How Startups Are Rethinking Embedded Distribution

Simply selling a product online is no longer innovative. As I wrote last week, startups can sell almost any coverage online, from low-complexity and high-volume lines like renters to more complex coverages like individual annuities or group benefits.

Many startups are rethinking distribution, bringing products to consumers rather than merely enabling a direct online purchase via an insurer or distributor landing page. Many InsureTech startups are iterating at the point of sale. Bunker, for example, embeds small business insurance directly into the contracting process. In personal lines, Protecht provides episodic coverage for ticketed events during the purchasing and checkout process.

Others are embedding insurance into e-commerce systems. Zillion provides jewelry insurance at the point of sale and lets consumers activate coverage from their phones. Clyde and Mulberry provide software to enable e-commerce retail companies to match warranty coverage to products.

Property/casualty startups aren’t the only companies innovating on distribution. Take Blueprint Income, who recently entered a partnership to power AARP’s online marketplace for comparing and purchasing annuity products, or payroll platforms like Gusto that offer employee benefits like vision and dental.

Some startups iterating at point of sale will be competitors to existing insurers; others may be partners to help incumbents reach new markets. Regardless, this will be an interesting space to watch.

You’ll find more information on startups operating at the point of sale in our recent InsureTech industry report, InsureTech for Insurers: 250 Startup Profiles.

As always, feel free to get in touch with me ([email protected]) or Novarica EVP Jeff Goldberg ([email protected]) if you’re interested in discussing InsureTech trends, the current landscape, and what it all means for insurers.

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