‘Virtual insurance agent’ goes live

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A tech-powered startup from MIT is looking to disrupt the auto insurance sector, and brokers in particular, with an online marketplace that relies on robot recommendations to deliver quotes.
Insurify, led by CEO and co-founder Snejina Zacharia, an MIT Sloan Fellow and former director of business development at Gartner, is currently available in 30 US states and has partnered with 82 carriers in real-time, claiming more than any other online platform for car insurance shopping.
With a tech-heavy focus, Insurify said it uses uses predictive modeling and advanced analytics to simplify the shopping experience, facilitated by ‘Evia’ (Expert Virtual Insurance Agent), a patent-pending virtual insurance agent that delivers a quote after the customer texts a photo of their license plate.
Although avatars and robo-advice are not new technologies, the text-based approach to quoting is a new spin.
Zacharia said that in today’s US$160bn car-insurance market, “shopping for insurance is still a laborious, confusing, and frankly, painful process.
“Insurify makes it easier, first with Insurify.com, a recommendation engine that allows drivers to quickly and easily find the cheapest insurance policy for their needs, and second with Evia, a patent-pending virtual agent that will literally take all the thinking out of shopping for car insurance, through text messaging.”
The company takes a data-driven approach to coverage and carrier recommendation through RateRank, a proprietary software that analyzes patterns and matches each user’s risk profile with the best and most affordable insurance carriers and coverage for their unique profile.
Although price is one the most important drivers for switching insurance, people also care about reviews, discounts, customer service, and benefits, Zacharia said. She claims Insurify is the only platform which helps consumers make qualitative and quantitative insurance decisions and recommends the carriers which are the best match for the consumer. Both of these functions are traditionally carried out by a broker.
The company has financial clout as well, having just announced a US$2m seed funding round, led by Rationalwave Capital Partners.

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