Ever thought of whether you’re paying too much for car insurance? Paying based on anything other than how you drive or how much you drive seems a little unfair. Your car insurance shouldn’t be burning a hole in your pocket, especially if you don’t drive often or are a careful driver. Gait is a startup that works to speed up the shift to smarter car insurances based on how you drive and how much you drive. In conversation with Josh Bickett, Founder of Gait, we learn about this venture and the goals it means to achieve.
What is the startup/product about? Give us a brief description of it.
The startup’s goal is to accelerate the transition to smarter car insurance based on how you drive and how much you drive.
For instance, you may be driving about half as much with the COVID-19 pandemic, but are you paying half as much in car insurance? Probably not. Some people have received flat credits from their insurers, but they do not appear sufficient.
There is also how you drive. Do you avoid using your phone while driving? Do you drive at the speed limit and not change lanes often, while watching others speed past you? If these are true for you then you are probably over paying for car insurance.
How many co-founders are there? Please introduce them and their backgrounds.
Just one, me! I think many share the opinion that car insurance needs more disruption. I am looking for talented and passionate people to help me.
As for me, I have 3 years in the Auto Body and Insurance Industry working on Software teams.
How big is the entire team currently?
It is small, just me! If you like startups, are passionate, and have a unique skill, please reach out to me about joining the team.
How did you come up with the idea? What motivated you to do this?
I’ve been interested in startups for some time. I think many of the improvements in people’s lives are to the credit of startups.
While working in the Auto Body and Insurance industry I kept thinking, why is car insurance based on age, zip code, and other secondary factors instead of how people actually drive? There’s so much data in our phones and cars, it didn’t make sense to me.
What is your target market? Why do you think your product will appeal to?
The target market is people who are working from home and not driving often.
The target market is also young drivers (under 25) who consider themselves to be good drivers. Good drivers under 25 are likely paying too much for car insurance.
What are the marketing plans apart from the product hunt/beta list launch? How are you planning to acquire new users?
We are planning to advertise directly on social media to consumers that recently started working from home. We will also market to drivers under 25 and university students.
Do you have a separate dedicated team to take care of marketing (digital marketing/traditional marketing)? Which digital platforms are you focusing more on?
We are not doing paid ads at this time.
What according to you is the biggest challenge that you faced? Is it product development or marketing or scaling or … ?
The biggest challenge is finding the right product-market fit. There’s a reason that most people haven’t heard of usage-based insurance. Insurers have tried growing these policies for about a decade in the US, but most policies are still more traditional and do not factor actual driving data into the rating factors.
It may sound like consumers do not want these products, but based on research that is not true. Many consumers will save money on pay-per mile and Driver Score plans. The approaches by insurers so far are too cumbersome. Most approaches require external hardware to be installed and consumers just don’t want that. The only way it will work is if it is just the phone, nothing else.
Who are your competitors/alternatives? What sets you apart from them?
Metromile, Statefarm’s Driver Safe & Save program, and Root are the largest competitors in the space called usage-based insurance. What makes us different is we require only a smart phone to track miles driven and compute a Driver Score. Others require external hardware or do not track miles driven.
What are the future plans with the product/startup? Any new features you are planning on?
Gait is going to become what is called a Managing General Agent (MGA). Being an MGA makes it easier for insurance companies to work with Gait and fits well within the regulatory framework.
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