IB Talk

Saving big bucks on insurance premiums with RATEGUARD

Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, RATEGUARD grows and learns from every user interaction, and so does its ability to provide better results for everyone who uses it. In this episode, find out how to effectively save money on your insurance premiums through Rightsure’s new platform. 

To view full transcript, please click here

Welcome to IB Talk, the leading podcast of the insurance industry across the United States brought to you by Insurance Business.  

This episode is presented in partnership with RightSure. RightSure’s leveraging of AI could mean the end of insurance shopping providing consumers with a clear visual on not just the rate but the real difference in coverage.  

So, how is RightSure’s technology delivering a better customer experience and how does it compare to a rate comparison solution? To discuss this and more, we are joined by Jeff Arnold, President of RightSure.  

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:00:56] Hi, everybody and welcome to IBA Talk, the Insurance Business America podcast. I’m Bethan Moorcraft, Senior News Editor at Insurance Business and I’m gonna start this episode with a question. Have you ever had a client, a friend, or a family member come to you grumbling about how much their insurance costs? They pay for their auto, home, and life insurance every month and unless they have a claim, they don’t seem to get much in return.  

Well, according to today’s guest, insurance does not have to be this way. I’m delighted to welcome Jeff Arnold, President of RightSure who’s gonna be talking us through RightSure’s unique solution to this problem. A new AI-powered discount discovery technology called RateGuard. Jeff, welcome to IBA Talk. 

Jeff Arnold: [00:01:40] Good morning, Bethan. Thank you so very much. I have to confess. Ever since I got this on the calendar, I’ve been looking forward to this subject. I could talk about it forever.  

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:01:50] Well, that’s great to hear. It’s a pleasure to have you on this show. So, Jeff, tell us about RateGuard. Why have you created this tool and what exactly does it do? 

Jeff Arnold: [00:02:03] Sure. The name can be a bit much to digest, right? AI-infused platform called RateGuard. And so, let’s just break it apart and make it digestible, right? 

AI, of course, as most people know is the ubiquitous phrase of artificial intelligence, right? The abbreviation for artificial intelligence. And when we think about artificial intelligence, we need to be aware that we’re talking about machine learning, deep learning -- and I’ll get a little geeky here for your listeners, some pre-built algorithms and cold frameworks, right? 

But, what does have to do with RateGuard. We’ve taken AI, hovered it into, fused it together with our platform called RateGuard to which we believe is the end of insurance shopping for consumers.  

How is that? Because our RateGuard platform does it for you. Prior to renewal, it’s also looking for any available discounts or any new discounts that might have been introduced by the carrier or any other carriers since your last renewal.  

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:03:23] It's interesting. So, I alluded to some of this in my introduction that, you know, what pinpointss are you trying to fix with this RateGuard tool? 

Jeff Arnold: [00:03:25] Yeah, that's a great question. So, when we think -- like you talked about earlier at the beginning of the segment here is most consumers are just fixated, focused, only aware of the rate that they're paying, right? The premium. In their minds, it's really only about costs, everything else is a vanilla product and it's all the same. I would submit to your listeners that that is, in fact, very far from the truth and not true at all because what we do in our business is we sell legal contracts on the retail broker, the agency side that my firm, RightSure is in, we sell legal contracts. 

Sure, it's referred to as insurance but it's really a contract and a legal agreement with the carrier. And every contract is different and the price, the premium, the cost is derived from what either is, a: included or b: excluded.  

And so, the differentiator, the pinpoints that we're trying to fix, this is to, you know, address to the consumer and give them a visual with -- when they log into our platform that says, “Here's the rate.” And I know that that's what you've been focused on and all the cart -- the commercials tell you about is just rate, rate, rate. 

But this is the difference in the policy language and then our platform lays over the potential available discounts with each based upon the coverage you're looking to purchase. So, I could spend an hour on that but basically, our AI mimics the cognitive functions that humans would associate with other humans. We don't have robots talking to people, we have AI powering our famously friendly humans, right? RightSure is known for our famously friendly humans and the AI, the machine learning, and the algorithms behind it help our people deliver a premier service experience. 

