“Our current system of distribution through independent agents in their brick-and-mortar offices will be largely replaced with digital distribution channels like Goose and Lemonade Insurance startups. That’s the future and the future is now” – Bill Rusteberg
“We’re seeing a trend where people want that on-demand service and … they want to be able to do it themselves. They want to be able to do it immediately and they want to be able to do it at their fingertips, and that’s truly the experience that Goose is delivering end to end.”
Premiums are collected in the 60 seconds to five minutes it takes a user, on average, to buy a policy on the app.
Goose Insurance expands in two countries
by Mark Hollmer 13 Jun 2022
Goose Insurance is growing in two countries, both in the United States and Canada.
The Vancouver, B.C.-based insurtech MGA/MGU provides an insurance app for consumers in both countries, where they can shop for multiple lines of personal coverage including life, travel and property insurance. There are also coverage options for auto, scooters and bicycles, among many others.
Launched in 2018 with a Canada-wide travel insurance product, the company now sells multiple insurance products in Canada, as well as 30 US states. Goose Insurance has more than 100,000 customers in both countries and experienced 400% growth year-over-year.
“We went from one product in 2018, to nine products in 2020, to 25 products in 2022,” explained Omar Kaywan (pictured), Goose Insurance’s co-founder and head of growth. “We’re seeing significant growth and we’re excited for what the future holds … as we have ambitious goals to achieve.”
The company is a lean operation, with just 20 employees, some of whom are licensed agents in the US and Canada. Goose Insurance has raised about $5.8 million of seed money so far and is seeking US$10 million for its Series A financing, which is expected to close “very, very soon,” Kaywan said.
Goose Insurance works with carriers including AIG, Occidental Life, IMG and Markel, among others.
Goose Insurance is a prime example of an insurtech, Kaywan explained, because it is an all-digital enterprise that allows consumers to use their mobile phones to buy insurance.
Users download the Goose Insurance app and sign up so they can get access to the insurance products that Goose carries.
“Once that’s done, then you can buy whatever insurance is available to you in that state, as well as whatever insurance products you are eligible for that you need,” Kaywan said.
Premiums are collected in the 60 seconds to five minutes it takes a user, on average, to buy a policy on the app. According to Kaywan, this includes someone buying travel insurance for a week and the more involving life insurance process where the user answers a few questions first, which can take between 5-6 minutes.
Insurtechs, such as Lemonade, have made similar strides in digital insurance offerings, but Kaywan pointed out that Lemonade users rely on the company’s web platform to make their purchases, but Goose Insurance is all digital and also keeps human interaction in the mix.
“[About] 90% of our transactions are done through self-serve, but there are some consumers that need help,” Kaywan said. “We have a licensed agent in every single state that is available to help them with any questions that they may have.”
Kaywan points out too that the company as an MGA/MGU also works with carriers, unlike Lemonade, and has offerings in multiple lines.
Mobile is better
Having a mobile app to handle insurance is a much better option, Kaywan said, because it enables immediacy and quick service.
“We’re seeing a trend where people want that on-demand service and … they want to be able to do it themselves,” he observed. “They want to be able to do it immediately and they want to be able to do it at their fingertips, and that’s truly the experience that Goose is delivering end to end.”
Goose’s principals built the app from scratch with its own proprietary technology. It works with its own back-end logic and uses different APIs and gateways that link up during the signup process, Kaywan said. There’s no AI or machine learning in the mix. Rather, Goose uses first-party and third-party data, and it has built its own data warehouse that lets it identify consumers and deliver relevant products and experiences that they might want.
“You have the ability to automatically, based on the information that you provide, figure out which products you are eligible for and which products you can buy, based on your location, age and a few other things,” Kaywan noted.
Inflation, and growth
With inflation and household credit card debt on the rise, Kaywan argues that the time is ripe for a company such as his that provides insurance for travel and other unique needs.
Goose Insurance stands out, he said, because it gives consumers tremendous power to buy coverage when they need it.
“What makes us a challenge in this industry is the fact that we are putting the power back in consumers’ hands,” he said. “We are truly delivering a convenient way for customers to buy insurance that is instantly issued.”
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