These days, it seems like everything can be done online, from visiting with your doctor via video to ordering groceries in an app. Buying insurance is no different; in fact, there are many digital insurance companies that offer online and app-based services. For many customers, there is no need to even speak with an agent anymore.
The age of insuretech has proven to be very informative, as well. Consumers can get answers to their biggest questions and be seamlessly guided through the insurance-buying process, from determining how much coverage they need to setting up a policy in just minutes.
We researched the best digital insurance companies available today to help you find the right coverage, no matter what type of policy you need.
The 6 Best Digital Insurance Providers of 2020
Best Overall: Esurance
Whether you’re looking to insure your home, car, motorcycle, pet, travel plans, or even your life, Esurance offers the coverage. With 23 different insurance products to choose from (depending on your state), you can pick the policy you need or bundle coverage together to save. With an easy-to-use mobile app and plenty of discounts to choose from, Esurance is worth a look no matter what your coverage needs are.
Offers a range of insurance products to choose from
Available in all 50 states and DC
Numerous discounts offered to drivers
High customer satisfaction ratings
Robust mobile app and website make buying and managing policies simple
High number of consumer complaints
Not the cheapest auto insurance option for many drivers, especially compared to other online (or budget) insurers
Auto insurance is only offered in 43 states
Customers are charged an installment fee on monthly premium payments
While Esurance is perhaps best-known for its auto insurance policies, the company offers a variety of other coverage options, including insurance for boats, RVs, snowmobiles, ATVs, and even Segways. This is in addition to their homeowners/renters, life, travel, business, and umbrella coverage, just to name a few. Esurance was chosen as best overall provider for how simple the platform is with many insurance products available without the need to speak to an agent unless you want to.
Owned and backed by Allstate, the largest publicly held personal insurer in the country, Esurance has been writing policies since 1999 and has a financial stability rating of A+ (Superior) from AM Best. It operates in all 50 states, though not all products are offered in each state; for example, in Virginia, you can purchase an auto policy but cannot buy motorcycle insurance.
Many of Esurance’s products can be quoted, bundled, and purchased online or through the mobile app, without ever needing to speak with an agent. If you don’t plan to pay your premiums online in full at the start of your policy, just be aware that Esurance does charge a monthly installment fee. Depending on your coverage, you can expect this to range anywhere from $3 to $10 per month.
Esurance does not have any brick-and-mortar locations, though they encourage you to reach out by phone, by email, or even through their social media channels.
Best Homeowners Insurance: Lemonade
Lemonade takes much of the sting out of the homeowners insurance process, giving you the ability to buy coverage online in less than two minutes and even paying out approved claims immediately, to a connected bank account. Though not yet available nationwide, Lemonade offers a long list of additional coverage options, making it easier to build the policy that suits your exact needs.
Get a quote in seconds and have a policy in less than two minutes
Leftover funds are donated to charity
Robust mobile app makes managing coverage and filing claims simple
Simple claims are often paid immediately, and directly into a connected bank account
Lemonade boasts an A rating for financial stability
Homeowners insurance is only offered in 23 states and DC
Not currently rated by AM Best
Lemonade received twice the expected number of consumer complaints last year, according to NAIC
Though Lemonade was only launched in 2015, they have generated some buzz in the property insurance world over the years. The company offers homeowners, renters, and condo coverage, with homeowners policies being available in 23 states plus the District of Columbia.
All policies can easily be purchased online or through Lemonade’s mobile app; in fact, getting a quote only takes a few seconds and buying a new policy takes less than two minutes, which helped make it our choice as best for homeowners insurance. If you have questions, are ready to buy coverage, or need to file a claim, customer service is available by phone, email, or through the company’s robust mobile app.
Lemonade takes a flat percentage of your monthly premiums (20%) to cover operating expenses and pay claims with the rest. Anything left after that goes to the charity of your choice. Because Lemonade doesn’t make an additional profit by denying homeowners’ claims or making smaller payouts, it gives many policyholders added peace of mind that they’ll have the coverage they need when they need it most.
