One of the most interesting story arcs in the insurtech movement has been the subtle maturation of many of these companies as they realize the true complexity of selling insurance. What started as a move to “disrupt” and transform an industry through technology, has evolved into a movement towards more “collaboration” and “partnerships” both with traditional carriers as well as with agents and brokers. Perhaps, what has been most encouraging has been the realization by many insurtechs of the potential in working with the independent agency system.
A case in point. Next Insurance broke onto the insurtech scene in 2016 promising a new easier and more efficient way to sell small commercial business across the country. After receiving $83 million in funding in July 2018, bringing its total funding to approximately $131 million in two years, CEO Guy Goldstein made this statement in an interview he did with TechCrunch,
Gone are the days of complicated, unreadable policies, exclusions that leave entrepreneurs vulnerable, and endless meetings and phone calls with insurance agents who don’t understand the nuances and needs of different classes of business,” adds Goldstein in a statement. “Small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and they deserve insurance policies that are simple to access, affordable to own, and which provide them the support and confidence they need to thrive”.
Next Insurance Launches Next for Agents
Fast forward a year and two months later to this week’s news that Next Insurance has just launched a new special platform for agents:
We recognize that some business owners prefer to work with an agent, so in order to ensure that our product is available to all businesses we launched Next for Agents,” said Guy Goldstein, CEO and Co-Founder of Next Insurance. “By providing agents with access to our immediate quote and underwriting decisions, they can quickly provide their clients with affordable and tailored insurance policies suited to their unique business needs.”
With that in mind, here is a rundown of what Next for Agents now offers independent agent and brokers who work with them:
- Selling more policies. The platform enables agents to approve and sell more policies by obtaining decisions instantly on 100% of quotes
- Time saving by activating policies in a matter of minutes
- Removing manual labor by transforming the old fashion paperwork process into a seamless online solution
- Reducing operating costs by taking responsibility for servicing customers
- Increase client’s satisfaction by providing small businesses with simple, affordable and tailored coverage from Next Insurance
A quick look at the larger picture…
Next Insurance is not the only insurtech to have realized that technology alone could not usurp the role of the independent agent. New York-based CoverWallet, another D2C small commercial platform launched in 2017, announced in late 2018 the launch of a new agents-only platform as well – called aptly enough, CoverWallet for Agents.
Another example can be seen in the line-up for the next Insurtech Boston, conveniently scheduled during the same week as The Big Event. All of the featured start-ups stories, but one, are based in Boston and using technology to aid the independent agent. For example, Tarmika is redesigning small commercial for independent agents, while Wunderite is automating insurance applications. Openly, a Boston-based insurtech creating a sophisticated homeowners product sold exclusively through independent agents, however, summed it up best about this new era we are entering into of collaboration between agents and insurtech. During an interview with Agency Checklists, co-founder Ty Harris explained the reasoning behind Openly being sold exclusively through independent agents. “We see the future with independent insurance agents as the disruptors, rather than the disrupted.”
Seems other insurtechs are now starting to get the picture too.