Merlinio, Digital Insurance Platform for Millennials, Launches In Richmond

Jonathan Ansell

Jammy Li

Targeting the $50B car insurance market for Millennials, the company's mobile apps let younger drivers compare and buy insurance their way in under 3 minutes.

The car insurance industry is where the travel industry was 20 years ago. Instead of traditional travel agencies, online agencies like Expedia now dominate the market. The insurance industry is next.”

— Jonathan Ansell, Merlinio Founder

RICHMOND, VA, USA, January 2, 2018 / — Jonathan M. Ansell, co-founder and former CEO of the largest travel insurer in America and founder of Merlinio, announced the launch of a new digital auto insurance platform and broker aimed at the $50 billion Millennial auto insurance market. Merlinio is based in Richmond, Virginia.

Merlinio's new MagicQuote™️ platform lets customers shop, compare and buy auto insurance from more than 35 insurance companies in under 3 minutes by merely taking a picture using their mobile phone. Then behind the scenes, Merlinio automatically shops for and notifies the customer as soon as better benefits or prices are available. Merlinio supports three languages and uses advanced technologies, proprietary algorithms, third-party data and deep insurance experience to making shopping for insurance easy.

In the coming weeks, Merlinio will launch its beta service in Virginia, Texas, and California as the start of an eighteen-month national expansion. The company is also in the market raising capital to finance the initial rollout and has been approved by Virginia's Department of Taxation as a qualified business for investor tax credits.

Millennials represent 25% of the $200+ billion private auto insurance market. While online and mobile purchasing is far from the mainstream among older insurance consumers, it is a preferred method among Millennials. Consumers under 25 typically pay 2.5 times more for auto insurance than do their parents. Because most have six-month policies, many need to shop or renew twice a year.

Most traditional insurance agencies and online insurance companies require individuals to answer forty or more questions just to get a quote for car insurance, only then to find that an agent needs to be called to answer more questions.

"In many ways, the car insurance industry in America is where the travel industry was 20 years ago,” said Merlinio founder and CEO Jon Ansell. “In the 1990s, brick and mortar agencies or airlines were the only way to buy travel products. Now, online agencies like Priceline, Expedia, Kayak and Travelocity dominate the market. Insurance distribution, especially for consumers, is now going down that path. There’s a better way, especially for digital natives like Millennials who do not want to sit in an agency office or even speak with someone on the phone.”

According to Ansell: MagicQuote™️ is expressly designed from the ground up to make it easy for Millennials to purchase car insurance — a mandatory product — and for insurers to benefit from their participation. The market is now ready for a product like this."

MagicQuote™️ starts with the user scanning the back of her driver’s license or car’s identification number from a smartphone, triggering a process that automatically and accurately completes insurance applications and then generates price quotes and benefits from dozens of high-quality insurers. In many cases, the customer can then purchase a policy online for the product and insurer of their choice. A standby call or chat center is available when needed by the customer.

Behind the scenes, Merlinio continues to help customers by continually shopping for more savings or better coverages for which the customer is eligible, triggered by such changes in a consumer’s driving records, carrier pricing, carrier benefits or risk profile. For insurers, Merlinio plans to use its expertise in insurance and data analytics to automate underwriting, share insights and risk profiles, and reduce carrier expenses.

Merlinio CEO Jon Ansell’s extensive experience includes co-founding and leading the US division of Allianz Global Assistance and Jefferson Insurance Company, today a $900 million travel insurer and a top Richmond-area employer. He also was a co-founder and CEO of Fusion Company, a digital merchandising and optimization service that enhances sales for companies in the tourism, healthcare, and auto insurance industries.

He is joined by Jammy Li, who has just been selected to be the company’s President and Chief Operating Officer. Li has been in the auto insurance and price comparison business for five years, serving as the CIO for Richmond-based and the CEO of the Admiral Group’s China auto insurance comparison company. Previously he was the CTO of Quality Transportation Services for eleven years.

Li stated, “I am thrilled to join the Merlinio team to help disrupt the fragmented and broken insurance industry. Shopping for insurance should be as easy as shopping on Amazon or Kayak.”

Ansell concluded: "A major transformation is underway in the insurance industry and we hope to be a key driver of that change."

Beau Cribbs
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Source: EIN Presswire