Insurance has lost its way

Branch is bringing insurance back to its roots

June 24, 2020
Written byJoe EmisonCofounder and CTO

When insurance was first created, it was meant to be a communal good; a way for neighbors to band together and protect one another from financial disaster. Somewhere along the line, insurance lost its way. High costs, invasive enrollment, and confusing policy documents — all against the backdrop of corporate marketing warfare.

This isn’t how it was supposed to be.

As recently as the 1870s, the U.S. insurance landscape was totally different from what we see today. Small groups of neighbors throughout the rural Midwest realized that they could insulate themselves from financial calamity if they banded together.

Members collectively paid into a pot to cover anyone in the group from catastrophe. If something happened to a member of the community, they would have access to the funds needed to get them back on their feet. The result wasn’t just a more communal type of product—it was a more efficient one. Almost all of the money paid in by the group went to help people who had experienced some kind of financial instability. Very little went to things like administrative costs or advertising, which offer no real value to the community.

Nearly 150 years after those small rural communities began to organize, technology has given us the tools we need to mobilize communities again and make insurance better for everyone.

This spirit of insurance is what inspired us to create Branch. While, most people see their monthly insurance bill as nothing but cost, at Branch, we want to help people see the positive impact of their insurance payments. Whether that’s keeping you and your family protected or helping someone in need. Here’s how we’re doing it:

SafetyNest: Fostering Relationships. Enriching community.

About 13% percent of all drivers in the U.S. don't have auto insurance. That means they're one accident away from financial disaster. And that's just auto insurance. The problem gets bigger when you consider home, flood, and other types of insurance that keep communities protected.

You may not realize it, but you’re paying some of your current insurance premiums to cover you in the event someone who is uninsured causes you harm. This isn’t just bad for those who are uninsured. It’s a problem for us all.

That’s where SafetyNest comes in.

What’s SafetyNest? So glad you asked!

When you join Branch, you become a part of an effort to protect more people. A portion of your payments will go to fund SafetyNest, a program designed to help members of the community who can't afford their insurance.

As our community of insured drivers grows, a chain reaction occurs: The portion of your premium that goes to covering uninsured drivers shrinks, making premiums cheaper, which in turn makes getting and keeping quality auto insurance more affordable for more people. It’s like if “paying it forward” and “reap what you sow” had a baby, and that baby was affordable, quality auto insurance for all.

As part of our community, we believe you should feel a sense of pride in the impact you’re making and a sense of comfort knowing that we all have each other’s backs.

Community-Powered Savings & A First-Of-Its-Kind Community Pledge Program*

My Community Discount

At Branch, rather than spend billions on ad campaigns, we’re empowering our customers to grow their community through our upcoming My Community invitation program. Soon, when you invite a friend to get a price for their insurance on Branch, we’ll give you a $25 Amazon gift card — just for your friend asking for a price!

If your friend becomes a member, we’ll give you 1% off of your insurance for as long as they stay a part of the Branch community. The program will be available in participating states (Arizona to start). The more people you invite who become a Branch member, the bigger the savings!

Take the Community Pledge

We’re tackling insurance fraud head-on by giving neighbors and friends the power to vouch for one another. It’s a totally new kind of program, powered by community. Branch members will soon be able to participate in the Community Pledge program, asking other Branch members to vouch that they're unlikely to commit insurance fraud. For each person who does so, your monthly premium will drop 1% (up to 5%).

By building a community based on trust, we can eliminate a lot of the waste that typically complicates insurance, passing those savings on to you.

Want to join the community that’s getting back to getting each other’s back? Click here to see how you can be part of the community.

*May not be available in all states

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