While Lemonade has not been evaluated by AM Best, the company does hold an “A” (Exceptional) financial stability rating from financial analysis firm Demotech.
Best Auto Insurance: Root
Root is a tech-savvy auto insurance company set on directly rewarding good drivers for their good driving habits. The app is feature-rich and often allows drivers to cut their premiums in half (or more).
Good drivers are rewarded for being good drivers
Customers can save up to 52% on their auto insurance rates
Roadside assistance is included with every policy (California drivers excluded)
Everything can be managed through Root’s feature-rich mobile app
Currently only available in 30 states
You’ll need to participate in a two- to three-week test drive before qualifying
Root doesn’t yet cover motorcycles, ATVs, commercial vehicles, etc.
Founded in 2015, Root has been steadily growing its auto insurance presence over the last five years. The app-based platform allows drivers to save money on premiums based on their driving habits, by utilizing an innovative “test drive” before a quote is ever calculated, which is why it wins our best auto insurance category.
Root’s test drive is a two- or three-week digital trip tracker, performed through the Root mobile app directly. Through this, Root is able to gauge and evaluate your everyday driving habits, including speed, aggression, and even the times of day you most often drive. With this data, Root is able to better calculate the risk you pose behind the wheel and, in turn, reward you with lower premiums.
Once the test drive is complete and a quote is offered, you can easily buy coverage through the app via credit card or even Apple Pay.
Currently, Root’s reach is a bit limited; they do not insure ATVS, motorcycles, or other special vehicles and they are only operating in 30 states. However, the platform is expanding all the time and they expect to be in more states soon.
Best Business Insurance: Next Insurance
Whether you have 20 employees or are a sole proprietor, protecting your small business with insurance can be very important. Next Insurance offers online business insurance coverage for a variety of companies and industries, and buying a policy—which starts as low as $19 a month—can take just minutes.
Eight types of coverage to choose from
Currently available in 48 states
Coverage is offered for 1,300+ different types of businesses
Buying coverage online usually takes less than 10 minutes
Not all products are available in every state
No mobile app
Next Insurance was founded in 2015 and offers a variety of small business insurance options to keep you and your company safe whether you have one employee or 30. The company has innovated complicated commercial insurance while making it affordable, helping it secure its title as best business insurance in our review.
Through Next Insurance, you can get a quote online in just minutes for general liability insurance, business insurance, business owner’s policy (BOP) coverage, property insurance, commercial truck/auto insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, or professional liability/E&O coverage. All policies are backed by Munich R.E., which holds an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best.
Whether you are a photographer, DJ, contractor, fitness instructor, educator, consultant, or hold one of the 1,300+ professions that Next Insurance covers, you can buy coverage online or over the phone for as little as $19 a month. Unfortunately, there is no mobile app available through Next, and not all business insurance products may be offered in your state.
Best Health Insurance: Oscar Health
Oscar Health helps easily connect consumers to doctors and providers within their growing healthcare network. Though the program is only available in a few states right now, it offers participants access to cutting-edge facilities while giving them a 24/7 link to the care they need.
Telemedicine is available for free, 24 hours a day
HSA-compatible plans available in some states
Four coverage tiers offered, in accordance with the ACA
Only available in nine states
Their in-network provider network was recently reduced
Some benefits are limited to participants in specific areas
Health insurance looks much different today than it did a decade ago, especially with the passing of the Affordable Care Act. Buying coverage for yourself or your family with Oscar Health can be simple and straightforward, which is why we chose Oscar as the best health insurance of the options we reviewed.
Oscar offers healthcare coverage for individuals and families, as well as business and medicare advantage plans. They are currently only available in nine states—Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas—but are expanding all the time.
