Health IQ attracts $34.6M Series C

Health IQ Insurance Services (Health IQ) today announced it has secured $34.6 million in Series C funding, led by Andreessen Horowitz.

To date, the company has raised a total of $81 million mostly from its existing investors Charles River Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Foundation Capital, First Round Capital, Felicis Ventures and Western Technology Investments.

Health IQ is making life insurance fair by unlocking the value of health consciousness for the 50 million Americans who take responsibility for their health. Health IQ is doing this by delivering better rates and better underwriting for these health-conscious individuals. These not only include runners, cyclists, swimmers and vegans, but also people who have a chronic disease but manage it well such as diabetes.

While Health IQ works with over 30 carriers to get the best market rate, it has closely partnered with innovative life insurance carriers SBLI, Ameritas and Assurity, and reinsurer partner Swiss Re, to get lower rates for health-conscious people.

“We believe the best way to change the world’s health is to celebrate the health conscious rather than harass the people who aren’t,” co-founder and CEO Mundal Shah said.

“We are doing that celebration today with lower rates and better underwriting in life insurance.  We believe that these incentives will inspire others to take responsibility and transform their health.”

The company offers products issued by SBLI, Ameritas and Assurity that come with lower life insurance rates that can save  4-33 percent for health-conscious individuals. Health IQ has worked with carriers to develop better underwriting that takes into account unique factors related to the health conscious.

For example, Body Mass Index (BMI) doesn’t differentiate between muscle and fat and frequently results in weightlifters and athletic individuals being overcharged. Health IQ makes sure that they are not penalized for their muscularity.

In many cases, clients became health conscious because someone in the family had a health scare.  Health IQ helps to ensure their other positive lifestyle choices offset the negatives from their family history.

Because of these underwriting changes and many others, 70 per cent of all health-conscious clients who apply for life insurance with Health IQ obtain the best underwriting class possible, Preferred Plus, and hence save money.

Health IQ spent years gathering the science and big data to prove that the health conscious deserve lower rates. The data included detailed review of evidence-based, peer-reviewed medical and epidemiological research that showed, for example, that persistent runners have a 50 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular mortality, vegetarians have a 22 per cent lower risk of colorectal cancer incidence, and higher muscular strength is associated with a 30 per cent lower risk of cancer mortality.

Alex Rampell, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz.

The company combined this medical research with its own proprietary research gleaned from the over 1 million people who took the Health IQ test, which the company launched over three years ago. This research showed that health-conscious individuals have a 41 percent lower mortality rate.

“Much of the insurance industry today is based on outmoded, mass-packaged research with a one-size-fits-most mindset, which results in overpayment from consumers and improper risk assessment for carriers,” said Alex Rampell, General Partner, Andreessen Horowitz. “Health IQ takes a modern, data-driven approach to insurance which gives carriers more accurate assessments and offers fair, low rates to consumers.”

Health IQ plans to use the funding to fuel hiring in its Mountain View and San Diego offices, continue product development and accelerate customer growth.