Peer-to-peer insurance startup Lemonade is open for business in New York, nine months after the startup’s debut and initial venture funding announcement.
The New York-based company said that it now offers homeowners policies in the Empire State beginning at $35 per month, and renters coverage that starts at $5 per month. Lemonade says users will be able to do both instantly, from any mobile device, quickening a process that typically has taken weeks or months. It is the first state in which Lemonade is approved to conduct business.
Lemonade is licensed in New York as a full-stack insurance carrier. It is unclear, however, when it will expand into other states. A spokesperson responding to Carrier Management via email noted an “expansive vision” for the fledgling insurer “which will include expanding both geographically and in terms of lines of business in due course.”
Lemonade attracted $13 million in seed funding from outfits including California’s Sequoia Capital and Aleph, a venture capital firm that typically partners with Israeli entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs Daniel Schreiber and Shai Wininger (also company president) co-founded Lemonade. They’ve attracted veteran insurance executives from AIG and ACE for Lemonade’s executive team. Among them: Lemonade Chief Insurance Officer Ty Sagalow, a veteran executive from American International Group.
As well, Everest Re, Hiscox, Lloyd’s of London, XL Catlin, Lloyd’s of London and Berkshire Hathaway’s National Indemnity are among Lemonade’s global reinsurance partners.
Lemonade bills itself as a game-changing high-tech P2P insurance carrier that will upend how insurance is sold and make the process of buying it much nicer and easier for consumers.
Lemonade says it will donate any leftover funds, or underwriting profit, each year on customers’ behalf to a cause of their choice. A P2P site typically invites users to form small groups of policyholders who pay premiums into a pool to pay claims, but members get any leftover funds at the end of the policy period.
Other P2P insurance companies include Germany’s friendsurance, the U.K.,’s Guevara and China’s TongJuBao.