If you’ve gotten a homeowner’s insurance quote recently you saw the same thing that the co-founders of Kin saw, an industry weighed down by decades of legacy and lack of innovation. They set out to eradicate 100 question forms, phone calls to agents on your lunch break, and months of paperwork when trying to make a claim and I helped them on their journey to do so.
Minimum Viable Brand
When I joined the company they were an independent insurance broker named Bright Policy with no online product to speak of. As we started to think through the first version of our online tools we came to the realization that the Bright Policy brand wasn’t appropriate for what we were building. However, a months long branding process wouldn’t work. I developed a timeline that would give us a strong foundation to build a brand upon while taking only a few short weeks to get there. This process included market interviews, competitive review, stakeholder exercises, and regular feedback loops.
At the end of the process we found the three pillars with which we wanted to build the company upon:
- Convenience: Insurance is largely viewed as another chore in an already busy day. This doesn’t need to be the case. Be biased towards self-service solutions, support whatever device the customer has in their hands, and schedule interruptions on their schedule, not ours.
- Understanding: Explain tricky concepts in plain, simple, and direct language. Just because an insurance policy is a framework for legal assumptions of risk and liability doesn’t mean that you should need a lawyer to know whether you’re fully covered or not.
- Efficiency: Computers can answer questions in seconds that a majority of our customers could only make educated guesses at in minutes. Efficient use of the tools available to use makes our pricing more accurate and our coverage complete.
Upon these pillars Kin was born, an insurance company that would integrate these principles into everything we built, both for our customers as well as our internal teams.
Making A Splash
Our first product launch was in the state of Florida, a difficult state to sell in, but we were confident in our product and wanted to go big early. It was important that we had a memorable web presence as the customer journey when purchasing an insurance policy spans multiple days and typically results in multiple sessions on the site. As a new name in the market we didn’t want to risk being overlooked. We created an eye-catching and memorable design that pushed browsers to the edge of their capabilities through the use of layer blending modes, clipping paths, and an overlapping multi-grid layout that was fully responsive.
Real-time Coverage Feedback
From experience, we knew that customers liked to check out different combinations of coverage when exploring prices. They would speak to an agent that would give them a quote, but often ask about how changes to the policy would affect the price. Knowing that customers were regularly exploring different coverage options led us to a design that let them adjust many of their coverages themselves, and get real-time price changes on the page.
When shopping for a new policy customers will typically get a quote from several places. It’s helpful for them to have PDFs that they can print out and review at their convenience. Most quotes look like a poorly generated Microsoft Word document with misaligned columns, multiple typefaces, and oddly placed whitespace. It’s usually difficult to determine the coverages associated with the quote and the price is often hidden on the third page of the document. This was another opportunity to stand out.
A template was built that fit the entire quote on a single sheet of paper, clearly stating the premium, primary coverage, additional coverages that have been added to the policy, and the cost breakdown of everything attached to the quote. This document was then integrated into our application and generated on the fly, fitting entirely on a single page in an easy-to-read design. We could also link items on the PDF to descriptive pages on the website that helped answer questions the customer might have.
While Kin’s launch in Florida was a success there is still a lot to do as they set about to improve their product and redefine what it means to be an insurance company. I am proud to have been a part of their journey as they started on this path.