Innovative insurance … Brolly to Cover, Guevara to Lemonade … making customer’s lives safer, easier and better

March 16, 2017

Insurance has lagged behind banking in embracing the new digital world. Whilst they have brought their products online, the result has largely been a huge commoditisation of brands through comparison sites. What is there to choose between insurance products apart from the price?

The market is still dominated by large brands relying on the same old business model.

Now a new breed of start-ups are transforming the sector – making is easier, incorporating it into social media conversations and adapting it to suit the needs of a younger generation.

Some have embraced new business models (e.g. concierge roles, pooling premiums between friends), new price concepts (e.g. reducing car insurance premiums for better driving, health insurance if you are fitter), and new propositions (much more consumer-centric, focused on enabling you to do what you want to do better, rather than just covering the cost of things going wrong) targeted at niche audiences.

I still think they could go much further.

In particular, by integrating themselves within the brands that support everyday activities (e.g. Samsonite offering lifetime travel insurance with its new luggage), through business models that more significantly encourage more positive (lower risk) behaviours, by aligning themselves with target communities (e.g. Police Mutual for everyone working in the police force, or even other public services), and to be on the customers side (I still love Progressive USA, with it’s network of bikers who are first to a car accident, and sort everything out for you instantly).

One that particularly caught my eye (not just because of the name!) is Lemonade:

Here 15 companies are changing the industry as we know it:


BetterView is an American Insurtech startup that marries insurance with innovative engineering. Using drones to capture aerial images, the company flags up potential problems for properties and then files a report for their clients. This means that clients know exactly what issues could affect them in the future, and can choose an insurance policy to address this. Again, the business model is about treating customers individually using specific data.

Bought by Many

Bought by Many is a British insurance startup that offers cover for pets, homes, gadgets and private health. The service is free, and offers specific insurance for unconventional items — like French bulldogs. Bought by Many challenges consumers to reject the insurance production line by joining a site that respects individual financial needs. With over 240,000 members, their approach seems to be working.


Brolly is your free personal insurance concierge, powered by AI, and available through our mobile app. Brolly is being built to make it incredibly easy for you to understand, manage and buy the insurance you need. Their goal is to ensure you waste no more time shopping around, losing track of your documents, spending more than you should, or buying the wrong cover.

Carpe Data

Carpe Data provides risk assessment for P&C (Property and Casualty) and Life insurers. Using information extracted from social media, online content, wearables and connected devices, the company aims to predict the outcome of introducing new products. Despite recent debate about data protection, Carpe Data states that 85% of individuals will share information for insurance incentives.


Cover is growing fast in the USA, built an app that quotes insurance for any personal property (jewelry, car, house, drones, etc.) based on a picture of the object. The app currently routes customers to a broker, but Cover will be licensed in the next few months to provide an end-to-end in-app solution. It’s a compelling solution that lets consumers interact with insurance in a very different way.

CoVi Analytics

CoVi Analytics aims to simplify compliance to insurance regulations, as well as reducing the costs associated with it via data insights and automation. The UK insurance market has already spent billions of pounds preparing their businesses for Solvency II, an EU directive for insurers. Through CoVi Analytics, insurance companies can apply software called cmile to consolidate their fulfilment of fragmented regulations.


US start-up helps people support the charities that matter to them by leveraging their choice of insurance provider. GiveSurance is a funding platform that enables charity supporters to make recurring donations through their existing insurance payment systems toward charity organisations.


Guevara is a web-based platform that enables its users to pool their car insurance premiums online to save money. At Guevara you join a group with other drivers. By pooling part of your premiums together, your group can save up to 50% when you keep claims low.

Insure A Thing

Insure A Thing protects the things you love — without the fine print, without the tricks. Unlike traditional insurers, they are no longer incentivised to refrain from paying out claims to customers. The actual coverage is provided by a community of like minded people who are collectively rewarded for playing fair.


League is a Canadian digital health platform that connects people to a comprehensive network of health services and benefits, giving them choice, convenience and savings. It claims to become the new digital alternative to traditional health insurance that allows you to use your employee benefits to live your best life by providing unparalleled choice, convenience and value.


Lemonade is a property insurance company that offers an on-demand mobile service with affordable monthly subscription charges. Using the company’s AI bot, it takes just 90 seconds to get insured. The service is available on iOS, Android and for desktop. At the moment they only serve New York state, but plan to expand across the country. They raised $13 million in seed funding in 2015.

Simply Business

Simply Business is the UK’s largest online insurance company. They began as an online quote comparison service with a focus on serving SMEs, including policies from Aviva, Hiscox, QBE and Zurich. In keeping with the theme of digitalised finance, they offer tailored insurance that can be applied for in minutes.


So-sure is a phone insurance company that allows its users and their friends to connect and receive money back annually. So-sure is ‘social insurance’, a new insurance concept which can actually provide real peace of mind. Better still, you can connect to your friends and receive up to 80% money back, every year, just as long as none of you breaks, loses or has their phone stolen.

As you can probably guess from the name, uses Artificial Intelligence and machine learning techniques to offer insurance policies. Via a conversation with an automated insurance agent (AKA a chatbot), the startup aims to provide an easy, personalised experience for their customers.


Trov is a Insurtech firm that aims to reinvent insurance for the mobile generation, offering an alternative solution for people who are reluctant to take out complicated insurance policies. Through the Trov app, users can access an on-demand insurance platform that generates real-time prices for different insurable items.

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