Startup Spotlight: DigiSURE

 Empowering the Mobility Sector with On-demand Insurance    

Today we sat down with Paul Smith, CEO, and Shannon Burt, Director of Customer Success, from San Francisco to learn more about DigiSURE. DigiSURE is building a software platform to empower the mobility sector with a suite of insurance products and risk management tools to handle data analysis, underwriting, and precision pricing at the transaction level.  These technologies ensure that every transaction is evaluated and appropriately priced to optimize underwriting results and create safe, affordable and sustainable foundations for the growth of mobility solutions.

Where did the idea for DigiSURE develop from?                                       

One of our founders was driving a rented Bobcat while doing work on his yard when he started counting all the things that could go wrong. There were no controls. No safety instructions. No training, and no way to make sure that the person using it was, in fact, qualified to use it. What if he were a college kid with a hangover instead of an experienced and trustworthy father of two? Was the insurance portion of his bill effectively subsidizing that much riskier college kid? That didn’t seem fair. So he pulled together his most trusted colleagues to solve the problem, and DigiSURE was born.                                                 

Why did you choose the name ‘DigiSURE’?                                                

“DigiSURE is short-hand for Digital Insurance, which is intended to describe the application of new technologies to the traditional functions of the insurance value chain, including sales, underwriting, pricing, and claims management with real-time solutions leveraging a SaaS model, automation and machine learning.                                                   

Who is your current target audience?                                           

With a sector focus on mobility, we have segmented our target audience into three groups:

Mobility platforms – we integrate with mobility platforms to provide our risk tools and protection products to their customers via a seamless CX integration, Fleet owners – the supply side of these marketplaces need coverage that allows commercial use and can keep costs down during periods when there is not any risk exposure, Gig workers – a real need exists for products that understand both employee benefits and SMB insurance offerings are inaccessible to the gig workforce”                                   

How do you think DigiSURE is going to change the industry?                                         

Only DigiSURE provides an end-to-end insurance solution for on-demand mobility businesses. While many companies provide discrete solutions in identity authentication, background checks, risk scoring, and insurance services, none offer an insurance-in-a-box solution for this specific market segment. All of the platforms out there are suffering through the challenges presented by insurance, and would benefit immensely from a solution modeled as “the Stripe for insurance”.                                       

What made you want to join an accelerator program?                                      

To be honest, we had very little interest in most of the incubator programs.  What made HIH different to us is the deep level of partnership with the sponsor companies.  The commitment to collaboration is a huge accelerant to the typical timelines involved with trying to build these relationships on your own.  The mentor community here is also unparalleled with a combination of not just deep expertise but also genuine goodwill and helpfulness to help us achieve our vision.                                             

How did you and cofounder meet?                                                

This is a little complex with 4 cofounders…  Paul & Mike are friends going all the way back to undergraduate days at Georgetown University, where they both spent a junior year abroad in Japan.  Paul & Praveen first worked together at MasterCard in the late 90’s and stayed in touch ever since. Mike & Bob have known each other for many years and have worked together across many investments and partnerships.                                        

How did you find out about Hartford InsurTech Hub?                                         

Email marketing and then outreach from Leland to meet at ITC.                                                                         

How does DigiSURE improve the quality of life?                                               

We are tackling the full value chain of insurance services to make mobility marketplaces safer for participants.                                    

What do you think has been DigiSURES’s biggest obstacle, and how have you overcome that?                                        

The biggest obstacle has been striking a balance between the short time horizon of venture capital funding, and the longer horizon required to not only build a complex and multi-faceted system focused on disrupting the status quo, but also in the time required to build the relationships and partnerships with insurers needed to enable our technology.                                                                                                

What advice would you give a startup that is interested in joining the Hartford InsurTech Hub’s accelerator program?                     

As a startup, there are many incubator options available, but if you are an insurtech with specific goals, HIH undoubtedly has the deepest sector focus, with *real* and substantive carrier relationships to accelerate your evolution.