Since departing his role as Casper CEO in 2021, Philip Krim has spent the majority of his time investing and incubating companies via Montauk Ventures. The latest is an insurance company called Ranger, which aims to elevate the agents in the insurance industry, rather than replace them.
Most of the new-wave insurance platforms out there have been squarely focused on the end-consumer. Platforms like Lemonade and Hippo make onboarding to new insurance super easy and affordable, and startups like Goodcover aim to add more transparency into the product with dividends paid out to users on unused premiums.
None, as far as we can tell, have focused on helping insurance agents via smarter, more streamlined tools. But that’s where Ranger sees its future success.
Rather than spend a ton on marketing, Ranger is focused on giving agents (who are boots on the ground in the communities they serve) tools to respond more quickly to customers, generate better leads, maximize cross-sell to other products, and personalize client services.
Alongside Krim, Ranger was cofounded by Greg Garrison and Gabriel Flateman. Garrison spent 15 years in the insurance business (at AIG) and saw how neglected agents are at legacy insurance companies. Centering agents in the process, with better tooling and better incentive models, allows the agents to do the selling, instead of marketing spend. He also realized that many families have unknowingly underinsured their homes by around $100,000.
High-touch agents, who have the time thanks to automated administrative tasks, can help those end-users feel confident about the policy choices they’re making, according to Garrison.
Ranger is today announcing the close of a $5.25 million seed round led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures, with participation from Alex Rodriguez, FirstMinute Capital, Slow Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Raven1 Ventures and, of course, Montauk Ventures.
Ranger will launch in the fall, and offer home insurance, auto insurance and a home warranty policy that it is underwriting itself as an MGA — in other words, the startup won’t be carrying the risk itself, but partnering with a carrier for its own policies. The startup will operate in Arizona, Indiana and Ohio.
According to Garrison and Krim, the $500 billion market is basically split among two segments. The ultra wealthy have loads of hands-on support from their agent, while everyone else just buys and policy and hopes for the best. The strategy with Ranger is to target the middle income to affluent families buying a home with a more personalized, persistent and predictive approach to insurance.
“The messaging in the market has predominantly been focused on commoditizing insurance products, focused on the consumer spending as little time thinking about what they’re buying as possible, and spending as little money as possible,” said Garrison. “It’s almost ubiquitous across legacy carriers as well as insurtechs. We’re coming in with a different value proposition. The challenge will be getting our message out there and getting people focused on things other than what the market has been telling them for the last 20 years. We think people’s homes are not commodities, and we think the role they play in their lives is not minor. It’s incredibly important, yet the way they shop for insurance would suggest that it’s not.”