Columbus, Ohio (the 14th-most populous city in the U.S.) is becoming a hot-bed for insurance startup companies utilizing the potential that insurtech offers. With the Columbus-based Nationwide Insurance partnership with Slice Labs, the rideshare concept is hitting the commercial automotive market at a time when ridesharing is on the increase, as Lyft’s recent IPO, and Uber’s move to public testify.
In the Columbus area, financial and insurance related activities comprise the top sector of economic output in the region, with 15 Fortune 1000 headquarters that include Huntington and Nationwide. Plus there are major operational centers for companies like State Farm. It is estimated that insurance carriers employ nearly 30,000 workers in the Columbus Region, including agents, underwriters, actuaries, and more.
Digital Journal takes a look at three innovative companies and inventive entrepreneurs from the Columbus region that are disrupting insurance industry:
First up is Bold Penguin, which is leveraging automation. This Columbus-based startup utilizes automation to provide a faster and easier way to buy and sell commercial insurance. The startup aims to accomplish this by cutting the paperwork from the administrative process. Earlier this year, the company announced it improved the speed of the quote-to-bind process by up to 300 percent through the addition of new insurance partners and feature enhancements. Companies like Nationwide are using the digital platform to connect carriers, brokers and people looking to buy commercial insurance.
The second example is with Root Insurance. This company is a digital automotive insurer, and it hit unicorn status by reaching a $1 billion valuation at the end of 2018 after raising $100 million in Series D funding. Root entered an already established usage-based consumer insurance market; however, the company has a different offering by utilizing artificial intelligence to track drivers, adjust risk, provide highly customized quotes, and reward good driving behavior.
The third example is the startup State Auto. Back in 2017, State Auto partnered with Rev1 Ventures, a venture capital firm which supports insurance and fintech startups. Through this partnership, Rev1 manages the State Auto Labs Fund, a $25 million fund that seeks to support and invest in innovations transforming the insurance industry. The objective of State Auto Labs is to identify, become early adopters of and invest in transformative technologies and solutions within the insurance industry.