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October 17, 2019

Nationwide launches an insurtech for millennials

Key Takeaway
When recently surveying customer needs, Nationwide found that millennials want speed—mobile first, transparency, and value.

Oliver Wyman's Prashanth Gangu recently connected with Scott Sanchez and Scott Liles, members of Nationwide’s Innovation group.

Today, millennials present a significant opportunity for insurtech with new investments in cars and purchasing their first homes. So, what do millennials want from insurtech?  When recently surveying customer needs, Nationwide found that Generation Y wants speed—mobile first, transparency, and value.  

The long-standing Fortune 100 insurance company has turned 100, and recently announced a spin-off insurtech and digital insurance platform called Spire. “We are launching new products, new solutions, new experiences that transform members lives,” says Scott Sanchez, Nationwide’s Chief Innovation Officer.

Spire will be launched in Texas with auto insurance and the company has plans to expand to more states in 2020, and into other personal coverage products and services. Accessible within the palm of the hand, customers can apply for auto insurance coverage and receive a quote in 60 seconds.  “Spire is mobile first and has been built to meet the needs of 30-somethings who manage their life on their phone,” says Scott Liles, Nationwide’s Innovation Leader.

“When I think about insurance, I think about how does it solve problems for people and how do we protect what matters.”

Chief Innovation Officer, Nationwide

In developing Spire, Nationwide created a new rate plan—basing rates on how customers drive, where they drive, and what they drive—and not on things such as gender, credit score, marital and employment status. “We are focusing on carrots not sticks in nudging better driving and better behavior,” says Liles.

“We are doing a number of things that are not simply done in the market today, such as providing rewards for good driving—not just on your rate, and we have an aggressive referral program which customers receive rewards for spreading the word about Spire.”

As a customer-driven innovator, Sanchez says he often thinks about what’s going on with people. “When I think about insurance, I think about how does it solve problems for people and how do we protect what matters.”

Sanchez says Nationwide wanted to create a mobile experience to drive engagement—a Fitbit for driving. “As much as we are excited about the speed, we are also excited about engagement.”

Spire’s design is interactive, digital-first and uses telematics. Using the app, customers can scan their license and answer 4 questions for a quick car insurance quote—"where do you park, how many miles do you drive, do you own or lease your car, and have you had more than two tickets in the past year.”

Image source: Nationwide's Spire

“Spire is mobile first and has been built to meet the needs of 30-somethings who manage their life on their phone.”

Innovation Leader, Nationwide

The platform also helps customers cancel their existing auto insurance policy, manage auto coverage, file a claim, and monitor their own driving habits. The app provides transparency into how premiums are based on factors relevant to driving habits and gives explanations on coverage.

The team says that within Spire there are learnings that will benefit Nationwide’s core businesses. “We have a lot of good wins under our belt so far, but a lot more to go,” Sanchez says.

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