Management Liability Insurance for Startups: How is it Different?
February 10, 2023
Any business with a management or leadership team needs management liability insurance, and startups are no exception. However, startup companies often face challenges in getting the protection they need. In this blog, we’ll explain what management liability insurance is, why it can be difficult for startups to acquire, and how and why Boost built an award-winning management liability product specifically for startups. “Management liability insurance” is not a single insurance coverage. Instead, it’s a collection of several different coverages designed to protect a company and its managers from potential legal costs, as well as costs related to mistakes, mismanagement, and disputes. Some insurance providers offer these coverages separately, while others sell them together as a management liability package. The three most common coverages included in management liability insurance are: All three coverages protect against the cost of lawsuits against the company, meaning that if the company is sued, the insurance will cover legal fees, settlements, and other related costs. Each covers a different type of suit. Directors and Officers insurance is a type of liability insurance for a business’s senior management (hence the “directors and officers” in the name), in case they are sued for something related to their duties managing the company. This coverage frequently applies to both personal lawsuits against the directors and officers, and to lawsuits against the company related to their actions. Employment Practices Liability insurance protects a company from the cost of being sued for things related to hiring or personnel practices. This can include lawsuits for things like wrongful termination, discrimination, harassment, and other employment-related issues. Fiduciary insurance protects the company from the cost of lawsuits related to mismanagement of the company benefits plan. This can include anything from wrongfully denying benefits to making poor choices for the company’s 401(k) plan investment. Some management liability packages may also include a type of crime insurance that covers kidnapping for ransom and other specific crimes against a company’s senior management. This differs from the three coverages discussed above as it is not aimed at protecting against lawsuits. While the protections that management liability insurance provides are important for many businesses, it can be difficult for startups to access the coverages they need. Many of the management liability products currently on the market were designed for much larger businesses, which is reflected in their risk assessment methods. For these products, underwriting decisions consider factors like how long the company has been in business, how many employees they have, and their revenue numbers. This can be a problem for startups, since they often have little or no revenue and relatively limited business history. Often, this results in startups being flagged as very high risk - or being denied coverage altogether. Even for startups that are approved for coverage, the high-risk pricing means many can’t afford to buy the policy they’re offered. Another challenge for startups can be the way that management liability insurance is sold. Many insurers offer the key coverages separately, with little guidance on how they fit together or what a company needs to buy. For young companies that lack insurance expertise, it can be hard to know which coverages they should even apply for. For insurtechs and other businesses that cater to startups, this represents a significant business opportunity. Startups are a big market, with tens of thousands of venture-backed companies in the United States. They’re also a well-funded segment: US-based startups raised nearly $200B in venture capital in 2022. If your business can meet startups’ insurance needs, you’ve got a lot of prospective customers. And the potential is bigger than just revenue. Insurance is sticky, and building relationships with startup companies can lead to bigger commercial insurance opportunities as those startups grow. To capitalize on these possibilities, insurtechs need to offer a management liability product that can provide startups with the protection they need, at a price they can afford. Boost can help. Our award-winning, white-label management liability insurance product addresses the biggest barrier, price, by using an alternative dataset to evaluate risk. Instead of traditional metrics like revenue and organizational age, Boost’s proprietary algorithm takes into account a startup’s institutional backing. Potential VC investors examine a company in great detail, including far more information about its business practices than an insurer would be able to access. If a top-tier investor supports a startup, it’s a reasonable indication that that startup is well-run, and reasonably low risk. This alternate risk assessment allows for rates up to 40% lower than traditional products. The three key coverages - Directors and Officers, Employment Practice Liability, and Fiduciary - could also be offered in a single white-label insurance package, making it easy for startups to access everything they need. Like all businesses, startups need insurance that can provide protection against possible costs, but traditional products and legacy underwriting frequently lock them out. For insurtechs able to offer a more inclusive management liability insurance product, there’s a large prospective market just waiting to be tapped.
