Insurtech Policygenius expands to add P&C coverage

Digital insurance agency Policygenius was one of the first insurtechs to gain a foothold, launching in 2014 with the goal to make buying life insurance more palatable for consumers. Since then, the company has grown from its roots in a Brooklyn shared-work space to having its own offices and, late last year, launching home and auto services as well.

"We've been thinking about [expanding] from the very beginning," says Jennifer Fitzgerald, who along with Francois de Lame is one of the co-founders of Policygenius. Both co-founders came from McKinsey, where they studied the insurance customer experience and saw the opportunity to improve. Now, they're applying some of those same lessons to the new lines of business, while being cognizant of the different needs and pressure points depending on the insurance product.

A luxury home in San Francisco.
A luxury home is pictured in San Francisco, California's Sea Cliff area with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background on Thursday, February 24, 2005. In San Francisco, the average luxury home price last year rose 13.7 percent to a record $2.55 million. Photographer: Noah Berger/Bloomberg News.

"We have a running customer discovery group that we do, focused on life for different parts of our funnel, creating separate experience for each," Fitzgerald explains. "The big thing, which is consistent across verticals that we're in, is customers want it to be easy. There's a high mental hurdle to buying insurance: If someone makes it easy for you, that's important."

That came down to two components, she added: saving time and empowering customers with the correct information. So while data pre-fill and using third-party information is important, "people have an ingoing perception that you need a decent amount of info to provide accurate pricing. They expect to provide some information," Fitzgerald says. So Policygenius uses its customer focus groups to strike the right balance in giving them control over the experience, while making it faster by leveraging digital tools.

It's also important to not create a "bait-and-switch" experience: If customers come in expecting a certain range of prices, or to be able to choose from a range of carriers, Policygenius has to make sure its data infrastructure can deliver on those promises.

Policygenius's auto and home coverage soft-launched in late 2018 and was brought to the masses in January 2019. To support the influx of new customers, Fitzgerald says the company has added more than 10 full-time employees focused on the new verticals.

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