JETTY INC: Helping Renters Nationwide Find Home Sweet Home
Jetty Inc. offers renters insurance in 45 states from a custom-built, direct-to-consumer web platform. The new company originally set out to offer renters insurance nationwide and to make moving into a new home easier. In addition to insurance, Jetty sells two products that help renters access their desired home: Passport Deposit, a security deposit replacement product, and Passport Lease, a lease guarantor service.
Directly from Jetty's website, insureds can receive quotes, buy policies, manage policy payments, submit claims, find a lease guarantor, and replace their security deposit. The InsureTech start-up built the direct-to-consumer portal from scratch in less than eight months, and Jetty is now on track to offer their rental products nationwide within one year of portal completion.
Jetty’s founders believe renters face three major barriers when moving into a new home: paying a full security deposit, locating a lease guarantor, and purchasing renters insurance. Jetty sought to remove these barriers and improve the rental experience by building an easy-to-use insurance website for modern insureds. The company set an aggressive timeline for their products, planning to go live within a year of company creation and to go nationwide within two years of company creation.
The project development team included Jetty’s CTO and four software engineers. Together, the group coded Jetty’s custom distribution site from scratch. A design agency outlined a user-focused quoting interface, and two other engineers were contracted to finish the product for launch. The team also worked closely with BriteCore’s engineers to seamlessly connect Jetty’s customized front-end distribution to BriteCore’s insurance-processing back-end.
Phases and Timeline
As an insurance start-up, Jetty’s first project phase was partnering with insurance backer Munich Re, in spring of 2016. After finding their ideal insurance partner, Jetty conducted an extensive RFP process to find their ideal back-end administration platform. At the conclusion of the RFP process, Jetty partnered with BriteCore insurance processing suite in August 2016 to manage their back-end insurance processes. Jetty also started building their engineering team, focusing on hiring senior, product-oriented developers. During this time, Jetty conducted user interviews to learn more about insured needs as related to rental insurance and overall rental processes. To this day, Jetty continues to conduct regular interviews with insureds to help cater to their needs.
Once their team was fully in place, and with their customers in mind, the engineers began developing their customer portal, building checkout, account management, quoting, and binding screens and functionalities. Within six months, Jetty created an attractive direct-to-consumer web portal, initially offering renters insurance in three states.
Tools and Technology
Picking a modern technology stack (React, Redux, and Python programming languages) and AWS as a development environment, Jetty used modern tools built for creating quality, reliable software products, optimized for user productivity. The team also used BriteCore’s policy administration system for the distribution site’s insurance processing, using API calls to send information to the BriteCore platform.
The biggest challenge Jetty faced was the novelty of their business goals. Few insurance companies have created a fully automated, direct-to-consumer model, and even fewer have created the model nationwide in such a short time. Jetty overcame this challenge through their creative negotiations with insurance departments and continuous education of carriers and insurance departments. Jetty has proved their platform and products are beneficial and in demand, leading to progress working with insurance departments to expand nationwide.
Jetty succeeded in creating their distribution website due to their highly-experienced team. Including the former CTO of website-creation platform Squarespace and the former lead front-end engineer for digital media company BuzzFeed, team members were picked for their startup experience and technical expertise. BriteCore’s Community Source model also factored into Jetty’s success, providing Jetty’s engineers with a codebase to build their distribution site, and the support model to carry out their project timeline.
Since creating the website, Jetty’s anticipation of customer needs has positioned the company as an innovative, competitive force in insurance. The entire Jetty brand—from their quick website quoting to their blog about everyday city living—is created specifically for their target customers. Jetty anticipated customer needs by building partnerships with landlords searching for responsible tenants, employers looking for new talent, and companies aiming to use technology to lower customer barriers. Jetty leverages these partnerships to expand their customer base and add value to both customers and partners.
Today, less than two years after company creation, Jetty offers renters insurance directly to insureds in 45 states and counting. Starting with only an idea and experienced team, Jetty Inc. built their distribution site and went live with their insurance products in the first three states in less than eight months. Since going live, their customer base and direct written premium continues to grow. The company has hit and surpassed every sales milestone set to date. Jetty is on track to be live nationwide by April 2018. They have also expanded their products, developing a partner API to acquire more customers through real estate partnerships.