The Long Run Show
April 19, 2022 5:14 am
From China, global trade, and the definition of value to inflation, commodities, and much more — Join Austin Willson and Michael O’Connor as they discuss long-term topics and trends, how they can affect your portfolio, and what you can do about it!
CEO & Founder at Marble
BZ: Can you explain what Marbledoes?
S: Over the years, Incredible progress in centralizing standardizing, and making more convenient, the methods of organizing these things for the household and insurances in the last to fall, it’s still very balkanized.
You have individual carrier applications or it’s in your inbox or email. And I saw this because I used to work in a mortgage company and no matter how much technology we deploy still. Shorten the window. It took to get the right insurance information for the mortgage because people just didn’t know where it was, what the sand, what they had, who had it.
So we built this one hub for all your insurance and all your risk. And then we’ve layered this rewards element in it because rewards in insurance are really not, is also not really a space that’s been pushed into. So consumers can have rewards for uploading policies, referring friends, telling us about their assets, their plans and then, cool stuff down the line that we have planned with.
Insurance it’s highly regulated industry. Like a lot of, financial industries, but particularly in insurance, there’s been this historical concept of rebate law, which still exists.
And that it’s, it started for very good reasons in that. Life insurance agents back in the day would give big discounts, typically funded from their commission to people who they want to sell insurance to. And that, the turn of the last century, largely it was like, white men who looked like them.
And that led to much worse pricing for everyone else. Like a lot of regulations, it was written before the internet really existed. Part of Marble’s concept is, we’ve done a ton of research and work with the regulators to say, Hey, Where can we do rewards where can’t we cannot, incentivize buying.
We can’t make anything cheaper to sell. And also what, can we stay, if we stay blind to who our members are, I would just a really, no sort of biasing impact can we offer rewards? Which is how we brought into it, because to that point, Insurance is you can’t turn on the TV without seeing an insurance commercial.
There’s so much money in this space and rewards provide this really neat mechanism. If you can be thoughtful about removing the biasing impacts to pull money away from. Sports networks and the social media platforms and put some incentive back in the pocket of people to engage with it.
So that’s part of our founding thesis as well.
BZ: The rewards aspect. Do you see that also as a generational thing?
S: Exactly that like we, one of our biggest obstacles in fundraising was finding investors who would come with us on this first leg of the journey to see if we could prove that people would engage with insurance, cared about it more than once a year when, and, if even that really.
I think a large rebuttal that I had in the fundraising process to people who were objecting with this idea that, people don’t care about their insurance. I hear that all the time, but it’s we ha have we ever really tried, have we ever really delivered an experience basically?
Do they not care about the insurance or do they not care about the ways that we’re the tools that we’re giving them? Because I do, I would argue that people do care about how they protect. There’s stuff. If you frame it on those terms it’s something you should care about and people do. But if it totally sucks to shop for it and to manage it, and the apps look like they’re out of 2006, if you’re, in the same way, you don’t want to send a bank wire, you’d rather send a Venmo.
It’s the same exact proposition. So we’ve been fortunate. We see I mean we’re not day trading like Coinbase, but we see, 30%, monthly activation rates in the app and thats pretty huge.
BZ: Almost like what mint.com did for budgeting and accounting personally. You’re basically doing that for insurance. So are you actually selling insurance and are you an insurance broker for different types?
S: We make money, a couple of different ways. We don’t operate as a broker agent today. That’s a critical piece as well. Our regulatory position is that we don’t touch pricing.
We don’t negotiate pricing. We don’t solicit or make any representations on policies. We sell leads. We do that in a pretty integrated way. So you don’t have to, we want to avoid that thing where you click and then you click again and you enter all the same information twice which we can do because we have all your policy information.
So basically the user flow of Marble, and I’ll get to the revenue part of this. As you come in, we built our own sort of plan for insurance. We’ve also partnered with some great companies who don’t do that as our full-time product offering, we’ll pull in, we’ll like Hoover in, maybe your renter’s policy, your auto policy and your pet policy.
