Miami-based JAG Insurance issues first policy using cryptocurrency | Insurance Business America
JAG Insurance Group has done it again. Known for being digital pioneers and challenging the status quo of insurance, the Miami-based insurance agency has taken its first official leap into the realm of currency technologies by issuing its first insurance policy using cryptocurrency.
“Why not?” said Luis Gazitua (pictured), partner at JAG Insurance Group. “As a very forward-thinking, innovative, independently owned insurance agency, that’s the question we always ask. We’re always looking to evolve and be on the cutting edge of innovation in insurance, so when a client asked if they could pay us through cryptocurrency, it didn’t take us long to say: ‘Why not?’”
JAG is well situated to pursue innovative ideas. Capturing the attention of California tech migrants, Miami is quickly becoming the next great tech hub – something that Miami mayor Francis Suarez has openly supported. Late in 2020, Suarez became somewhat of a viral sensation on Twitter through his efforts to lure Silicon Valley technology investors to Miami. Adopting Bitcoin in the South Florida city is a critical part of his plan.
As reported by Bloomberg Quint, Suarez’s efforts to promote cryptocurrencies include a proposal to pay municipal workers and collect taxes and city fees in Bitcoin. The forward-thinking mayor has also asked the city to analyze the feasibility of investing some government funds in Bitcoin. It’s all part of his plan to make Miami a city that “embraces new technologies” – which is music to the ears of JAG partners Luis Gazitua, Douglas Jones and Fernando Alvarez.
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“South Florida has become a new epicenter in the tech movement. That’s very exciting for us. Being young entrepreneurs, we’re always willing to try new things,” said Gazitua. “So, we started learning about cryptocurrency and the blockchain evolution … and the further we went into the rabbit hole, the more we realized the potential in this technology. A lot of people focus on the cryptocurrency aspect, which is a big part of it, but what’s really fascinating is what blockchain technology could potentially bring to the industry. We’re excited to invest in this and really look at how it could impact the future of insurance.”
JAG is investing in new technology to push the envelope and create an infrastructure that supports growth for new customers desiring payment in cryptocurrency. Creating a bridge between digital currencies and traditional payment options, JAG will assume the responsibility of converting cryptocurrency payments and transferring the money to the insurance carriers.
“We want to provide the best user experience and give as much flexibility to our clients as possible,” Gazitua told Insurance Business. “We believe that the adaptability of cryptocurrency is growing and evolving, and we want to be there to provide that service. Nothing changes for the insurance carriers in terms of how they receive their premium. What’s changing is the upfront experience for our clients and the way we’re accepting their payments. We’re going to take this on a case-by-case basis, and provide flexible solutions as we further evolve our platform.”
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This is very much the start of JAG’s journey with cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. For now, the agency’s goal is to learn more about the digital currencies in order to become thought-leaders and innovators in the space.
Gazitua commented: “It’s all about education. We’re learning about the different types of cryptocurrencies, which ones have liquidity, and which ones we should accept and convert. We do take on a small risk as an agency, but we’re willing to try this out. Moving forward, if a client asks us if they can pay in cryptocurrency [and our platform supports that currency], the answer is going to be ‘yes’. Once more people learn about cryptocurrency and get more comfortable using it, I have no doubt it will become a merchant service for business transactions. The future is here.”