Life insurance. Everybody needs it, but these days fewer and fewer folks actually get it.
It's a no-brainer as far as insurance goes, because unless you live (and have died) beyond "The Wall", or live with the Walking Dead, you're going to face the second of Ben Franklin's certainties at some point.
Bestow joins the ranks of startups that are purporting to give people an easier way to get their life insurance. Gone are the days of filling out tons of paperwork, getting an actual physical and being offered a policy based on actual individual fitness and life expectancy.
Now people can get the ease of use of an algorithm crunching numbers to figure out the probabilities of when someone with a certain profile and lifestyle that could be a match to theirs determine their eligibility for a policy and the rates of that policy.
At least a user can get it done over the phone.
Bestow is not alone in its convenient approach to healthcare, and investors at NEA, Core Innovation Capital, Morpheus Investors and 8VC were convinced enough to bestow the company with $2.5 million in seed funding.
The new money brings the company's total cash to $3.1 million.
Founded by entrepreneurs Melbourne O'Banion and Jonathan Abelmann, the company is hoping to reach the 44% of Americans who believe they need a life insurance policy, but haven't purchased one yet.
Indeed, according to the industry tracker Life Happens (and yes, by god, that is the actual name of the site that tracks the life insurance industry, because this story is the gift that keeps on giving), roughly 85% of Americans believe they should have a policy, but only 41% actually get one.
Eschewing actual physicals and meetings with actual insurance agents should not only speed up the process but bring it to the zenith of startup service experience by making the process "on demand".
Bestow has yet to launch, but will be rolling out its first product in the coming months.
“Traditionally, the barriers for consumers to access life insurance have been extremely high,” said Rick Yang, Partner at NEA, in a statement. “Bestow has a new approach that utilizes technology and unique products to allow more people to easily and affordably get the protection they need from a trusted source. We’re looking forward to working with the company as they democratize access to life insurance.”
Bestow's approach may be new, but it's not all that novel. Companies like the 500 Startups-backed Mira Financial, France's Alan, which is backed by Partech Investments (among others), Fabric, and Quilt, are all pitching life insurance products as well.
Even as you step beyond the pale, these startups want to make sure they've got you covered.