We can tell us to take your life policy, whatever you have. We’ll write that all to the database securely. Then when you want to shop, if, and when you want to shop, you can click we’ll pre-fill everything we can, and then you’ll get some rates. We then make $30 to $50 on the lead click.
That’s so much money you can make on a non-binding leave click. Why don’t we just incentivize people to stay engaged with the platform and put some of that back into rewards pool?
We don’t display pricing, we don’t inform pricing. And what we also try to do just as a couple of, cause we, we take the regulatory, the worst thing you can do in insurance, I think is not like respect the thousand year old industry that it is.
BZ: What was the process coming up with the idea behind Marble?
S: I spent about two years at Better.com, which has been in the news recently. I did acquisition for the mortgage side, and that was an interesting sort of lesson in acquisition versus retention, because people can refinance and there was some quite big product there.
It was not only getting the most efficient cost of acquisition but then could we stay with people through the first refinance and that’d be a lot cheaper, so that got me thinking about that model. I think. Hopped over and had the opportunity to launch its insurance practice. And that’s how I became licensed as an agent. And in that, I was the GM, but I was the first one, the first salesperson and I was on the phone all the time. And it was just so striking to me. Better.com has a phenomenal technology stack and could do your credit verification, income expenses back. Anything you need for mortgage, basically pull it as quickly as possible. Even with a fully digital insurance experience it still would take 5 – 7days to verify.
BZ: What’s the pitch to the user. Like why would a user want to engage with you guys? But what’s the kind of the, the value proposition for the user?
S: So for us, basically the short answer to this is about 40% of our users come to us because they have, what we would call a more complex than usual insurance picture, which is about 3 active policies we will solve for them the digital frustration of not having those policies stacked and organized, and also written in a way that is like digital and convenient. And we say written, what I mean is like being able to pull the data often and a convenient way of being able to pre-populate if you want to shop and compare being able to share, parts or all of that with a financial advisor, maybe you have a life insurance policy, and you want to share that with your financial advisor.
Again, that’s something that we can do with a sort of secure drop a link as opposed to downloading a PDF, attaching it to your Gmail, stuff like that. Again, these things that feel like they do feel a little bit like table stakes when you compare it to other industries, but insurance has just been slow to adopt them, but 60% of people come in for rewards and stay for those other pieces.
And I think where we want to go, or we do plan to go is to add this 3rd Feature set on, which is the more the more active maintenance of your risk, as well as the organization of your policy. So not only do you have all your possible policies in one place, are you earning some rewards where it not only can you shop and save. Full disclosure those leads are more valuable to us if you have more data. Your stuff’s more protected. You become more valuable to the insurance company.
BZ: I have two, two last questions:
How do people sign up for Marble?
What’s your general advice for the average consumer out there in terms of insurance?
S: To get Marble, you can get the app to make an account. The app is actually live on the app store too. We just went live last week. So we’re still doing a friends and family only, but if you’re listening to this and you’ve made it this far, we’re now friends and please go download the app on iOS and leave us a review.
If you’re going through this and you’re particularly if you’re transacting, what’s the, like the best practices or how to think about it. For me, couple of big things come to mind, apples to apples on coverage is going to be hard to do, but it’s really, either using a spreadsheet or.
In your Marble account, make sure you know what coverage you have and when you’re comparing, make sure that you’re at least getting something pretty, pretty normalized, because those things are gonna change. That’ll really affect pricing. Make sure you understand all the terms as well in your coverage, look them up in advance, look them up during things like that, just deductible. Co-insurance just, again, have those handy. So you can refresh, unless you really know that. And finally is like really shop, pull, this goes back to the commoditization point, pull as many rates in as you can, use multiple sources.
If you have the time, really make the market compete for your rates because that. That’s it, that’s how you get the best price, ultimately that’s the service that you can build for yourself. So really cast a wide net, dedicate the time to do that. And then the last sort of caveat is, don’t be surprised if rates jump a lot.Until you answer those last final questions, you may be looking at a teaser rate and that teaser rate may change by two to three times at the end.
So just, don’t don’t get some quotes and think you’re done, take them through, and that’s going to be the price that you’ll have to budget.
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