One of the areas of finance that has seemingly come later to fintech is insurance, but that is beginning to change thanks to companies like Haven Life.
Launched by Yaron Ben-Zvi in 2015 following a poor experience buying insurance, Haven Life is an online life insurance agency using a real-time underwriting algorithm and its InstantTerm process to offer instant decisions without medical exams for some applicants.
Marketing and communications director Brittney Burgett said Mr. Ben-Zvi has a background working with early stage financial companies and is comfortable in the digital realm. Following the birth of a child, he purchased insurance, but found the process unnecessarily slow. Seeing an opportunity, he set out to build Haven Life.
Haven Life launched as part of MassMutual, who backs the company and issues the Haven Term policy. That is notable because Haven Life has never required venture capital, nor was it interested in doing so, product owner, algorithmic underwriting Laura Boylan explained. They could concentrate on building a full end-to-end process from scratch according to their vision without having to pursue and deal with what can be the conflicting goals of VCs. The entire process was developed in-house without importing white label components.
That gives Haven Life a digital advantage as they compete against big insurance companies that are trying to function in a new space with legacy technology, Ms. Boylan explained.
“It’s a unique industry. Products go back 100 years and companies can find it difficult to transition as the technology improves. We use all the data others use, just in a smarter way.”
Haven Life also benefits from their relationship with MassMutual, Ms. Boylan said. MassMutual has decades of data that Haven Life coordinates with the technology to build underwriting expertise capable of instant approving some eligible customers between 18-45 in real-time without a medical exam.
Policies are currently available to people between the ages of 18-64 in every state except California, and they’re working on them, Ms. Boylan and Ms. Burgett said. They are also improving the technology so more customers can receive instant decisions. Such improvements on the mobile site produced a huge increase in applications without a corresponding rise in service calls, Ms. Burgett noted.
Haven Life offers some unique features rare to the industry, Ms. Burgett explained. A life insurance calculator recommends a list of products providing the proper coverage for the applicant to choose from.
“We get a lot of comments on that,” Ms. Burgett said. “Most provide one but we provide a range.”
Haven Life also provides customers with a quote page so they can see how much their policy costs in comparison to others. A healthy, 35 year-old woman can purchase a 20-year, $500,000 policy for less than $20 per month.
“In some cases we may not be the least expensive, but we want people to know that,” Ms. Burgett said.