Mia Isn’t Going to Pluto
Back in August 2017, we covered Mia, a digital assistant to help people manage their insurance policies – it’s time for an update:
“Since we started Mia a couple of years ago, we’ve learnt a lot. Our first product was positioned as a complimentary service to your existing insurance policies. Mia would act as a friendly and wise assistant to “manage” your existing policies. Although the initial adoption was encouraging, engagement was low and people weren’t coming back. After talking to customers, we uncovered a big challenge we had to tackle: there was no compelling value-exchange. We’d ask our customers to do a lot (find their insurance policy and send it to us) and the value we delivered (“managing” your policy through Messenger) wasn’t high enough to warrant this effort. What’s more, with this proposition we weren’t able to have an influence over the worst things about insurance. Stuff like everything written in such a complicated way, it’s difficult to know what you’re buying or what you’re covered for. Or the problem that most people think that insurers will do anything in their power to not pay out on claims. We decided that if we wanted to have a real impact and make the fundamentals of insurance better, we needed to sell insurance. So, that’s what our focus shifted to.”
Cofounded by Alexander Rainey, James Birch and Harry Williams, the UK startup now goes by the name of Pluto and plans to sell “travel insurance for people who don’t like insurance,” underwritten by Zurich.
The startup has raised £130k, and as of August, was in the pilot stage of Zurich’s UK innovation program – Innovation Foundry.
Two more things. One. The premise of Pluto is misguided. It’s not that people don’t like insurance, they are indifferent to it. Consider Coverager’s definition for insurance – a rarely differentiated product sold to a generally indifferent consumer – and consider Elie Wiesel’s famous saying – the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference. Two. Planning to succeed where Justin Case is now inactive.
Bottom Line: Preparing for launch.