Digital small business insurance provider Next Insurance has unveiled a new online portal giving small businesses more control over their insurance policies. The portal offers what Next says are several unique insurance services, including the option to cancel a policy instantly with no penalty fees, add an additional insured with the click of a button and immediately generate proof of insurance.

The goal of giving customers more access and control to their policies is to speed up and simplify the most common updates and requests made by customers, without costing them additional fees, according to the firm.

“In a society where almost every service is available online and instantly, insurance is lagging behind,” said Guy Goldstein, co-founder and CEO of Next. “It’s unfortunate how many hoops businesses need to jump through in order to change or cancel their policy. We’re on a mission to do away with all the legacy hurdles that the insurance industry forces customers to jump over, and launching this online portal gets us one step closer towards that reality.”

The following features are now available to Next Insurance policyholders within the new online portal:

  • Additional Insured: Customers can add “Additional Insured” in one click, with immediate issue. Attaching a new Additional Insured to a policy is one of the most common policyholder requests – and as it is often a prerequisite to the ability to attract projects or orders, time is of the essence, according to Next. This feature ensures Additional Insurance documentation on hand within minutes.
  • Proof of Insurance: Customers can receive proof of insurance instantly, without the need for numerous phone calls to agents and long wait times for delivery.
  • One-click Cancellation: Customers can instantly cancel policies, solving the problem of restrictions on the ability to cancel, cancellation fees, and long wait times between requesting and receiving confirmation.
  • Policy Information: Customers can view all of their policy information.
  • Payment Information: Customers can update and maintain payment information at any time.

Founded in 2016 by a team of serial entrepreneurs, Next Insurance is headquartered in Palo Alto, and has received a total of $48 million in venture capital funding from Ribbit Capital, TLV Partners, Zeev Ventures, Munich RE Ventures, Markel, Nationwide, American Express, and others.

Giving customers more control over their insurance appears to be gaining some traction.

Personal lines insurtech Lemonade recently added a self-directing feature that lets consumers update their policies themselves in real time through their app, actions that are typically left to agents and brokers. They can make changes to their deductible, coverage amounts or add a new valuable they just purchased.

Karlyn Carnahan, head of The Americas Property/Casualty Practice at Celent, recently told Carrier Management 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 but that policyholders are not typically given broad or complete control.

“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.

*This article appeared previously in our sister publication Insurance Journal.