Redesigning Personal Insurance

Redesigning Personal Insurance

September 27, 2021

Oyster is building the first consumer-centric embedded insurance platform. While empowering merchants to offer pre-prepared insurance policies at the point-of-sale, we are reimagining the entire insurance journey...

A decade ago, a lot of the tools and technologies that everyday consumers use today didn’t exist. Consumers couldn’t fluidly invest in stocks and ETFs with a single tap on their phones. They couldn’t obtain personal financing instantly at checkout. Instant food and transportation delivery were just novel concepts that consumers were starting to get acclimated to.

Yet over this time span, technology has been successfully applied to transform the traditionally-analog industries of finance, transportation, and food delivery. Robinhood, Afterpay, DoorDash, and Uber are just a few examples of incredibly innovative companies that share the same insight: as technology becomes a cornerstone of our lives, consumers expect simple, transparent, and digitally-led experiences when interacting with everyday facets of their lives.

In the United States Property & Casualty insurance market, personal lines insurance topped $340 billion of written premiums in 2020. It’s an invisible whale with significant impacts to nearly every economic transaction and an industry that consumers interact with all the time. Despite the massive opportunity, insurance is one of the still-analog industries that hasn’t seen a digital transformation on the scale of financial technology. While the NPS for technology brands is consistently over 70, existing insurance players rank around 35.

This makes sense. Fundamentally, the way that consumers purchase insurance has not changed in decades. It’s an arduous process in which the burden of finding the necessary coverages for a specific purchase still falls upon the shoulders of consumers. Once a purchase is made, consumers typically scour multiple insurance providers and coverages until they think they find what they need. Risk is hard to evaluate, and it’s easy to overlook the details of a policy until an accident happens -- at which point consumers are often denied claims based on the technicalities of their policies. The decoupling between the purchase and proper coverage creates the protection gaps consumers face and the bad reputation insurance companies draw.

That’s not to say that innovation hasn’t taken place in the insurance industry at all. With all of the uncertainty in our lives, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, insurance companies’ existing businesses are thriving. The big question though, is “What would insurance look like if it was designed today, and what will it look like 30 years from now?” This is a problem we’re thinking about at Oyster. In order for change to happen, progress in technology and insurance cannot happen in silos. It’s essential to design a modern technological platform and insurance products that fit each other seamlessly.

That’s why we are building the first consumer-centric embedded insurance platform. While empowering merchants to offer pre-prepared insurance policies at the point-of-sale for their unique product offerings, we are reimagining the entire insurance journey for consumers from product purchase to policy management to claim settlement. At this stage, we’re laser focused on innovating in three key areas: personalized policies, data-driven underwriting, and one-tap merchant integration. Combined, we believe that applying technology in inventive ways to build transparent, accessible, and complete insurance products will bring the insurance industry into the digital era and make personal insurance actually work for everyday consumers.

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