Nationwide’s new Spire targets millennials with ease of use, transparency

Nationwide will launch a new auto insurance product, Spire, in the fourth quarter of this year.

Spire targets who Scott Sanchez, the insurer’s chief innovation officer, terms the “self-reliant millennial” -- in their late 20s or early 30s and perhaps buying their own auto insurance for the first time. It’s a mobile-first experience that works by having a prospect upload a picture of their driver’s license and providing four data points:

  • Where they park
  • How many miles they drive
  • Do they own or lease their car
  • Have they had more than two tickets in the past year
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Nationwide’s bet is that this ease of use and transparency will attract these customers and keep them in the fold going forward. The first Spire policies will be sold in Texas.

“These customers are looking to get to the next level of life, coming off of their parents’ products and services,” Sanchez explains. “They are seeking out value and making their own decisions, and are looking to be inspired. Things like gender, marital status, credit score are not rating factors for Spire.”

There’s also a usage-based insurance component of the program that’s separate from Nationwide’s existing SmartRide program. Spire customers can manage their policy, file claims, and get information on their driving habits through the app after they become members. Good driving habits can earn rewards.

Terrance Williams, Nationwide CMO, says that Spire will have its own branding and be presented as a fresh face. The company’s innovation efforts are focused on meeting unmet needs, he adds; the market segment Spire targets isn’t generally reached by Nationwide’s traditional channels.

“Our brand today is incredibly strong and is known for certain strengths and equities,” Williams says. “But we want this to represent a brand and company that is interactive and digital-first. And there are learnings and benefits that will benefit the core businesses -- we can port some of the unique items about Spire over to Nationwide.”

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