(Image source: Honeycomb homepage.)
Honeycomb (Denver/Tel Aviv), an InsurTech with the mission of providing simple, fair, and affordable multi-family property insurance, announced that it has raised $15.4 million in a Series A funding round led by Ibex Investors (Tel Aviv). The digital MGA touts what it calls the first technology stack for multi-family properties that dramatically streamlines the arduous, time-consuming process faced by landlords and condo owners associations seeking insurance.
Honeycomb, which began writing U.S. policies in June of 2021, reports that it now operates in four states: Illinois, Arizona, Michigan, and Ohio, with plans this to launch in ten more states during 2022, covering 60 percent of the country. Honeycomb says it expects to insure more than $1 billion of real estate assets by the end of Q1 2022.
“Commercial lines insurance and specifically insurance for multi-family properties is ripe for disruption given the sheer complexity entailed in underwriting this class of risk, its manual processing legacy, and the absence of a leader in the market,” comments Itai Ben-Zaken, co-founder and CEO, Honeycomb. “At Honeycomb, we have succeeded in converting the institutional knowledge of our team of industry veterans into algorithms that parse deep, first-party, location-specific data to more accurately evaluate risk. As a result, we can perform more robust underwriting quicker and at a lower cost structure than previously possible.”
SiriusPoint (Pembroke, Bermuda) Honeycomb’s own lead reinsurer, will also participate in this funding round as a new investor alongside lead investor Ibex Investors, and existing investors Phoenix Insurance, Distributed Ventures (FKA NFP Ventures), IT-Farm, and Sure Ventures, all of which have increased their stakes. With this new round, Honeycomb has raised a total of $19 million.
“Honeycomb is poised to change the game of real estate insurance,” comment Gal Gitter, partner, Ibex Investors. “Their platform uniquely leverages both first and third-party data to disaggregate risk in ways that are totally different from the rest of the industry. Honeycomb is growing at a rapid pace since its launch, and we believe they will become the dominant platform in this market.”
In a market segment estimated to be worth $26 billion in the U.S. alone, Honeycomb characterizes itself as the first multi-family property insurance provider to innovate simultaneously on 3 distinct fronts:
- Streamlining the customer and broker experience;
- Leveraging unique proprietary underwriting technology that accurately “right-prices” every individual risk and provides discounts no other provider gives, and;
- Offering bespoke insurance coverage that adapts to ever-changing client needs.
For example, Honeycomb says it allows for customized policies that hadn’t existed a traditional approach in the segment that could be described as “one-size-fits-all.” These include insuring properties with Airbnb rentals while offering enhanced Ordinance and Law coverage, distinct Business Income and Extra Expense coverages, and a right-sized approach to deductibles in risk-prone areas.
Insurer/Policyholder Collaboration on Risk Mitigation
Honeycomb says that multi-family property owners, condo and homeowners associations that follow the MGA’s guidelines and mitigation requests continue to get deeper discounts as time goes by. The company describes its model is a win-win because it encourages positive self-selection. Customers who take great care of their properties will receive prices with which other insurance providers can’t compete.
The company sells its policies directly via its own platform and through what it calls a hand-picked and growing group of best-in-class insurance brokers who enjoy distinct advantages. With Honeycomb, they can provide as many as 30 bindable quotes per hour, and in real time, which the MGA says is a vast improvement over a process that historically took weeks with multiple “touches” and follow-ups to produce a single quote. “This translates to greater profitability for brokers, and accounts for the extraordinary interest the company is now receiving from the brokerage community,” a Honeycomb statement says.
“For us, the premise is simple: we reward well-maintained multi-family properties with discounts previously unavailable in the industry,” adds Honeycomb’s Ben-Zaken. “More importantly, our proprietary algorithms and first-party data allow us to have a broader underwriting appetite and the ability to instantly provide most landlords and condo associations with customized policy quotes at the right price.”