Lemonade has come out with an insurance policy that lets consumers update their policies themselves in real time on the web, actions that are typically left to agents and brokers.
Lemonade co-founder, president and CTO Shai Wininger announced the Live Policy launch on the company’s blog. The InsurTech peer-to-peer startup sells renters and homeowners insurance via its website or an app, and it is so far selling insurance in New York, New Jersey, California and Illinois.
“As far as we know, no other insurance company allows their customers to modify their coverages or even cancel their policy on their own,” Wininger wrote.
He noted that customers typically need to work with their insurer’s customer support to make changes to their deductible, coverage amounts or add a new valuable they just purchased. They’d have to pay for changes, and get policies sent to them in the male, something that Wininger framed as “red tape” and “long wait times.”
Lemonade’s Live Policy product lets existing and new customers make changes to their customers regardless of their location, Wininger said, by way of the Lemonade app.
“Just open our app, go to your policy and start playing with stuff,” Wininger wrote.
Karlyn Carnahan, head of The Americas Property/Casualty Practice at Celent, said that other insurance carriers do have some abilities to permit certain types of changes to their policies, such as changing a billing plan or date or requesting endorsement.
Still, Carnahan added, “broad and complete control is usually not extended to policyholders.”
That makes Lemonade’s announcement noteworthy, Carnahan said, because the insurer is using its technology to appeal “more directly to a self-directed consumer,” that likes to pursue transactions independently. Its approach is cost effective, she pointed out, because it shifts responsibilities from Lemonade to its customers.
“Moving work to the user is not only more appealing to that consumer, but also reduces the processing cost for the insurance carrier. And of course the speed of executing the transaction can have financial benefits as well,” Carnahan said. “Lemonade continues to focus on their customer and ways to increase the appeal to their target while driving significant operational advantages over their competitors.”
Existing customers can now use the Live Policy option to change deductibles, personal property limits, liability limits, loss of use limits and medical payments to others limits. They can also add or remove a significant other, spouse, landlord or property manager from the policy, according to Wininger.
Wininger added that the Live Policy is “part of series of new features we’ll be releasing in coming months that will make insurance even more enjoyable, affordable and instant.”
Lemonade uses bots to enable its website and app, and gets a flat 20 percent fee for insurance. Any unclaimed money is given to policyholder causes.
The insurer said it eventually wants to operate in 47 states and the District of Columbia.
Read the full Live Policy blog entry here.