(Image source: Sproutt homepage.)
Sproutt Insurance, a New York-based life insurance distribution startup focusing on the wellness of the applicant and policyholder, has launched with $12 million in Series A funding from State of Mind Ventures (SMOV; Hertzeliya, Israel), Moneta Capital (Calgary, Alberta), and Guardian Life Insurance Company (New York).
Sproutt states its mission as, “looking after the lives of those who look after theirs.” Using a proprietary “Quality of Life Index” (QL Index), Sproutt reports that it blends data analytics and “human-aligned” health insights, and then uses artificial intelligence (AI) to discern a an applicant’s life potential in order to match them with the best life insurance providers and policy.
“We don’t come from the life insurance industry, but we have a lot of experience in unlocking the value of data in traditional markets,” remarks Yoav Shaham, CEO and Co-Founder, Sproutt. “For decades life insurance providers have mainly sought to punish negative lifestyle choices such as smoking when calculating pricing. As crazy as it sounds, until now the industry has almost never even tried to reward people for being healthy; for being active, eating and sleeping well, or living a balanced life. Sproutt ensures that people who make positive lifestyle choices that improves their longevity are supported and rewarded with the best policies, and that they adopt these good behaviors, as it means that we all will have increasingly less expenses.”
Sproutt sees its approach as addressing failures of the life insurance industry, which has experienced a 45 percent decline in policyholders over the last 20 years. “The industry has failed to convince consumers that their product is valuable, even when the premise of insuring your life and protecting your family is as critical as ever,” a Sproutt statement says.
“This industry is like data spaghetti that nobody has been able to untangle,” comments Shaham. “We started with a clean plate and asked ourselves, how can we measure somebody’s quality of life, and how can we deliver the best experience and policy based on that?”
Sproutt emphasizes the importance of discerning “positive data” among all the information consumers provide a life insurer during the application process. Typically, many positive factors have been ignored during the underwriting process, which was focused on “negative” risk indicators.
To better assess both positive and negative factors in health and longevity, the startup created “Gaia,” the Guided Artificial Intelligence Assessment technology that powers the Sproutt QL Index. Based on established research of how various lifestyle behaviors impact longevity, Gaia is able to assess and correlate a variety of previously siloed human health attributes such as sleeping patterns, eating habits, and whether you own a pet, and then leverage them for a more precise assessment of a specific individual’s health, the vendor explains. The assessment process and resulting QL Index score are used to provide personal insights, recommendations, and best matching life insurance product.
Breathing Life into and Old Industry
“Breathing new life and positivity into an old industry has been both a challenge and a privilege. Sproutt believes life insurance is critical, because it protects that which is most dear to us: our families. This is why life should be celebrated,” comment Assaf Henkin, President, Sproutt. “We saw how to use data and AI for good to benefit consumers and disrupt an industry that has failed to modernize. Sproutt provides people with a high-quality experience and guides them to the life insurance they deserve, many times the same day they apply.”
Sproutt’s vision of personalized life insurance directly aligns with Guardian Life’s focus on providing an exceptional, effortless customer experience, according to Andrew McMahon, EVP, Guardian Life. “We began working with Sproutt in 2018 and soon realized the potential impact their technology could have on our business and the industry at large, as evidenced by our investment. Their ambitious use of data and artificial intelligence across the customer journey is part of a broader transformation of the industry and complements our technology driven approach to customer acquisition and engagement.”