Q&A with Michael Delagrange of Insurance Lounge

Last week Coverager and KiwiTech had a chance to meet with Michael Delagrange, the founder and CEO of Insurance Lounge , along with the startup’s CTO Keagen Edwards. Our Q&A with Michael below .


Tell us about the product or service that Insurance Lounge offers?

Insurance Lounge is a one-stop shop for all insurance needs. Main Product Lines: Home, Auto, Life, Health, Medicare, and Investments.


How is it different from digital brokers?

Insurance Lounge takes a channel-agnostic approach by empowering consumers to shop how they’d like – they have the option to complete the entire purchasing process online, or they can stop by their local Insurance Lounge retail location and get expert advice from a licensed Insurance Concierge 7 days a week. They can also start the process online, and then finish in person, as the retail locations and the e-commerce platform maintain quoting information on the same system.


What market does Insurance Lounge target and what is your advantage?

Insurance Lounge can meet the needs of all insurance consumers, but the company offers the most value to consumers with needs across multiple lines of coverage. Since Insurance Lounge can be a one-stop-shop for consumers for their auto, home, life, and health insurance, the advantage that we bring to our clients is centered on convenience and simplicity. Our retail locations are also open seven days a week, offering consumers the flexibility to review their insurance needs on their own schedule.


What inspired you to start Insurance Lounge?

Seeing the need for the traditional agency to evolve and the frustration of the lack of expert advice and education in the digital broker space made me want to create a hybrid that took advantage of both spaces.


What are some incumbents or startups you respect in the insurance space?

I started my career as a New York Life agent since my father was a 30-year agent with them. It couldn’t have been a more traditional company, and with a 160-year history, their approach exhibits the age and stability of the industry. I am very grateful since there training process and program was great and really gave me a solid foundation in the industry.

Anyone who knows me understands I don’t like coloring inside the lines. I like trying new things and always want to find a better way. It’s exciting to see so many digital startups in the insurtech space. Companies that focus on ‘distribution’ like Assurance, Lemonade, and PolicyGenius were truly an inspiration throughout this journey of building Insurance Lounge.

As I see it, the future of insurance is distribution to the consumer in a hybrid format that combines choice among companies and products, has instant quote – bind – service capabilities  online, and the ability to meet face to face with a local licensed insurance professional, which is what we’ve created at Insurance Lounge.


If you could be put in touch with anyone in the insurtech community who would it be and why?

As Insurance Lounge expands geographically, we’ll come across new markets and carriers that we may not already be working with. We see the potential to connect with members of the insurtech community on the east coast that have an existing knowledge of these relationships so that we can exchange ideas about how the Insurance Lounge model might be able to deliver value to consumers in new markets.


Best startup advice?

Surround yourself with people who have been there and done it before. It is always harder than you think to create something new and roadblocks seem to pop up out of nowhere. As we raised outside financing, I focused on individuals who I respected and have had tremendous success in life. We created a portfolio of investors and/or advisors that inspire me every day to be better to make them proud!


If not for insurance, what would you do?

I was projected to be drafted in the NFL coming off my college football career at the University of Oregon when my father passed away unexpectedly two weeks after my last football game my senior year. An NFL career was my dream growing up and throughout college, but after seeing how short-lived and physically damaging it can be, it was a blessing in disguise ending up where I am today. If I was not in the insurance space, I would love to help other entrepreneurs build and grow their ventures through mentoring, funding, and sharing all the pitfalls I experienced so they can avoid some of the tough times every entrepreneur goes through.


Favorite place to eat?

My favorite place to eat was a local family-owned restaurant in my hometown called Si Casa Flores but in a recent trip to NY I was recommended a pizza joint called Joe’s Pizza and my world has been forever changed.


Latest book you’ve read?

I’m an audiobook guy all day long. The last audiobook I listened to was David Goggins’ Can’t Hurt Me. As a former athlete, this book really resonated with me on many levels, since being successful at a high level in sports has so much to do with mindset, the ability to get outside your comfort zone, and teamwork.  It’s uncanny how most of these attributes also directly relate to business and being an entrepreneur.


Favorite mantra?

My dad always used to tell me “No is the worst thing they can say” in regards to asking for help . This really encouraged me to never be afraid to ask for anything….which has lead to some of our most successful partnerships.