Founded Blog, Founded on Technology | October 29, 2019

Awakening the ‘Sleeping Giant’: Insuretech

By Erica Nataren, Insuretech Practice Manager and Copy Lead


Industry heavyweights look ahead at a recent insuretech panel in San Francisco. From left to right: Eugenio Gonzales, investor at Plug & Play Ventures; Martha Notaras, partner at XL Innovate; Jonathan Matus, founder and CEO of Zendrive; and moderator Dr. Bastiaan de Goei, head of AXA Next US. Photo credit: Brian Pierce

The quiet, centuries-old insurance industry finds itself in the throes of total reinvention, driven by technology that’s transforming every aspect of the sector.

Marketing is uniquely able to help insuretechs activate their full potential as they introduce exciting new efficiencies and consumer-friendly business models. The earlier they let us in the door, the more we can do to help.

A global industry evolves

Whether you spell it with or without the “e” (your spellchecker thinks it’s a typo either way), insuretech is slowly becoming a major focus of startup investment and innovation, not just in the Bay Area but also in long-established insurance and finance hubs across the U.S. and Europe (Munich and London in particular), as well as Asia and Dubai.

While financially healthy, this staid industry faces many challenges in a fast-moving age—some of their own making.

Insurance marketing: not an oxymoron

Insurance marketing, for instance, can be notoriously uninspiring. The industry is heavily regulated, often leading to dry descriptions and fear-based offers. Attempts at creativity can play out awkwardly. Meanwhile, the powerful core promise of insurance gets lost in a sea of negative perceptions.

Typically, agents and brokers provide the cut-through, working face-to-face with clients to explain coverage in lay terms and map out individual coverage needs. This effort is traditionally followed up with piles of paperwork and long processing times.

The new role marketing can play

The direct nature of so many insurtechs makes the role of good marketing more critical than ever. And while there are success stories, we’ve noticed that marketing remains an afterthought in funding, business model and product development discussions. As a result, it eventually becomes a pressing mystery.

At a recent panel discussion, investor Eugenio Gonzales from Plug & Play Ventures, a global insuretech incubator, said many startups urgently need help in positioning and branding, if they hope to compete in consumer markets against large carriers.

We see an additional challenge on the horizon, too. As personal data becomes the core component of many business models, it will be vital for insuretechs to position their offers in a way that’s empowering to customers, rather than scary.

How marketing can help the insurance rebirth

Insuretechs are rethinking the entire insurance value chain, from product development to pricing to underwriting and claims, in commercial and consumer markets. Marketing can be a key partner in this rebirth:

  • By getting out in front of ingrained negative perceptions with inspiring messaging. Insurance has the power to capture people’s imagination. This sounds like a pipe dream but it isn’t. Many low-interest categories have been transformed through effective marketing — think Method cleaning products and Dyson vacuums.

    Breakthrough marketing connects companies with their tribes. The industry has yet to truly capture this potential, still relying on the old maxim that “insurance is sold, not bought.”

  • By building trust with straightforward product explanations, streamlined online experiences and useful content that helps audiences live better lives. Marketing can work hand-in-hand with disruptive technology, supporting efforts to build direct, proactive partnerships with policyholders.

The right way to think about insurance

Insurance marketing itself is ripe for reinvention, as it finds new ways to explain the key benefits of insurance:

  • It has the power to simplify and lighten your life.
  • It can make something unavoidable into something surprisingly smooth.
  • It’s a core component of financial stability.

Getting this effort right makes a company better than the sum of its parts, and creates powerful intrinsic brand value.

The next step

At Founded, we’re proud to show how we’ve repositioned and marketed many fintech firms to connect powerfully with their most critical audiences, share their core benefits, and grow their bottom lines. Let’s talk about your insuretech—reach out today.