USA – As the California wildfires broke out, insurance fintech startup Hippo didn’t wait until the official fire perimeters were established to start reaching out to clients, 15% who live in a fire watch area. Using active maps and artificial intelligence it canvased all 14 million home in California to develop a specific fire zone footprint against the current wildfire. With the wildfires spreading quickly and changing direction at any time, Hippo wanted to ensure its customers had enough time to evacuate.
Instead of waiting for the claims to pour in, agents at the company contacted 100% of its customers in active wildfire areas over the weekend to offer help from booking hotels to covering temporary living expenses. It was also able to preemptively file claims for more than 80% of its impacted customers before they reached out to Hippo. The response from customers, not surprisingly, was appreciation and relief, all the things insurance is supposed to provide but hasn’t for scores of people impacted by natural disasters and other calamities.
It’s also the value proposition behind the Mountain View, California fintech which announced Wednesday it raised $70 million in a round of growth funding led by Felicis Ventures, the venture capital firm and Lennar, the national homebuilder. The funding is going to accelerate growth and continue to disrupt an industry that hasn’t changed much over the decades. All told the company has raised $109 million from investors and angel backers including Abstract Ventures, Aquiline Technology Growth, Comcast Ventures, Fifth Wall, GGV Capital, Horizons Ventures, Munich Re Ventures, Pipeline Ventures, RPM Ventures and Zeev Ventures.
“The insurance tech market today is very similar to the place data-driven lending was in 2012,” said Victoria Treyger, Managing Director at Felicis Ventures and member of the Hippo Board of Directors. “The way Hippo underwrites customers using data in under a minute and the way it leverages data sources to proactively monitor and help customers is going to be the future of how insurance will be managed for the next fifty years.”
Hippo Relies On AI To Proactively Serve Customers
Hippo went live in April of 2017, aiming to disrupt the insurance industry by relying on data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other advanced technologies to not only underwrite a home insurance policy in minutes but provide follow up services to keep customers loyal and satisfied. Most consumers purchase policies after what can seem like an arduous process and then don’t hear from their insurance company again unless they are filing a claim or renewing a policy. Hippo wants to be the eyes and ears of the home, monitoring everything from the condition of the roof to the proximity of trees prior to a storm. “We’re trying to modernize homeowners insurance,” said Assaf Wand, co-founder, and chief executive of Hippo. He said Hippo’s technology can identify additions to homes or other enhancements that could make the home underinsured and alert customers to that as well. “The purpose of having insurance is to make sure you are covered if something happens.”