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:05:26] Okay. So can you tell me about how one of your famously friendly humans would use this RateGuard technology sort of on a daily basis? And how does it all kind of work and come together? 

Jeff Arnold: [00:05:37] Oh, perfect. I am now excited. So excited, I love this question. Let's talk about one of three ways that we use AI and we'll focus, like you indicated, on our famously friendly humans.  

So, we're leveraging AI also in the call coaching space. So basically, every call that our folks are on, it's like having a coach remind them of things they're supposed to ask. On the consumer side, it is, “Hey, maybe you're dominating the conversation, ask an open-ended question.” Right? To mimic a superior client experience. If they've bought a new car or a new home, make sure you tell them, “Congratulations!”, right?  

So, give that good consumer experience. It's not just focused around a transactional buy- my-legal-contract insurance piece.  

Conversely, it is also reminding folks, our folks, right only on our side, that if you're one that is really transactionally based, but you have someone on the other end of the phone that might be looking for deeper connectivity, it is, “Stop and slow down and take more time.” 

On the other side, if we have someone that is, you know, likes to spend 20 minutes on every call, it's reminding them, the person on the other end may be in a hurry, look for signals and clues.  

And so again, it's not robots like a lot of people think, our AI is assisting our famously friendly humans to deliver a better experience. 

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:07:14] It's interesting. It seems very timely because everybody is so focused in the insurance industry at the moment on the customer experience. And I think that's partly been driven by, you know, the pandemic and everything moving digital and going online.  

Has that had any influence on the timing of sort of the release of this RateGuard solution? 

Jeff Arnold: [00:07:37] Absolutely. You know, like anyone, we'd love to be first to market. We are in an industry, in the insurance technology space that billions of dollars are funneling into.  

And so, within the last 15, 18 months, there's a lot of folks in our space, too. It definitely has impacted but it's also made access to the algorithms and the cold framework and the capital that you need to live something like this off the ground much more readily available. 

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:08:10] Yeah, definitely. So, Jeff, you focused on the phrase, ‘Discount discovery’ for RateGuard. When I first saw that, a question that came to my mind was, how does this compare to rate comparison?  

Now, you've already described some of that and so on how you've explained the product. But, you know, is RateGuard different to rate comparison solution? And if so, how? 

Jeff Arnold: [00:05:22] So when we think rate comparisons, we think in the industry terms, ‘multivariate rating’, right? We put the policy level data and want to compare hundreds or 1000 different variables and gives you a rate.  

What RateGuard does is it does that same multivariate rating piece, and it lays over our artificial intelligence RateGuard discount discovery technology to look for all available discounts, but in the end, it fuses all that together and says, “Here's the rate and we know that your driver but here's available discounts coming away at a second term, third term, fourth term, or if you use telematics, right, or pay-by-mile.” 

And then we layer that over with some predictive analytics that says, “Also, based upon household discovery, we see you have young drivers or 15-year olds coming up. And so, these are the other discounts that are available. That's why we refer or prefer to offer you Company A over B or C.”  

And so it changes, it shifts the conversation away from just rate and more consultative coverage-based conversations, that in theory allows us to hug the customer tighter, to create a much deeper, longer-lasting relationship with that customer, and helps us, quite frankly, we believe, change the entire insurance ecosystem. 

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:10:05] Oh, that's a big task but exciting if you feel you're getting there. Just quickly, in terms of RateGuard, where does it find the discounts? Does RightSure need to have pre-existing relationships with, you know, specific carrier markets to be able to, you know, present that to the customer? Or, you know, how expensive is the tool? 

Jeff Arnold: [00:10:33] Yeah, growing more expensive every day. And so yeah, this is a Herculean effort, labor-intensive exercise in aggregating, consolidating every insurance rate fighting that we can get our hands-on or rate guides, mostly with carriers that we represent and formatting those, cataloging those into a discount discovery database that also has again, has algorithms built around it by age, by driving by, by you know, other status. Do they own a home, car, jet boat, whatever, that may bring in another discount?  

Also, some functions that they may do. Are they a lift driver? You know, Uber driver something that would, of course, impact the policy -- from a surcharge standpoint, can we find a correlating discount to kind of offset that?  

