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30 states and allows users to compare quotes from 82 insurance carriers. Those include Travelers, MetLife, and Safeco, as well as independent agencies that sell policies from multiple insurers, Zacharia says.
By comparison, The Zebra’s online auto insurance comparison service is available in all 50 states and incorporates rates from more than 200 insurers. The four-year-old, Austin, TX-based company says it served more than 3.5 million drivers last year.
Zacharia says Insurify is making progress in its efforts to expand to all 50 states and sign up more insurers. “We are adding new carriers every month,” she says.
Insurify’s Web and text message products don’t currently allow users to purchase the insurance directly; after choosing a quote, they are connected with an insurance agent on the phone to complete the transaction. (Insurers pay Insurify a fee when one of its users buys an insurance policy.) In the future, Zacharia says, she wants to make it possible for users to purchase insurance right on Insurify’s website, although she’s coy about adding that feature to Evia.
The seed money should help Insurify continue advancing its products, but it will have its hands full standing out amongst better-funded rivals like Google, which launched an auto insurance price comparison website last year; San Francisco-based CoverHound, which has raised more than $53 million from investors; and The Zebra, which has raised more than $21 million.
The Evia text-messaging product could be a differentiator for Insurify. The back-and-forth between users and the virtual agent plays into what Zacharia sees as a “huge trend of conversational commerce.”
And unlike CoverHound and The Zebra, Insurify doesn’t plan to hire its own staff of licensed agents working at call centers, Zacharia says. She says that frees up Insurify to focus more on technology and improving user experience (although we’ll see if users wish they had more human support from the company).
If Insurify has success with auto insurance, Zacharia wants to eventually add other types of insurance—like home, motorcycle, and even health—to its search capabilities. “We’re on a very exciting journey,” she says.
Indeed, it’s still early days for Insurify and its competitors. If the travel search industry is any indication, companies in the online insurance comparison sector likely have years of growth, pivots, flameouts, and consolidation ahead before the dust settles.