It is a truth universally acknowledged that the insurance industry is ancient. It is also a truth universally acknowledged that all great startups start up to solve a need. Even better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) if the need is one suffered by a wide audience…
Such as needing an improved shopping process for home & auto insurance.
Insurtech is a rapidly growing sector – having already hit a 2019 investment total of $4.36 billion at the end of the 3rd quarter. Recent incorporation of new tech such as artificial intelligence and blockchain is contributing to consumers being granted insurance deals more in line with what they deserve, but the landscape still has much room left for transformation.
Omnidya Founder & CEO Kumar Patel was shopping for auto insurance when he realized he was spending an inordinate amount of time searching for the best option. This led him to ponder on how much time he spent searching for the best option in other services, such as travel.
Thinking on that topic led Kumar to wonder, “What if a there was a bot version of me to take care of me?” Specifically, in terms of the service industry where prices vary based on an individual’s background and demographic. Because Kumar knew he had better things to do than putter around the Internet trying to find the best insurance policy.
As innovative, intelligent people are wont to do, he decided to create a product that would solve his own need.
This story is why, instead of providing our own insurance like Hippo and Lemonade,Omnidya was designed with the intent to enable consumers to compare products in the most effective way possible.
As our platform’sdevelopment rolled along, partnerships were locked down and the beta horizon crept into view.
But betas never go as glamorously as you imagine.
The Path Less Traveled is Never Easy
Omnidya launched its first closed beta in August 2018. Though we were already able to provide custom quotes from 15 of the top insurers in under 60 seconds…the reception wasn’t as warm as we expected. But as anyone who has founded a company knows,cold feedback is often the most invaluable. So we took the ice and leveraged it for what it was worth.
We beautified our UI, sleeked it up, smoothed it out. Then, we launched Beta 2.0in the Los Angeles area. Our improvements were embraced. The reception was toasty. Problems solved.
The takeaway here is value quality over speed. Don’t rush to scale with a product that’s less than stellar. Your customers deserve the best you can give. Make sacrifices and give up on the short term so that you and your customers can enjoy the fruits down the road.
In the unpredictable world ofstartups, you very often have to take inspiration from Bear Grylls and adapt to a dynamiclandscape.
Our new direction? Data-focused insurance.
Data collection has long been demonized, spurred by the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal that riddled the internet with memes of Mark Zuckerberg. But (withconsent) data can be leveraged as an asset, not only for those who collect it but for those who create it.
The more relevant data available, the better the insurance policy afforded the consumer. In our current world - where home& auto insurance policies already vary based on the consumer’s background and demographic – factors such as energy usage and driving habits should actively affect a customer’s policy. Even better if the data is delivered in real time and applied post-haste. And of course, handled throughout the cycle with respect and consideration for customer privacy.
So what’s next for us?The specifics are a secret. But what we can tell you is that it’s a proprietary way to acquire data and apply it for consumer benefit.
We now define ourselves as a data-focused insurtech company making lives easier with AI.Omnidya puts control of data in the hands of the consumers, where it should be.