So, it is a great technology that needs a lot more work. And we could spend an hour on just the coding and the intelligence, and the machine learning built behind it. But ,suffice it to say it's exciting and sexy as no one would call it, but it still has a long way to go. 

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:11:50] Yeah, definitely. Well, interesting. So, just now you use the phrase -- I actually jotted it down, ‘it enables us to hug the customer tighter.’ I really like that. It links to how you've described RateGuard as the first platform that focuses on customers and not insurance companies.  

Jeff, I kind of want to dive into that in a bit more detail. What makes RateGuard such an effective customer service tool in your opinion? 

Jeff Arnold: [00:12:20] So first and foremost, it differentiates us in our minds, right? Our business model from everyone else which is really just in a race to see how cheap they can get the policy, right? And we're saying, “Look, there's much more work here than people understand value.” They want to get value for their money. They are sophisticated consumers, they understand discounts. And so, what our platform does, right? It aggregates all that and gives them more than just a rate. 

But then it also again, makes our relationship with them tighter, closer, more comfortable, more predictable, right? So that the old way, the very binary way of just, I call you and you give me a rate, we're disrupting by saying, “Look, imagine if you never had to shop for insurance again. Also, if we could convince you and make you certain that you would never miss another discount, would you be interested in switch -- interested in switching to RightSure and using our RateGuard platform?” 

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:13:26] Okay. So, Jeff, you have explained that you know, in great detail that RateGuard is more than just about rates. It's not just a sort of transactional shopping tool. But in order for, I would say, maybe the average consumer to kind of see that, it requires a little bit of a change in behavior and sort of perspective around, you know, insurance buying. Price shopping can be sometimes, you know, a bit of a dangerous game and insurance where people save money and then they perhaps, you know, purchase inadequate coverage. But that, you know, they were often the price saving. 

How are you ensuring that RightSure customers are getting the right coverages that they need while also getting the best discounts and sort of saving money via RateGuard? 

Jeff Arnold: [00:14:24] Yeah. So, reat question. Thank you so much. We think of our platform as not another quoting tool but as I said earlier, the end of insurance shopping. And then, if you pivot in your mind, and think of insurance differently, and think of it more like a managed portfolio, right? Like you would have your investment account or your retirement account -- you know, in one of my books, “How to Beat Your Insurance Company”, I talk about telling the consumer or our policyholders, “If you think, stop for a moment, add up, consolidate all the money that you spend on all types of insurances in your lifetime, it is a significant staggering amount of your money that you're giving to insurance companies, right?”  

So, you should start thinking about it in terms of a managed portfolio, and no one's really in that space, right? Everyone's in the, “How can I get the rate the lowest and then saving money and review this in a year.  

And we’re in the long term, long relationship, managed portfolio business and that’s the number one primary differentiator from RateGuard in our RightSure.  

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:15:33] Interesting. I think that kind of ties into what I was saying about requiring a little bit of change in behavior around how people buy insurance. And as you’ve said, looking at it as a managed portfolio and using tools like this to do that. 

So, it’s very interesting. So, Jeff, thank you. This sounds like a great solution. It certainly addresses some common pinpoints in the industry and I think there are definitely some exciting times ahead for RightSure and the RateGuard solution.  

So, Jeff, thank you for sharing RateGuard with us, and thank you for joining us on IBA Talk. 

Jeff Arnold: [00:16:14] Bethan, it’s always – it’s been a wonderful pleasure, and thank you for your time. 

Bethan Moorcraft: [00:16:19] Thanks, Jeff. And thank you also to our listeners for tuning in. I’m Bethan Moorcraft, Senior News Editor at Insurance Business. Make sure you check out the rest of our IB Talk podcasts, IB TV episodes, and daily news at www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us. Thanks, everyone.  

Thank you for listening to this episode of IB Talk. For more from Jeff and the team at RightSure, visit them at rightsure.com. That’s rightsure.com for more. Thank you for listening to IB Talk. For the latest episodes, be sure to follow us on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Apple podcasts.  

Thank you for listening to IB Talk. For the latest episodes, be sure to follow us on SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Apple podcasts.