With Oscar, you have immediate access to the care you need, especially when it comes to telemedicine. Day or night, you can schedule a visit with a board-certified doctor in as few as 15 minutes (whether you need a diagnosis or just want to refill a prescription), with no copay or out-of-pocket cost.
The Oscar app lets you find and visit with healthcare professionals, see lab results, access bills and prescriptions, and even review claims. Plus, you can track your daily steps within the app and earn up to $100 a year in Amazon credits just for meeting your health goals.
Some of Oscar’s key benefits are limited to plan participants in specific areas. For example, only New York residents will be able to take advantage of access to the Oscar Center, a state-of-the-art health facility in Brooklyn.
Best Life Insurance: Haven Life
Offering up to $3 million in affordable term coverage and a simple digital process, Haven Life makes buying life insurance online easier than ever. The company is backed by MassMutual and coverage is available nationwide.
Available in all 50 states and DC
Holds an impressive A++ AM Best rating for financial strength
Offers no-medical-exam, instant coverage with InstantTerm
Three optional riders to choose from
Standard term policies can be purchased up to age 64
Only term life policies are available
Many applicants will need a medical exam to finalize coverage
Active duty military or those currently enlisting are not eligible
While Haven Life debuted in only 2015, the company is owned by MassMutual, a trusted name in the insurance world since 1851. Because of this, Haven Life can boast an A++ financial strength rating from AM Best as well as an impressive, well-below-average complaint index, according to NAIC. Where most life insurance carriers will only start the process online, Haven Life allows you to complete it and get life insurance within minutes, making it our choice for best life insurance.
Online term life insurance through Haven Life is available to customers in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. While they don’t currently offer other types of life insurance (such as whole life or final expense), they do offer three different add-on riders (Haven Life Plus, accelerated death benefit, and waiver of premium). Plus, eligible applicants can opt for InstantTerm, a no-medical-exam policy that offers immediate coverage up to $1 million.
We were able to get an estimated quote for coverage in about 30 seconds; getting a more in-depth, “real rate” took less than three minutes. If you have questions or just want to chat with Haven Life about your options, you can reach their customer service department via email, phone, or even live chat.
What Is Digital Insurance?
As the name implies, digital insurance is an insurance product offered online or through a mobile app. These platforms use a combination of live customer service and digital algorithms to write and price policies. A variety of coverage options and products is available through digital insurance companies, from auto insurance to home and renters coverage, life insurance, and even healthcare policies.
While some of these companies are newer, standalone startups, many digital insurance providers are actually owned and backed by existing, trusted, and established names in the insurance industry.
What Is Insuretech?
With nearly every aspect of life today trending more and more toward tech, it’s no surprise that insurance is doing the same. These innovations—designed to save consumers time, energy, and money on their policies—are often referred to as insuretech.
Today’s insuretech companies make it easier than ever to shop for coverage, compare prices, manage policies, and even submit claims, no matter where you are in the world. Of course, they also eliminate much of the human touch involved with the industry and they raise some concerns about privacy and the intrusiveness of some insuretech companies’ mobile platforms.
What Are the Expected Costs of Digital Insurance?
Each insurance company will still have its own underwriting processes and algorithms, in addition to the personalized nature of insurance as a whole. So it’s hard to say how much you can expect to pay for digital insurance.
With that said, insuretech does tend to result in cost savings for many consumers. That’s because most of these companies use digital platforms and algorithms to underwrite their policies, reducing much of their overhead. Additionally, since many of these companies have few brick-and-mortar offices (if any), their operating expenses are substantially cut.
How We Chose Digital Insurance Companies
We looked at between three and 10 digital insurance companies for each category before deciding on the best one. Factors considered included financial stability ratings, consumer reviews, and consumer complaint indexes compared to the national average. We also considered mobile access, availability across the country, and pricing when making our determinations.
NAIC. "Massachusetts Mut Life Ins Co National Complaint Index Report." Accessed June 10, 2020.