Matic, a company that wants to make the process of finding the right homeowner’s insurance easier and more efficient, is launching today at TechCrunch Disrupt. If you’ve ever shopped for homeowner’s insurance, you know the process can be challenging, especially for first-time home buyers who aren’t familiar with coverages, how they vary, or why they should pick one quote over another.
Matic’s solution is to leverage technology to simplify this process, while also personalizing the experience of receiving quotes and recommendations so you understand why it’s suggesting one policy as your best pick.
The idea for the startup was seeded back in 2013, when co-founder and CEO Aaron Schiff, previously the founder of the ad network Adrenalads, was purchasing his first home.
“It was a stressful experience for me, as it is for most people,” he says of buying his home. “I went through the process thinking it should be easy, but it wasn’t – it was brutal. Then two days before closing, they told me to get homeowner’s insurance,” explains Schiff. In addition to being annoyed that he wasn’t informed about this step earlier in the process, the founder then had to scramble to get quotes.
He tried Geico’s online quiz to get a quote, thinking it would be easier to just step through the pages of a website. But the quiz came up with questions he didn’t know the answer to – like ‘what’s the roof made out of?’ or ‘does the home have a circuit breaker or a fuse box?,’ for example.
Eventually, he gave up on going this route and got a referral from a friend instead.
When he got a call back a day and a half later, the first question the agent asked was “what kind of coverage do you need?”
“I was thinking to myself, ‘what kind of coverage do I need?’ I don’t know, isn’t that your job? I don’t know, I’ve never done this before. You tell me. That was my pain point from the consumer side,” said Schiff.
Later, Schiff learned from his friend, Benjamin Madick, whose background is in mortgages and banking, that delays related to obtaining homeowner’s insurance was actually costing lender’s a lot of money.
“[Madick] was doing an audit on a lender and they were losing about $30,000 a month because they weren’t closing their loans on time, all due to extension fees caused by homeowner’s insurance,” says Schiff. That’s when Madick suggested that they build a system that would integrate with insurance carriers and lenders to provide homeowner’s insurance during the mortgage process.
That’s what Matic now does. Officially launched in March 2017, Matic exists as an API that’s integrated into lender’s systems and third-party mortgage platforms. With a click of a “request quote” button, 95% of the details a carrier needs to offer a quote are pushed out automatically, and quotes are returned.
The process takes a couple of minutes at best, as the only questions the consumer has to answer are those they know, like if they’ve filed a claim before, or if they have pets, and the like.
Matic then returns to the homebuyer with a personalized PDF with its three top picks, highlighting the one it thinks is best, and why. The information is explained in easy-to-understand terms, where coverages are detailed, and even what they mean for those who don’t know the lingo.
The contact information for one of its insurance agents is also provided so the consumer can get in touch right away to ask more questions or complete the process.
At present, Matic is working with 10 insurance carriers, including Nationwide, Stillwater Insurance Group, Homeowners of America, Safeco Insurance, ASI, Foremost Insurance Group, State Auto Insurance Companies, ASI, and Velocity Risk Underwriters. That list is continuing to grow, but in the meantime, if Matic doesn’t have a quote it will refer you to someone who will.
It can also bundle in auto or boat insurance into a quote, if that saves the homebuyer money.
Matic itself is an insurance agency, just one that’s leveraging technology in a different way. But it makes its money the same way as others. The carriers pay Matic, on average, 15% of the premium per year. Currently, Matic is making about $750 per customer.
Schiff won’t say how many homeowners have been served through the system to date, but did note that through its partnerships, it has over $100 billion in originations.
L.A.-based Matic, a team of 28, has raised $2.3 million in seed funding from Anthem Ventures and Freedom Mortgage. It’s now closing on a $7 million Series A round with other strategic investors, and plans to use the funds to double its team and scale the business.