MIT Spinout Insurify Raises $2 Million To Replace Human Insurance Agents With A Robot

Insurify, a startup out of MIT, today announced the launch of Evia (Expert Virtual Insurance Agent), an artificially intelligent virtual insurance agent that aims to find you better car insurance using a photo of your license plate.

The company recently pulled in $2 million in seed from Rationalwave Capital Partners to create EVIA and launch its robo-agent platform.

“We barely have time to talk to our friends on the phone, nevermind insurance agents. Yet buying insurance is still as bad as buying an airline ticket was 15 years ago, often requiring 40 minutes on the phone with an agent,” Insurify CEO Snejina Zacharia told TechCrunch about why she started the business.

It’s a similar idea to Coverhound, which compares car and property insurance from data on its site as well as Google’s insurance research to bring you a quote it thinks you’ll like.

However, Insurify simplifies the way it gets you that quote by asking you to snap a photo of your license plate and text it to EVIA. The robo-agent then scours millions of records to verify personal information and driving history and then delivers policy quotes and recommendations back to you via text message.

Bigger insurance carriers like Progressive, Allstate and AAA are among Insurify’s offerings. The company also sees startups like Coverhound as a potential partner.

Is it really that novel to simply snap a pic and get a quote via text? This seems to be the “killer” feature that puts Insurify above the rest and it does make the process easier. However, some will have a concern over privacy and security with this method.

What if someone takes a snap of a vehicle that doesn’t belong to them? Insurify told us the plate number sent to EVIA does not contain any private information and if someone takes a picture of a vehicle they do not own, Insurify will give them a quote for that specific vehicle, but won’t tell them who owns that vehicle.

Insurify also offers quotes from the web version of its platform. You’ll need to plug in more information like the make and model of your car, what year it was made and all the other regular info most online insurance agents ask to get you a quote, but it’s an alternative for those concerned about uploading their license plate to the cloud.

Insurify’s EVIA technology is only available as a limited beta version of itself at the moment, but the startup has big plans for the future. EVIA is currently available in 30 states and claims to have partnered with more insurance carriers than any other online insurance sales platform.