Homeowners Insurtech Segment Expands Lines, Forms Partnerships, Adds Services
This sector is adding term life, pet insurance and e-scooter coverage to its array of products.
- Renée Kiriluk-Hill
- November 2021
Some growing insurtechs are targeting new homeowners insurance business by adding services that help predict and prevent claims and ease repair processes for unavoidable events. Companies also are expanding lines and forming partnerships as they expand geographically.
“Insurance shouldn't be only a piece of paper that pays you back, or not, when you have a disaster,” said Luko Chief Executive Officer Raphaël Vullierme. “Insurance has to go further and provide all of the care, tools and advice people need to avoid disasters at home.”
He and others in the field said that's the type of business they're building. Luko's fully integrated home care platform will help policyholders with suggestions and connections for maintenance and repairs, which can also improve claims costs, he said.
In May, insurtech Hippo acquired Spinnaker Insurance Co. and Spinnaker President and CEO Torben Ostergaard said the Hippo subsidiary is committed to vertical growth in homeowners, utilizing technology.
Carriers “have to be smarter at using technology to help the consumer. Technology has advanced tremendously the past 10 years and will continue to advance,” he said.
Climate volatility has impacted where, how frequently and when events happen, said Hippo President Rick McCathron, elevating the importance of modeling and new data sets that can quickly adjust to change. Escalating interior water losses also can be managed through the Internet of Things—a strong focus for Hippo.
In McCathron's view, insurance companies need to adapt, or they will be left behind.
Attila Toth, CEO and co-founder of climate risk analysis insurtech Zesty.ai, agreed artificial intelligence is rapidly moving the homeowners business forward.
“A few years ago, artificial intelligence was just the shiny new thing on the radar of a few innovation departments of large carriers. Today, AI is in full production for underwriting and rating across many insurance carriers and reinsurers,” Toth said.
Partnerships between insurtech and legacy companies are instrumental, he said. “In a few short years, AI will be so transformative across the entire policy life cycle that people won't think twice about it,” said Toth.
The following are a sampling of insurtechs aiming to grow in the homeowners and related areas.
What they do: Started as a home services marketplace but now provides software and services to more than 11,000 home-related businesses, including real estate, moving, home inspection, utility and warranty. In April, Porch acquired property/casualty writer and managing general agent Homeowners of America Insurance Co. in a $100 million deal. It recently said it will acquire Civil Service Employees Insurance Co. from Covéa in a $48.6 million cash deal to gain entry into California, add umbrella and automobile insurance to its homeowners products and expand its footprint.
Founder: Chairman and CEO Matt Ehrlichman
Key Investors/Funding: Merged last year with special purpose acquisition company PropTech Acquisition Corp. (NASDAQ: PRCH).
What they do: Co-founders Raphaël Vullierme and Benoit Bourdel initially worked on smart home devices to track energy consumption then moved to insurance. The company has more than 150,000 policyholders in Europe. It currently writes homeowners, renters, landlord, mortgage and e-scooter coverage in France and homeowners and renters in Spain. Luko plans to expand geographically next year.
Founders: CEO Vullierme and Chief Technology Officer Bourdel
Key Investors/Funding: The company has raised $83 million, led by Accel Partners, EQT Ventures, Founders Fund and SpeedInvest. The last round was Series B at the close of 2020.
Insurance partners: Munich Re and Swiss Re
TypTap Insurance Group Inc.
Headquarters: Tampa, Florida
What they do: The carrier started with private flood and expanded to homeowners. It operated in 25 states at press time.
Founders: Started as a direct residential flood subsidiary of HCI Group Inc.
Parent/President: The subsidiary of publicly traded HCI is led by President Kevin Mitchell.
Funding: Plans an initial public offering of a to-be-determined size and price, HCI said in August. It submitted a confidential draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Headquarters: Palo Alto, California
What they do: Started as a managing general agent and is licensed in 37 states. In 2020, the company acquired Spinnaker, which writes personal lines and, in a recent expansion, commercial lines, starting with homeowners association cover in Arizona.
Founders: CEO Assaf Wand and Eyal Navon
Key Investors: Became a public company in August after combining with SPAC Reinvent Technology Partners Z, which changed its name to Hippo Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HIPO)
Funding: Gained more than $550 million by combining with Reinvent Technology.
Insurance partners: Ally Financial subsidiary Motors Insurance Corp. and Incline P&C Group, in addition to Spinnaker
Headquarters: Oakland, California
What they do: Artificial intelligence-powered climate risk analysis for properties. The company uses more than 200 billion data points, including aerial imagery, weather and real estate data, to generate property-specific risk scores for personal and commercial lines businesses.
Founders: CEO Attila Toth and Head of Product Kumar Dhuvur
Key Investors/Funding: Luxembourg-based private equity fund Blamar led a $13 million Series A round at the end of 2018.
Insurance partners: Works with half of the 100 largest U.S. property/casualty insurers and global reinsurers and brokers. Farmers Insurance, Cincinnati Insurance, Amica Insurance and Berkshire Hathaway Homestate Cos. are some top customers. Also partners with Aon and the Insurance Institute for Business &Home Safety.
Kin Interinsurance Network
What they do: Started as an MGA then launched a homeowners carrier, starting in Florida. The company also writes on its own paper in Louisiana and plans to launch its own product in California, where it is an MGA. Ahead of a planned special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transaction, it expects to finalize a stock purchase agreement with a shell carrier with 43 state licenses.
Founders: CEO Sean Harper and Chief Technology Officer Lucas Ward
Key Investors/Funding: Plans to become a public company in the fourth quarter by merging with Omnichannel Acquisition Corp. in a deal that implies a $1.03 billion valuation.
Insurance partners: At the request of their reinsurance partners, Kin has not revealed partners.
Headquarters: New York
What they do: Started with renters and homeowners and has expanded to pet and life insurance products in most U.S. states. The company also offers contents and liability in Germany, France and the Netherlands. Term life insurance is sold through a partnership with insurtech Bestow. It plans to add personal auto.
Founders: Co-CEOs Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger
Funding: Lemonade went public with a July 2020 initial public offering.
Reinsurance partners: Hannover Re and Swiss Re