Business

McKinsey vets launch PolicyGenius to make insurance shopping less terrible

Image Credit: Laptop image via PolicyGenius
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Shopping for insurance is often boring and unpleasant, much like eating brussels sprouts, said one PolicyGenius cofounder.

That’s why the cofounders of PolicyGenius have set out to make the tastiest brussels sprouts.

Both former McKinsey & Co. consultants, Jennifer Fitzgerald, and Francois de Lame launched PolicyGenius on Wednesday. The website helps people determine and buy insurance plans optimal for them without involving a shady insurance agent looking for the highest commission.

Site visitors can use the company’s online “Insurance Checkup” tool to see quotes from over 30 providers of pet insurance, renter’s insurance, and life insurance. It plans to offer quotes for long-term disability insurance soon, with other kinds of insurance (including health insurance) to follow.

“The burden of insurance knowledge is shifting from employers to individuals, and insurance companies in the U.S. just aren’t ready for that shift,” Fitzgerald told VentureBeat. “We quickly came to the conclusion that structural change wasn’t going to come from them but from some small startup.”

As an independent insurance broker, PolicyGenius earns a commission on each plan it sells. But the company has more to gain by being transparent and suggesting the best plans for each individual than by pushing plans with the highest commissions.

“We also point out insurance that you don’t need,” de Lame said, referencing PolicyGenius’ educational material. “We want unbiased and transparent content and information.

“We only sell term life insurance, for example, because we firmly believe it’s the right solution for most people who need life insurance, even though we’d make a lot more money selling permanent life insurance,” he said.

PolicyGenius has raised a $750,000 seed round from angel investors, friends, and family to continue building out the product and spreading the word about the site. The Brooklyn, New York-based company hopes to reach the younger generation that insurance companies aren’t reaching by themselves.

“We’re making insurance easy for the digital generation,” said Fitzgerald.

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