Contact us to learn how you can get started offering management liability to your startup clients. Continue Reading
Boost Receives New York Approval for First Comprehensive Startup Management Liability Product
August 26, 2021
Our insurtech and embedded distribution partners can now offer fair and affordable D&O, Fiduciary, and EPL coverage to the burgeoning NY startup market on an admitted basis. Last year, we announced the launch of Boost’s Startup Management Liability Insurance Product after several months of R&D and close engagement with the state insurance regulators. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that this innovative product recently received approval from New York authorities to officially make our product the first comprehensive startup-focused management liability offering available in the state’s admitted market. With New York’s approval, the product is now available to all startups and privately owned small businesses in one of the country’s leading innovation hubs - and Boost’s own home state! Boost’s Startup Management Liability Product is live in 20 states, which collectively represent about 90% of venture capital deal volume and with New York’s recent approval, can be offered in almost every startup hotspot in the U.S. including California, New York, Texas, Illinois, Washington, and many more. As always, we are calling on all tech-enabled MGAs, brokers, agents, and embedded distribution platforms that are interested in partnering with Boost Insurance to offer this game-changing product to their startup and small business customers. According to the National Venture Capital Association, over 10,000 U.S.-based startups received venture capital funding in 2020 alone - with total investment in the segment surpassing $160 billion for the year. This fast-growing startup ecosystem now employs an estimated 2.5 million people across the United States and these trends are not slowing down. The startups of today will represent a meaningful portion of the commercial insurance market of tomorrow - and sooner than you may think. All startups need fair and affordable management liability insurance in their early days - it’s typically even required by investors in order for a startup to raise capital. However, the vast majority don't have access to the coverage they need and the startup segment as a whole remains considerably underserved by traditional insurers and their one-size-fits-all insurance products. Startups are traditionally deemed ineligible and denied coverage outright under legacy underwriting guidelines for commercial lines insurance products - largely due to their lack of financial and/or operating history. Even the startups that are deemed eligible for coverage are forced to pay exorbitant premiums because insurers unfairly generalize the segment as a high-risk class of business relative to larger policyholders. “The New York City startup scene represents approximately 15% of venture capital deal volume in the U.S., so Boost receiving approval to offer the only comprehensive startup management liability insurance product in that market opens up a huge opportunity for a wide range of companies that cater to startups. Those companies can now offer Boost's embedded insurance product and expand the value they already drive to their startup clientele - and be 100% sure that they’re receiving the best coverage at the fairest prices.” -- Alex Maffeo, CEO and Founder of Boost Ironically, Boost encountered this problem ourselves in the early days of our operations, so we know the pain. We were barely even able to get a quote for basic Directors & Officers coverage from traditional insurers when we were closing our seed round of financing, despite helping innovators offer better insurance products being a core part of our company’s mission! Nobody is immune to this problem, so we did what any good startup would do – we built a better product ourselves. Our product empowers any company that has startups or small businesses in its customer base to offer the most comprehensive and affordable management liability protection - all through a simple and fully white-labeled digital insurance experience that is embedded directly into their existing workflows and interfaces. Whether you’re an insurtech, an established broker/agent, a venture capital firm, fintech, bank, or technology company that serves startups - you can now provide a differentiated and valuable line of insurance protection to your customers. Boost’s product can easily be integrated as part of your core business or offered as a value-added product and service to enhance the relationship with your customers. Boost’s Startup Management Liability Product is built for privately owned companies with between $0 and $150 million in venture capital or other forms of equity financing and offers: Get Started on the Boost Platform Learn more about Boost’s Startup Management Liability product. Interested in offering this product or any others to your customers? Contact us to become a Boost partner today. Continue Reading
What Is Embedded Insurance? (Plus: How It Works)
April 11, 2022
