYC, a market alone worth approaching $1B in potential premium.”
In February 2018, the Department of Insurance (DOI) approved INSHUR’s fully digital product to the TLC market in NYC. In March, the startup reported on the first month’s trading performance: 2K drivers engaged, $3.5M in written premium and a conversion rate of 40% between quote and buy. As the saying goes…what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t get improved .
3. Add a Dash of Personal Touch
INSHUR wasn’t blind to ‘the rise in chatbots’ trend. Its personal digital insurance assistant is named Ami. Ami is obviously not real; she is powered by AI. Also, Ami is short for Amicus, Latin for friend. And this principle goes to the heart of what they do.
Straight From the Heart:
“In our business and our history, we have people who are immigrants and who entered NYC over 30 years ago and started in the city as drivers. So, we know first-hand that for some, being a driver in NYC is not the ultimate destination. For some it’s the first step on the work ladder, to pay the bills and support families. We work hard to make the lives of all our customers simpler, more affordable, more convenient. Ami represents this and reminds us that we are here to keep focused on customer need. We extend help to drivers whenever we can, for example, during the festive season we gave away free coffee and donuts. In the next few months, we will launch a driver referral scheme . For drivers who know many drivers, this could deliver them a supplementary income.”
4. Know Your Customer
Inshur is a data business. It sees and monitors trends first hand and releases quarterly insight reports on its findings. Get a feel for some of its insights, below:
- Uber is the most popular brand among drivers in NYC, no headline there
- There’s a small but steady increase in new female drivers in NYC, the ratio is still 94% male and 6% female
- The average premium is $4,392 and maximum is $9,271 per annum
- The most popular rideshare vehicle in NYC is a Toyota Camry, followed by Honda Accord
- There’s a 70/30% split between iOS and Android customers
- 30% of policies are sold during the hours that a broker is closed
5. Maintain and Expand
INSHUR is now launching in the UK, hiring senior team members in the areas of business development, product development, and marketing . Most recently, taxi insurance specialist Edward Hill has joined the company as its Head of Underwriting.
6. A Platform for Growth
The INSHUR technology platform is built by engineers with extensive knowledge of the insurance software industry and who have the first-hand experience of the limitations of legacy policy administration systems.
One of the key objectives of the INSHUR platform was to simplify the underwriting process and allow app and product updates to be implemented in minutes not months.
The heart of the INSHUR platform is its proprietary Amicus Framework with five components; the rating engine, page flow manager, data model, analytics engine and custom widget library. This framework allows INSHUR to make changes quickly and enables most releases to be implemented without the need for an app update.
Straight from the Source:
“In the first month following the release of INSHUR 2.0 in February, we implemented over thirty improvements as we responded to customer insights derived from our analytics platform to increase our conversion rates to 40%.”
The AMICUS Framework