High-tech firms aim to upend the insurance market — how to find if they’re the right fit for you


You need insurance for all types of things, from your health and life to your home and car.

Yet wading through all your options could wind up leaving you thoroughly confused.

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) there were 5,964 insurers in the U.S. in 2018, with consumers paying $2.425 trillion in total premiums.

Among those insurers are new entrants, so-called disruptors — tech start-ups that have landed on the scene, promising an easier and faster process. The new firms include Root, which uses smartphone technology in its car insurance business, and life-insurance company Ethos, which uses predictive analytics and data technology. Both have both recently announced new rounds of funding.

Tech-centric Oscar Health, which started in 2012 and was No. 12 in CNBC’s 2018 Disruptor 50, has been slowly expanding offerings compliant with the  Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, Lemonade, which specializes in renters and homeowners insurance, has raised $480 million so far, according to Crunchbase.

“Consumers can buy insurance in a matter of seconds, on their smartphones, chatting to a chatbot,” Lemonade’s co-founder, Daniel Schreiber, told CNBC in May. The company, No. 37 on CNBC’s 2019 Disruptor 50 list, is powered by AI, chatbots and behavior economics.

“About a third of our claims are settled within about three or four seconds by a bot on your app,” Schreiber added.

It’s no surprise that more companies are going high-tech. Buying insurance online is the most popular method used by 18- to 25-year-olds, according to a September survey by

Of the 500 people surveyed, 45% bought car insurance on a computer or mobile device, 59% went online to purchase health insurance, 54% got their renters insurance online and 46% bought life insurance on a computer or mobile device……Read more>>