Business News: Hi Marley, Cambridge Mobile Telematics, Triple-I and The Institutes

July 2, 2020
Hi Marley Raises $8M in Funding Round

Hi Marley, a chatbot designed for the insurance industry, announced that it raised $8 million from investors, bringing total financing for the company to $18.6 million.

The Boston based insurtech said the new funding was led by True Ventures and Underscore VC, along with Bain Capital Ventures and Greenspring Associates. The round will be used for building upon Hi Marley’s insurance focused conversational messaging product and increasing customer engagement, the company said in a press release.

Hi Marley is a text-based messaging platform that helps insurers and vendors connect with customers and simplify transactions across claims, service and underwriting. Hi Marley is also enabling new use cases around customer engagement and retention. This includes two-way mass-communication to support announcements related to the pandemic, such as notifying customers of premium relief credits and billing option, Hi Marley said.

“We value the existing partnership with Underscore VC and True Ventures and welcome our new partners at Bain Capital Ventures and Greenspring,” said Mike Greene, Founder and CEO of Hi Marley. “We’re grateful to have investors who appreciate the insurance industry and are aligned with the purpose and vision we share with our innovative customers.”

Hi Marley’s new round will support:

  • Hiring, including expansion of the engineering team to accelerate industry-specific features and support interactions from initial purchase to service and renewal.
  • Growth of the company’s customer-facing teams to meet the increasing demand for Hi Marley’s platform.
  • Continued build-out of Hi Marley’s portfolio of APIs and partnerships with industry leading platforms such as Guidewire.

Hi Marley was founded in Boston in 2017. The company has announced contracts with American Family Insurance and Plymouth Rock.

CMT Offering Agents Course on Telematics

Cambridge Mobile Telematics, a Massachusetts-based tech company that provides the devices used in many usage-based insurance products, is launching a continuing education course to teach insurance agents the benefits of the technology.

“Personal Loss Control: How Telematics is Reducing Losses” will allow agents to earn three hours credit toward continuing education requirements for license renewals, the company said in a press release.

Credit will depend on the state where the agent holds their license. The course has been accepted in 48 states and Washington D.C., and is pending approval in Massachusetts and Hawaii, CMT said.

CMT said in a press release that market research revealed rising interest in telematics, with nine out of 10 auto insurance customers voicing interest in learning more about telematics programs and the value they provide, but that only 43% have been offered a policy with telematics benefits. The research also found that the main reason for the disparity is that many insurance agents aren’t familiar enough with telematics to recommend – or even mention – the programs, and are uncomfortable discussing them without additional telematics knowledge, the company said.

That research was conducted in late 2019, before the COVID-19 disruptions to regular driving patterns. Since then, according to research from J.D. Power & Associates, interest in telematics has increased significantly as consumers search for coverage solutions that take their driving behaviors into account, CMT said.

For more information please visit the course’s information page, here.

Triple-I Affiliates with The Institutes

The Insurance Information Institute, a nonprofit that collects data and advocates for the insurance industry, has affiliated with The Institutes, an organization that provides risk management and insurance education and research.

The affiliation will unify two “data-driven organizations,” III said in a press release. The organization, known as Triple-I, is based in New York City and serves as a source of information to the press about insurance issues.

The Institutes is based in Malvern, Pennsylvania. The organization provides continuing education programs for claims and risks management professionals.

“This forward-looking decision is the culmination of several years of strategic dialogue both internally at the Triple-I and with The Institutes,” stated Sean Kevelighan, chief executive officer of the Triple-I. “Taking this next step will further unify our collective efforts when it is needed most, grant both the Triple-I and The Institutes greater access to a deeper bench of resources and expertise, and improve value for Triple-I’s member companies across the country.”

The terms of the agreement will be finalized this month, III said.

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