Car ownership app Jerry launched its auto refinancing service, available exclusively in the Jerry app.

An estimated 26 million Americans are in a position to be highly motivated to refinance their auto loans, according to a recent study conducted by TransUnion. In Q4 2021, average used car loans hit a record-high of $29,913. With average auto refinance loans hovering around $20,000, the total addressable market opportunity is as large as $520 billion. Yet, only about $40 billion in auto loans are refinanced each year.

“While most people shop for cars, few shop for financing,” said Jerry Co-Founder and CEO Art Agrawal. “This results in unfavorable financing terms and high APRs for many drivers. The Jerry auto refinancing service makes it quick and easy to see if you are overpaying and, if savings are available, the loan takes minutes to approve.”

The company developed an automated, proprietary process for evaluating more than 2 million Jerry customers for the ability to benefit from reduced monthly payments and/or a significantly lower annual percentage rate (APR). When savings or lower payment opportunities are found, Jerry proactively presents refinancing offers to customers for consideration. During the soft launch period, customers who refinanced their car loan through Jerry were, on average, able to reduce their monthly payment by $118.

Jerry does not sell customer data, does not call customers unless asked to and does not send marketing emails. Further, Jerry does not employ an auto refinance sales team nor does it pay its auto refinance customer service team commission, working to ensure a customer-centric service offering, according to a company press release.

Drivers with the Jerry app can take advantage of refinancing services even if they do not buy auto insurance through Jerry.

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Applied Underwriters is continuing its specialty lines expansion with the latest in its series of acquisitions and introductions, launching Applied Surety Underwriters to be based in Houston and serve a worldwide clientele.

Since 2019, Applied has created operations and acquired niche books of business in the warranty, collectibles and other specialized markets. This new division will focus on large, commercial and contract surety business worldwide.

Applied Underwriters President Jamie Sahara announced the naming of sector leader Joshua Betz as president of Applied Surety Underwriters, citing his executive leadership in the surety business for 25 years.

Prior to joining Applied, Betz spent the last 14 years as president of Argo Surety. Prior to that time, Betz held various leadership roles in the surety space managing large commercial and contract surety clients at Travelers, CNA and Reliance Surety.

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Planck, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform for the commercial insurance industry, is launching a new product to help insurers identify high-potential prospects and markets that match their risk appetite.

By using Planck’s Prospect Intelligence platform, carriers can reduce their customer acquisition cost, increase growth and expansion, and improve the agent and customer experience, according to a company press release.

Planck’s proprietary platform mines and collects billions of data points across the web, including public and government records and non-indexed sources, and applies deep-learning algorithms to produce insights. With real-time data and insights, insurers can identify prospects that meet their specific risk appetite and eligibility requirements, resulting in a pre-underwritten policyholder at the point of quoting before it reaches underwriting.

Insurance companies such as Attune, Chubb and Republic Indemnity (Great American Insurance Group), along with Sompo in Japan, are benefiting from Planck’s current offerings. Additional offerings are scheduled to roll out throughout 2022.

Sources: Jerry, Applied Underwriters, Planck