(Image source: SURE homepage.)
SURE, a New York-based InsurTech startup distributor that offers on-demand personal insurance via an app, has closed an $8 million Series A funding round led by IA Capital (New York) with participation from Menlo Ventures (Menlo Park, Calif.), FF Venture Capital (New York), Nationwide Ventures (Columbus, Ohio), Assurant (New York) and AmTrust (New York). The company also announced the launch of what it calls a first-of-its-kind Smartphone Protection product. A SURE statement says the funding will enable the company to continue product development, drive user acquisition, boost marketing initiatives and bolster the team with new hires.
SURE describes its approach as intended to address the difficulties of insurance distribution, which the company says are intensifying due to the number of producers who are retiring and unlikely to be replaced. “Brokers and agents are 59-years-old, on average, and 400,000 are expected to retire in the next five years,” a company statement notes. SURE serves as a distribution channel and has worked with carriers such as Nationwide, CHUBB, Markel, MetLife, QBE and Assurant. The company reports that it has sold over 20,000 policies since its debut in Jan. 2017 and now offers six types of personal insurance: flight, baggage, renters, pet, wedding and smartphone insurance.
SURE’s new smartphone offering exemplifies an emerging “touchless” approach to insurance underwriting, according to Donald Light Director in Celent’s North America Property/Casualty Insurance Practice. “Through performing remote diagnostics on a given smartphone, Sure has automated most or all of the submission process,” Light notes. “The significance of this announcement is that it points towards a touchless new business and underwriting process—using remotely accessed data about the status and condition of objects of insurance (automobiles, buildings, equipment) to make instant decisions.”
Making the Insurance Industry Stronger
“SURE is fundamentally improving the insurance industry and making it digital through mobile tech, AI, and advanced data analytics, via our complete carrier platform in partnership with insurance companies,” comments Wayne Slavin, founder and CEO, SURE. “Unlike any ‘disruptors’ in this industry, we take a contrarian approach. The existing insurance industry is strong, and SURE is making it stronger with enhancements to the distribution, administration, and claims process using technology.”
SURE offers best-in-class technology for insurance companies seeking to modernize their distribution strategy, asserts Alex Maffeo, Principal, IA Capital. “Consumer purchasing behavior in the insurance industry is changing rapidly and SURE offers a turn-key mobile distribution solution for its customers,” he says. “We are extremely excited about the company’s future—Wayne and his team are doing big things.”