COMPANIES: Gradient Ventures, Google’s artificial intelligence-focused venture fund; Greenlight Re; PJC; Techstars Ventures Boston; and The Hanover Insurance Group.
BEST RATING: Claims are backed by Rock Ridge Insurance Company, an affiliate of Clear Blue Insurance Group, an A- rated admitted carrier.
AVAILABILITY: Distributed exclusively through independent agent channels.
FOCUS: Openly is a technology-enabled insurance provider that has built its products, processes and technology specifically to serve the independent agency channel. While many incumbents and InsurTech entrants are focused on circumventing agents, Openly focuses on catering to their needs.
The Massachusetts-based company’s first-ever product is an up-market home insurance offering that provides genuinely innovative and superior coverage—and it takes about 20 seconds to generate a bindable quote, even on a home worth over $1 million.
“Much of the innovation happening in insurance is geared towards or done by direct carriers who are trying to cut out agents. Our product starts from the opposite premise,” says Ty Harris, CEO and cofounder of Openly. “Independent agencies fundamentally represent the right way to buy insurance. It’s how we tell our relatives to buy insurance, so we’ve built Openly from the ground up as a carrier designed around the needs of a modern independent agency.”
COVERAGE DETAILS: The principle guiding the product’s design is also the dictionary definition of the word “openly”: “without concealment, deception, or prevarication, especially where these might be expected.’’
Guaranteed replacement cost on the dwelling, up to $5 million for every house. The coverage starts with an HO-5 contract and improves from there. Every homeowners policy includes open perils contents, replacement cost on contents, and ordinance and law up to full replacement.
Openly doesn’t force the customer to choose a coverage A. Instead, they price the home using its underlying objective characteristics, such as square footage and the number of bathrooms, to present a price and guaranteed replacement cost. Sublimits of $5,000-$10,000 are included for contents in the base policy, and endorsements are available for home-sharing, personal cyber, earthquake and homes under construction. Wide range of core coverage options, such as water back up and deductibles are available, as well.
Openly also writes a landlord policy using a “souped-up HO-3,” Harris says. “It’s superior coverage and also the same process as writing a primary residence, with just one click of a button separating the two.”
“One neat thing we have is that each quote gets a certain number of ‘hearts’ beside it, zero to five,” Harris adds. “That tells the agent how much we think this home is a fit for Openly and then translates into a commission bonus for the agent, varying by the number of hearts, so the agent doesn’t have to guess about our underwriting appetite.”
UNDERWRITING: In most cases, an agent requires only the customer’s name, date of birth and address. Based on that information, Openly uses multiple overlapping data about the home, client and location to produce an underwriting decision and bindable quote in 20 seconds.
TARGET: The product is tailored towards mid- to high-end consumers. Replacement costs range from $250,000-$3 million. Target properties are single-family residences, including townhomes, seasonal or secondary homes and homes rented to others.
COVERAGE AVAILABILITY: Currently available in Arizona and Illinois. Filed and waiting for approval in Pennsylvania and Tennessee. It will be available in Massachusetts, Kentucky and Indiana in early 2020. Countrywide roll-out is planned for the future.
CONTACT: Steve Chauby, chief sales and marketing officer, Openly; 501 Boylston Street, 10th Floor, Boston MA 02116; 857-895-6455.
Will Jones is IA senior editor.