Meet the insurtech: Glovebox

A group of independent agency professionals are tapping their years of experience to create and launch GloveBox, an app that aggregates policy documents in a centralized location.

The app consolidates all the mobile apps of an individual’s home and auto carriers into one portal, giving policyholders a way to access policy documents. The app, which is free to insureds, aims to cuts costs by reducing service call volume to carriers and agencies, and boost customer experience and satisfaction.

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The Rocky Mountains form the backdrop to the city's skyline at dawn in Denver, Colorado, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2012. Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg

GloveBox was formed by four friends who grew up together in the Denver area: Ryan Mathisen, his brother Andy, Sean Mulhern and Drew Lewellyn. The brothers had been working at the family-owned independent agency. Colorado Insurance. The firm’s business is about 95 percent home and auto insurance and today represents about a significant portion of the personal lines market share in the state. The firm enjoyed a significant uptick in business over the past decade. When Ryan Mathisen joined the firm nine years ago, the agency was doing approximately $5 million in premium. “Over the past nine years, we’ve grown the book to more than $100 million,” he reports. He attributes the success to creative marketing and developing a great customer experience. However, the agency is losing four key employees, as all four GloveBox co-founders are leaving Colorado Insurance to pursue the new insurtech full-time.

GloveBox grew out of this agency experience. Five years ago, Mathisen sat in his office and listened to the agency’s service calls. “Most of the calls were insureds asking for information on things like paying bills and locating policy numbers,” he explains. “I could hear the frustration from our service department and from consumers.” He thought that an app might help decrease the service call volume, then researched and found that only about 30 percent of carriers had a mobile app at that time.

“I called carriers and asked, ‘Have you ever thought about getting together with other carriers to create a centralized app for all?’ I believed it could help the channel as a whole, it would help the consumer, and everyone would benefit,” Mathisen explains. “We were stonewalled very quickly. It was such a weird idea for carriers to collaborate because they’re all so competitive.” Eventually, several carriers agreed. In mid-2018, the founders began to build the app on their own with the help of outside developers.

GloveBox officially launched on July 6. It’s now available on IOS mobile devices with four carriers on board. The team will continue to work to bring other carriers into the mix, with a goal of being connected with a total of 10 carriers by the beginning of September.

Mathisen explains that each of the three stakeholders – carriers, agents and clients – benefit from the app. With GloveBox, agencies can see a reduction in service volume requests, cutting service costs by an estimated 25 percent and boosting retention by three to five percent, according to Mathisen. Carriers can also similarly reduce service volume and costs, get brand recognition and reduce lapsed and cancelled policies due to inadvertent non-payment. “If policyholders use GloveBox with a billing API with their carrier, we can save the carriers at least a half-percent in retention just from figuring out the billing process,” Mathison says. “On a $40 billion book, GloveBox can get tens of millions of dollars in revenue back to the carrier.” For consumers, GloveBox allows policyholders to check policy documents, get insurance cards, submit a claim and more.

GloveBox’s revenue stream comes from strategic referrals. When policyholders submit a claim for storm damage to their roof, for instance, they can see a list of up to three local that can do the repairs. GloveBox pre-screens the contractors, and each pays a fee for the referral.

In the future, the company hopes to connect GloveBox with other entities across the value chain, including mortgage companies and car dealerships. “As an example, when you’re at a dealership on a Saturday, you don’t have your updated insurance and your agent’s not in, you could go on their website, pull your auto insurance and put it right into the file and you’re off to financing,” Mathisen explains. The company is aiming to license its API bundles to insurance apps. The firm plans to add more functionality to the app and is now working on features like policy alerts, bill pay and weather alerts.

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