In 2018, Kate Terry left her secure job at Liberty Mutual insurance company to start her own company with Jonathon Grayson. As she revealed in various interviews, in her opinion, two things went wrong with traditional insurers in the US. They underestimated the changes within the market resulting from increased demand from younger target groups. And they neglected independent agents, who account for $700 billion in premium volume. With her startup Surround Insurance, she and her partner wanted to change that.
casual insurance for young people
As in this country, US insurers see themselves primarily as vendors of solutions that are tailored to individual risk. And according to its own understanding, the insurer accompanies its customers with its products throughout their lives: from first accident insurance to health and death insurance. Only young people are partially reflected in this construct.
Because young customers and their needs have also changed in the USA. On the one hand, they lack knowledge about finances and pensions. What the grandfather still knew is only part of the wealth of experience of young people in their 20s and 30s. In addition, flexible subscription models are part of the day-to-day life of this generation.
And finally, young people don’t need the full arsenal of insurance policies they have to choose from. As a student or young professional, money is tight and worries about the future are still far away.
Based on these considerations, Surround Insurance developed its business model. The portfolio includes:
- Renters insurance that covers damage to the apartment. This can be theft, as well as personal injuries that residents or guests face through an accident.
- Liability insurance for all drivers who do not own a car. Whether it’s a rental car or a vehicle borrowed from friends, Surround Insurance doesn’t care.
- Accident insurance for all those who travel on foot or by bicycle.
- And finally, an autonomous insurance that covers damage caused by customers.
All of this can be arranged flexibly and online and on flexible terms. And because the need for the policies and the knowledge of the risks in the target group cannot necessarily be assumed, the insurtech provides comprehensive information with background articles on its blog. Also, product descriptions are kept in simple language.
What is also remarkable: there is no pandering towards the target group on the website. Completely missing are the images with radiant faces of young people, so typical in the communication of German insurers, who were photographed in everyday situations as “cool” as possible (or what the elderly think they are).
When tradition meets modernity
There is something else that makes Surround Insurance different from many other insurtechs. Here, too, Kate Terry was guided by her previous experiences. Just as nice as a well-designed website that leads to the conclusion of an insurance policy. No matter how useful an app may be, the insurance business is and remains largely a personal business. Brokerage offices in the US, insurance agents, are often smaller companies, some of which are already active in the second or even third generation. This is often associated with an equally traditional consulting approach and a correspondingly compiled product range.
Surround Insurance has been open to brokerage from the beginning. These then send interested parties directly to Surround, which handles further contact and support.
Current Funding This Week
After a major initial seed round of $1.7 million late last year, Surround this week managed to raise an additional $2.5 million for its vertical model in a seed round. The insurtech invests the money in sales and new products.