MagicQuote is a mobile app that makes it easy for Millennials to get quotes from more than three dozen auto insurance companies in three minutes or less on their smartphone.
Jon Ansell, CEO of MagicQuote
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different — we are looking to launch our business in Texas and California so we are doing a lot of work testing the UX on our app. We’re committed to making sure our experience works well and provides accurate, transparent information to our users. Then there’s fundraising, which is a constant priority for any founder in this stage.
What inspired you to start your company?
This is my third startup in the insurance/tech space. The first reinvented travel insurance, in part by making it easier to understand and purchase. The second used data and real-time analytics to increase funnel conversions for high-margin, low-cost add-on products, like travel insurance. Our third company, MagicQuote, was formed to fill a gaping hole in the $200 billion auto insurance market.
Here’s how it started: My 21-year-old nephew had just graduated from college and accepted his first “real world” job. He was also buying his first car and wanted some help with auto insurance from me. It took me 2.5 hours to complete applications (each requiring answers to 40+ questions) to get quotes from different insurance companies. Comparison sites were faster but not very accurate. Even worse, the results that came back were shocking: there was a 4x difference in price between the lowest and highest priced. And, in every case, my nephew’s monthly insurance premium was more than his car payment! As for customer experience? For weeks I was getting barraged by emails and calls from random insurance agents.
“Give us 15 minutes and we’ll save you 15%”, or so the commercial goes. There are two problems with this: First, who has even 15 minutes for anything nowadays? Second, for any given company those 15% savings are not for everyone, only certain profiles the insurer likes. Many, especially younger drivers, will pay more. There’s no way to know if you’re getting your best insurance unless you shop around. But shopping around for car insurance is so painful!
That’s why we decided to start MagicQuote. First, we focus on the digital-savvy millennial. Then we build our product with a special focus on online/mobile experience, price comparison, transparency, ease of use, and a CX tailor-made for the Millennial generation. Our target market buys $50 billion in car insurance every year. They need a better way to get it.
What’s your favorite thing about Virginia?
As they say, there’s no greater zealot than a convert and having made the decision to move our travel insurance business from New York to Richmond a while ago, I can attest to the strengths of Central Virginia. Virginia has a great business climate, access to a lot of talent, especially from our universities, and some incredible recreational and environmental assets. When we need to “get away from it all,” Wintergreen and cold craft beer from Devil’s Backbone are only two hours away.