It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post. Copywriting isn’t my strong point, so I usually try to steer away from it. But on this occasion, I’ve decided to give it a go.
You see – we’re just about to go all guns blazing with Hiro. And it’s important that it’s me who explains what Hiro is and why we’re doing what we’re doing.
What is Hiro?
Hiro is insurance for smart people.
It lives on your mobile and speaks your language. It’s personalised, transparent and rewards you for taking care of your home and everything around you. It’s not an annual contract – it’s a monthly subscription that you can cancel at any time, with no cancellation fees, no admin fees, no nonsense.
Old insurance takes your money and sits there on the sidelines, waiting for bad things to happen. It then steps in and (hopefully) pays out for your claim. It doesn’t, however, help you until the damage has already been done.
Hiro helps you prevent bad things from happening – by making it simpler to kit out your home with smart technology to detect problems and deter intruders - and by providing useful hints and tips on how to look after your home.
Old insurance makes you jump through a lot of hoops. It doesn’t make it easy to communicate, make a claim, or monitor its progress.
Hiro automates your experience, uses modern comms channels, and will do everything possible to expedite your claim. But we only use technology that is truly smart, and augment it with human beings where it matters (I hate robocalls that are half-baked – the ones that don’t recognise the context or my accent - as I’m sure you do, too!). And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Why did we start Hiro?
In short - because insurance is fundamentally broken! Digging a bit deeper, though, there are a few specific reasons.
Insurance feels like something from the ‘90s
Insurance feels out of touch with our lives. We live in a world where we can summon food or transport from the internet with a couple of swipes of a smartphone. We can order everything online and get it delivered the same day! We get instant mobile notifications when we spend money. We get instant recommendations for films or music that we like.
Instant everything – is what we’re used to. And yet dealing with insurers feels like pulling teeth.
Lack of trust
We don’t trust our insurers. We believe that when the chips are down, they will do everything to avoid paying out the claim. The reason? The heart of the problem is if insurers pay out fewer claims, they retain more profit.
I could try to defend old insurers and explain that, in general, they are trying hard to pay out genuine claims - but it doesn’t take a genius to recognise that the old insurance model doesn’t build trust. If anything, this flawed business model inherently encourages fraud. After all – if you think their insurer is out to cheat you, why not cheat them first? Why not inflate the claim if there is an opportunity?
The opaqueness and legalese used by insurers to write their terms and policy wording doesn’t help either. It amplifies the feeling that these T&Cs, seemingly written in hieroglyphics, are there to be used against us.
Old insurance doesn’t provide value
However you look at it, except for some peace of mind, you will statistically lose on your insurance. It’s like gambling in this respect – on average, we will lose out financially. You buy your insurance policy, put it in the drawer, and hope to never use it. But does it have to be this way?
Our mission at Hiro is to provide value all the time – whether you claim or not. And we will do it in a multitude of ways, starting with a members-only marketplace where you can buy smart technology that can protect your home, at heavily discounted prices. But there’s more to come...
Old insurers penalise loyal customers
Old insurers use dual-pricing – acquiring new customers by offering low premiums and then penalising them (so-called ‘loyalty-penalty’) when it comes to renewal.
At Hiro – we want to reward our loyal customers.
Every problem mentioned above should be enough to come up with an innovative business proposition. When an industry is as damaged as insurance, surely there is something that we can do about it?
I’ve co-founded an insurtech startup before and my closest founding team members (@Dan, @Adam) were there with me when we started working on it back in 2015. At the time, we believed that the industry was about to change, and we had no time to waste. Everyone was talking about how technology (smart devices, machine learning, chatbots, big data, mobile apps) was going to transform the industry.
When in 2018 we exited to one of the largest European insurers, we felt the industry had finally woken up and all these massive technological changes were just around the corner.
And then a year went by. And then another. And nothing changed! The innovation we were so keen to see was nowhere to be found.
Old insurers are too cosy. They like to talk the talk but won’t walk the walk. Citing Edison: “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration”. It became obvious that it’s time to roll up our sleeves again and show old insurers how this is done. The timing is right to challenge the status quo! So, what’s the deal?
We’ve been working on Hiro for the last nine months. We’ve already built the whole technology platform – backend, frontend, mobile apps, pricing models and more – all from scratch, in-house. Owning this entire technology stack helps us move at lightning speed, compared with old insurers.
We’ve secured financial backing, underwriting partners and we are already FCA registered. We’ve been running private beta programs with Hiro Insiders and plan on launching the service in the UK in early 2021. In the meantime, we will be crowdfunding on Seedrs and running even more tests with our Insiders. And that’s where you come in:
We now need you to join us on this journey. We need you to sign up to our waiting list, invest in Hiro, or, as a minimum, cheer us on from the stands. We welcome your comments, questions, compliments, and even verbal abuse! We need you to help us change insurance for good - for everyone’s good.