Embedded insurance growing in popularity and interest in the digital insurance space and is a huge revenue growth opportunity. However, for businesses outside of the insurance industry, it’s not always clear what embedded insurance actually means. We’ll go over what embedded insurance is, how it works, and why it matters for your business. “Embedded insurance” gets its name from being embedded into an existing purchasing experience, allowing customers to buy digital insurance without requiring them to go elsewhere to complete the transaction. This is part of a growing trend of “embedded finance,” wherein customers are able to buy, sell, access credit, and interact with their bank through the platforms of non-financial companies. If you’ve ever ordered something from an app and paid for it without leaving the app experience, you’ve used embedded finance. Embedded insurance has a similar function and addresses many of the inconveniences that a consumer might face in a more traditional insurance-buying process. Typically, buying traditional insurance includes numerous disjointed, repetitive steps, such as navigating multiple websites, submitting documents multiple times, and even offline components, like calling an agent or faxing in forms. In contrast, embedded insurance is available to buy when and where the customer needs it - usually when they’re making a related purchase. Rather than having to bounce between separate providers or experiences, embedded insurance allows customers to easily provide their information, get a quote, and receive their policy right from the website or app of the business they’re already transacting with. This ultimately makes the digital insurance purchase process easier for both the business and the customer. If you’ve ever bought a plane ticket online, you have probably been offered a protection plan or travel insurance policy as part of the checkout process. That's an example of a real-life embedded insurance product. Without leaving the airline’s purchase flow, you can buy insurance as part of the same transaction as your tickets. By simply checking a box, the price is added to your total cost, your trip is protected, and you’re sent an email with details on how to file a claim. That’s the convenience of embedded insurance for consumers. Travel insurance is a common example that many people have encountered in their daily lives, but embedded insurance is actually on the rise across a variety of industries, including both B2B and B2C. Regardless of the type of business offering embedded insurance, the process is very similar: the customer is offered a way to seamlessly buy the insurance, at a time they’re likely to be interested. Here’s another example, for a very different business type. Let’s say John owns a certain amount of cryptocurrency, which he stores in a digital wallet on an exchange. With crypto theft increasing and few protection options available for the average consumer, John is rightfully concerned about the safety of his digital crypto wallet. One day, while John is checking his balance on the exchange website, he gets a pop-up notification about new crypto insurance coverage. He clicks on the pop-up and is taken to a product page within the same exchange website. He fills out a form, makes his first premium payment, and goes back to checking crypto prices. The whole process takes him less than ten minutes, and now John’s crypto wallet is protected with the coverage that he needs in case of a breach. Meanwhile, the exchange has collected John’s customer data, set up recurring payments, and built a deeper customer relationship. If you’re looking for ways to increase your revenue and/or deepen your customer relationships, offering embedded insurance as a complement to your existing products or services is a great business opportunity. You may not be selling plane tickets or crypto, but chances are you’re offering something that could be protected by insurance. If your company caters to pet owners, you could offer white-label pet insurance, and help your customers protect their pets’ health when they’re already making a pet-related purchase. If you manage a cryptocurrency exchange platform, you could offer crypto wallet insurance to help your retail clients enhance the safety of their digital assets. If you provide HR services to SMEs, you could offer parental leave insurance to help your clients affordably offer this highly desirable benefit, while you’re already helping your clients set up their benefits packages. The options are plentiful. The greatest advantage that embedded insurance offers to your customers is convenience—they can easily get the protection they need for just a slight extra cost, and no extra effort. The greatest advantage that embedded insurance offers to you is that it works to grow your revenue. By offering your customers a quick, easy, and beneficial product, you can tap into a new stream of revenue. And, by applying your knowledge of your customers’ needs and purchasing behaviors, you can get ahead of their concerns, offer them a valuable solution, and ultimately, increase their brand loyalty. While there are multiple ways to approach embedded insurance, the fast and most cost-effective approach is usually white-labeling insurance products. The concept of “white-labeling” is not unique to embedded insurance. A white-label product is a product or service that is manufactured by one company and then rebranded and sold by other companies. For example, when you see food items sold with the Trader Joe’s logo on them, those products were most likely not produced by Trader Joe’s. They were white-labeled and then sold under the Trader Joe’s brand. The reason for white labeling is that it saves the company a lot of work. Instead of Trader Joe’s having to produce every frozen spring roll themselves, own vineyards to source each bottle of wine, and employ all the people involved in manufacturing each product, they outsource that work to companies that specialize in producing those things, then white-label and sell the products that those other companies create for them. With white-label insurance, the same idea applies. It’s theoretically possible for a company to build its own insurance product, but in most cases, it makes more sense to outsource that labor. Developing an insurance product is a complicated, expensive, and lengthy process with different legal requirements in each state. Instead of trying to take that on yourself, you could work with a company like Boost, who’s already done that work for you. If you want to learn more about growing your revenue with white-labeled, embedded insurance through Boost, contact us, or dive into building your insurance program with Boost Launchpad. Continue Reading
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