(Image source: Honeycomb homepage.)
Honeycomb (formerly Agilius), a managing general agent for commercial real estate insurance, has announced its North American launch following a $3.3M funding raise from Phoenix Insurance, New Era Capital Partners (Tel Aviv), IT-Farm Corporation (Tokyo) and NFP Ventures (New York). Honeycomb styles itself as the first and only digital insurance platform to change how multi-family property insurance is purchased, underwritten and managed. The company says it intends to disrupt the $22B market multi-family property market by delivering a simple, efficient, and transparent experience for buildings and communities spanning 53M U.S. households.
Honeycomb seeks to address what it calls the inefficient and outdated processes that condo and homeowner associations (COA/HOA), condo owners and landlords, face when purchasing insurance—a process that can take weeks just to receive a quote. The market is fragmented and lacks transparency and underwriting sophistication, resulting in costly policies and inadequate coverage, a Honeycomb statement says. The company says it brings a data-driven AI-based underwriting approach that is the first to provide customized right-priced policies through an intuitive online interface that allows customers to rate-quote-bind in minutes.
“It’s mind-blowing that personal lines have advanced so much, and commercial is stuck in the past,” comments Itai Ben-Zaken, co-founder and CEO, Honeycomb. “Insureds purchasing HOA insurance shouldn’t have to deal with manual forms, long underwriting reviews, weeks of waiting, or documents being passed from customer to broker to underwriter and back for every change. That’s where we are changing things. With Honeycomb, there’s no more manual underwriting or lack of quality data points, no more paper forms and no more endless back-and-forth emails. Through our online platform and AI-powered remote inspection application, it’s never been easier or more efficient for COA/HOAs, condo owners and landlords to get quick and fair pricing.”
Honeycomb reports that it is partnering with brokers across the U.S., so customers have the option of purchasing insurance through an agent or directly on the website. Online customers receive real-time competitive options after answering a few questions about their property, with each quote fully customizable based on a data-driven “right-pricing” advantage. They can bind the policy immediately and have up to seven days to complete the remote inspection through the Honeycomb app by taking pictures of the building structure and key risk-indicative elements inside the premises, the company says.
Honeycomb says the proprietary AI “learns” from the user-generated property data to improve pricing accuracy over time. Post-purchase, the app provides ongoing interactive risk mitigation recommendations, as well as a seamless digital claims process. This approach to multi-family property insurance earned Honeycomb (then Agilius) first place at InsurTech NY’s 2020 startup competition out of 200 companies who competed.
Innovative Risk Management
“The US multi-family property insurance is one of the most wildly inefficient insurance markets,” comments Adam Blumencranz, VP, NFP Ventures. “Complex policies, too small to justify thorough manual underwriting practices, lead to broad-brush risk assessment where many insurers restrict coverage based on region or building age. Honeycomb corrects this with AI-based precision underwriting that offers the simplest way to shop for customized insurance in the market, regardless of building type. The platform’s innovative risk management offerings also allow brokers to have more frequent and meaningful engagement with customers over the lifetime of a policy.”
Honeycomb is now available in Illinois which the company says will be followed by five additional states by the end of 2021.