Over the last two decades I have had the opportunity to launch successful companies in industries that are both confusing and complex. I learned that openness, information and collaboration — in a word, transparency — lead to meaningful results.
Transparency is a requirement for any consumer, today. We read, purchase, rate, and write reviews about the brands we use every day. Technology has accelerated and mobilized the way we share about experiences and learn from others. So when Mike Crowe approached me about an idea of creating greater transparency for insurance consumers, I knew we were on to something powerful.
Every industry has seen a prolific response to crowd-sourced reviews and ratings. From travel (TripAdvisor), to restaurants (Yelp) and to local business services (Angie’s List); yet there was nothing for rating and reviewing insurance companies.
If people are willing to do research before making a dinner reservation, why wouldn’t they want to do it for something as important as renters, homeowners or car insurance?
As a husband and father, I spend a lot of time thinking about the well-being and safety of my family. As I began building this company with Mike, I realized how complacent I had been for over 15 years. I assumed that because I had been paying a high premium with additional coverages each year that my insurance company would be there for me. I believed that my homeowners insurance policy would cover me should something go wrong. But how would I really know for sure?
I realized I was failing in my job to protect my family — and that I probably wasn’t alone.
Buying insurance is confusing. We all want to “set it and forget it” and go on auto-pilot.
How many of you can relate to the following scenario: You receive your insurance policy renewal, notice minor changes, and pause when you get to the bottom of the document and notice a collection of updated changes. To really understand the fine print in these changes, you need to request the additional 150 pages of documentation for further examination. Well, that’s not so user-friendly. And you don’t have the time to pursue this joyous task. So you renew with no questions asked.
Sound familiar? I was doing the same.
Surely, there had to be policyholders out there who experienced loss and had first-hand experience in filing a claim with MY insurance company. What was the outcome? Were they happy with their service? Time to payment? Settlement amount? Were they happy enough after everything they went through to renew their policy? Did their premiums go up or worse, was their policy cancelled?
These are the questions that motivate us, every day, at Clearsurance. We believe that transparency — derived from the wisdom of crowds and unpublished data from ratings agencies — will revolutionize the 100-billion-dollar plus home and auto insurance industry.
Many ask why I would build a start-up in the insurance industry. (I was initially wondering that myself!) The answer is simple. I want to be part of the future of insurance. It is an industry founded on the premise of helping people in the time of their greatest need. And today, it requires a better way to shop for, file claims and review insurance decisions for the things that matter to us.
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