Digital Innovation in the Insurance Startup Industry

The insurance industry has long been known for its traditional and cumbersome processes. However, with the rise of digital technology, startups like Sure are revolutionizing the way insurance is bought and managed. Sure is a digital insurance platform that is on a mission to bring the insurance industry into the digital age. By combining insurance expertise with cutting-edge technology, Sure is transforming the customer experience and unlocking the potential of digital insurance for large brands and carriers.

In 2014, Wayne Slavin, the co-founder and CEO of Sure, experienced a moment of realization during a turbulent flight. He began to ponder the ease with which anyone should be able to purchase insurance on the spot, whenever they need it. This led him to recognize the untapped potential of life insurance, as a recent survey by Prosper Insights & Analytics revealed that only 25% of US adults currently invest in it. Slavin saw an opportunity to make insurance more accessible and convenient for individuals, and thus, Sure was born.

Sure initially set out to build a proprietary app that would enable people to purchase insurance quickly and easily. However, as they developed their technology, they realized that their opportunity was much bigger than selling insurance digitally on their own. They saw the potential to partner with brands and carriers to create sophisticated embedded insurance programs. This approach allowed Sure to leverage their technology and insurance expertise to deliver exceptional customer experiences while helping brands and carriers reach their customers in a more convenient and seamless way.

The traditional insurance industry has struggled to meet the evolving expectations of today’s consumers. According to the Prosper Insights & Analytics survey, 13.4% of US adults plan to buy or switch auto insurance in the next 6 months. However, many of them are likely to have a disappointing experience. Legacy insurers have been unable to deliver the types of digital experiences that consumers now expect. The challenge lies in bridging the gap between insurance expertise and technology expertise. While large carriers possess the insurance expertise, they often lack the technology expertise to deliver innovative digital insurance experiences quickly and at scale.

Sure addresses this challenge by bringing their technology to the table. They provide insurance carriers with the necessary infrastructure to reach customers in a digital-first world and deliver world-class customer experiences. By combining the insurance expertise of carriers and the technology expertise of Sure, they create a collaborative environment where both parties can add value and create experiences that meet the needs and expectations of customers.

Embedded insurance is a concept that has been around for some time. In the analog world, it referred to offerings like rental car coverage provided at the rental counter. However, in the digital age, embedded insurance takes on a whole new meaning. It leverages technology to digitally distribute insurance products and enables customers to purchase insurance seamlessly and instantly.

Today, embedded insurance involves providing customers with the ability to purchase insurance through a completely digital buying process. For example, when locking in a mortgage online, customers can also purchase homeowners insurance simultaneously. The goal is to meet the customer with the right product at the right time, providing a convenient and frictionless experience.

Sure has worked with various industries and brands to run successful digital insurance programs. One notable success story is their partnership with Farmers to build Toggle Insurance from the ground up. Sure’s platform handles all the digital workflows, from policy quotes and binding to policy administration. They started with renters’ insurance and expanded into auto insurance, continually assessing the market to deliver more embedded insurance experiences for consumers.

Another example of Sure’s innovation is Retrace, a technology that enables online merchants to offer embedded one-click insurance and protection at the point of sale. This technology enhances the customer experience, increasing satisfaction and fostering brand loyalty.

Looking ahead, Wayne Slavin envisions the transition from insurtech 1.0 to insurtech 2.0. In the early days of insurtech, direct-to-consumer companies recognized the need for a better customer experience and built their own insurance offerings. However, this model presented challenges in the long run. Legacy insurers are experts at managing risk and underwriting policies, while technology partners can provide the necessary infrastructure for distribution and exceptional customer experiences.

As insurtech 2.0 unfolds, modern insurance platforms like Sure are likely to replace the legacy platforms used by incumbent carriers. Buyers’ expectations for a seamless customer experience are here to stay, and the ability to streamline the insurance process will define the next era of insurance distribution.

Sure is at the forefront of revolutionizing the insurance industry with its digital innovation. By leveraging their technology and insurance expertise, they are unlocking the potential of embedded insurance for large brands and carriers. Sure’s success stories in partnerships with Farmers and online merchants showcase their commitment to delivering exceptional customer experiences in the digital age. As insurtech continues to evolve, Sure’s approach exemplifies the future of insurance distribution, where collaboration between carriers and technology partners enables seamless and convenient insurance experiences for customers.


Q: What is Sure? A: Sure is a digital insurance platform that combines insurance expertise with cutting-edge technology to deliver exceptional customer experiences. They work with brands and carriers to create sophisticated embedded insurance programs.

Q: What is embedded insurance? A: Embedded insurance refers to the digital distribution of insurance products, allowing customers to purchase insurance seamlessly and instantly. It ensures that customers can access the right insurance product at the right time.

Q: How does Sure help insurance carriers? A: Sure provides insurance carriers with the necessary technology infrastructure to reach customers in a digital-first world. By partnering with Sure, carriers can deliver world-class customer experiences and meet the evolving expectations of consumers.

Q: What industries has Sure worked with? A: Sure has worked with various industries, including retail and automotive. They have helped build embedded insurance experiences for renters’ insurance, auto insurance, and even enabled online merchants to offer embedded insurance at the point of sale.

Q: What is the future of insurtech? A: The future of insurtech lies in the transition from insurtech 1.0 to insurtech 2.0. This shift involves a collaboration between legacy insurers and technology partners to provide seamless customer experiences and streamline the insurance distribution process.

First reported by Forbes.