“Built-in insurance will be the largest distribution channel in 10 years,” he said. “It’s hard for me to imagine the status quo [remaining] where the built-in distribution is below 2% or below 5% of the market and most people buy their insurance from a local agent or respond to a billboard or something similar. These distribution channels are very expensive for insurers. “
Trellis debuted in 2019 and is based in Salem, New York. It employs approximately 70 full-time employees (a combination of full-time and part-time employees). The company has raised $ 17 million so far, including an investment from Amex Ventures announced in mid-May.
Trellis focuses on its Savvy Digital Referral API platform, which allows users to instantly compare and purchase car insurance in the partner’s app or website. Consumers, using their insurance entrances, can compare their existing policy with possible alternatives, side by side. They can also use the site to purchase a different plan and cancel the old one.
Consumers may end up using the platform built into a banking app or through a car dealer, Demetri said.
“It’s about integrating in places where the consumer is already, so they don’t have to come directly to us,” he explained.
The percentage of the company’s partners has grown significantly over the past year, and Trellis said the number now includes four of the top five digital-only banks and seven of the top 50 mobile finance apps, including Truebill and Albert. Trellis also saw rapid growth in monthly users, with more than nine million visiting the platform so far. The company said it has also probably linked approximately one million user accounts so far, and those users have saved about $ 60 million and are counting, according to its investment announcement to Amex Ventures.
Trellis technology includes APIs that are critical to the user adaptation process.
“The key technology is the ability to share your existing insurance information with us in just one step of your entry,” Demetri said. “This is a technology that we’ve built internally and allows for a very seamless experience due to the complex set of API integrations.”
The second key element is the recommendation algorithm, which Demetri explained that he relies on machine learning to study comparative costs.
“We need to balance these costs while finding the best deal … to shop dynamically for you in a way that’s not just calling for quotes from everyone,” Demetri said. “Basically, it’s predicted who will find your quote … we’ve virtualized and automated this with machine learning.”
The third element, according to Demetri, involves more API integrations that accept APIs from insurers wishing to sell their products on embedded platforms such as the Trellis platform. They allow smooth, direct comparisons so that customers do not have to check with one insurer at a time.
Integrations, simple or complex
Trellis’ integration can vary significantly in terms of investment over time, Demetri said.
“What we’ve learned is that we often have to crawl, walk or run with our clients and partners,” he said.
The simplest option for a partner / customer is to place a link on their website or application that links to a landing page or website that Trellis will host. Full integration takes more time, as Trellis will, in part, give the customer all their APIs so that they can send their user data to Trellis.
“Integrating our APIs, entering … first-party data, which is the data your bank already has for you, is really a first step in the system,” Demetri said.
Step two involves downloading the quotes.
“Our referral engine may say that you need to switch your coverage or switch to this insurer or you need to consider this action and then they need to show these insights and these user recommendations” – a process that needs to be codified and attuned, Demetrius said.
Step three addresses the idea that consumers are pursuing a change in insurance and taking action to implement it.
“We actually give our partners the ability to allow consumers to switch to their environment,” Demetri said. “If partners want, they can also use our APIs and give us credit card information, for example, so we can set up automatic payments for the new policy.”
If customers only choose to link to a custom website created by Trellis, the process can take an hour. If it is the more complex version, the introduction and the many phases can take two to three months. There is a version somewhere in the middle that could take three to four weeks, Demetri said.