Startup wants to help gig economy workers get on-demand healthcare

Jauntin' is whitelabeling its software to make short-term policies profitable for insurance companies.

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Jauntin' wants to help Uber drivers get some health coverage without having to do any underwriting themselves.

"We want to be the largest short-term insurance provider without taking on any underwriting, marketing, or regulatory risk," said founder and CEO Rain Takahashi.

Jauntin' is a B2B company that sells its software to insurance companies. The insurtech startup doesn't have to understand every state's insurance rules because their customers know the regulatory landscape.

The business idea is to help insurance companies capture a new set of customers: People who can't get insurance through work. 

Many banks won't underwrite a mortgage that is less than $50,000. The processing fees are the same for a huge loan or a small one. If the bank can't make any money on a transaction, there's no incentive to do it. 

The same is true for short-term insurance policies. The enrollment process is too time consuming to be profitable for policies that cover anything less than a year.

"We automate the transactional processes to bring down distribution costs and make these short-term policies profitable," Takahashi said. "That way insurance companies haven't lost any money if people turn the insurance off after a month."

SEE: Telemedicine, AI, and deep learning are revolutionizing healthcare (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Jauntin' was a member of the  2018 Global Insurance Accelerator class, a business accelerator designed to foster innovation in the insurance industry by supporting insurtech startups targeting the global insurance industry. Insurtech is the latest set of disruptive entrepreneurs who use technology to make the current insurance industry business model more digital and more efficient.

In addition to selling software to established insurance companies, Jauntin' has launched the on-demand healthcare service BasiCarePlus.  This health coverage is $15 a month for unlimited telemedicine visits. The service also covers a list of 33 medicines which are free. There is no co-pay and as long as you have a US address, you can enroll in this month-to-month service. Jauntin's target customer is 21-40 years old with family incomes below $40,000/year who have limited or no coverage through an employer.  

According to research from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 71% of working age adults who do not have health insurance work for an employer who doesn't offer coverage (Hello gig economy workers). Kaiser Family Foundation also found that among uninsured workers, 90% of thegroup who could get health insurance through work said no thank you because they couldn't afford it. 

Jauntin' plans to add liability insurance, occupation health coverage, cyber, and other types of coverages that are usually expensive and hard for individuals to acquire. In Canada, Jauntin' sells liability insurance for freelancers who need short-term policies. For example, ifa dog walker has an expensive show dog on her calendar on a Wednesday, she can get a policy to cover just that day.

BCx and future products can easily be embedded into third-party platforms and websites, allowing users to secure coverage directly from the third-party.

Takahashi was a digital media consultant before starting Jauntin'. 

"At the end of the day, traditional insurers have to digitize because over the next three years, millennials are going to expect to get insurance in a simpler fashion," he said.

Jauntin' seems to have found a sweet spot in insurtech, at least according to a 2016 report from PwC, "How Insurtech is Reshaping Insurance." An insurance industry VP who participated in the survey said, "Regulatory and capital barriers to enter the insurance industry limit the impact of 'standalone' FinTechs. However, the marriage of FinTech capabilities with a backer who brings in capital, regulatory fit and a recognized brand would be transformational for the sector." PwC considers insurtech a subset of FinTech.

The PwC report reflected a familiar attitude from traditional industries challenged by innovation. Almost half of the survey respondents said that FinTech is the center of their corporate strategies. However, only 28% explore partnerships with FinTech companies and less than 14% have a more active participation in pilot projects. Also, 32% of insurers do not deal with it at all, "potentially putting their business at risk by not even exploring the opportunity space."

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Image: PwC Report on "How Insurtech is Reshaping Insurance"