Slice: Changing the Paradigm of Insurance

Tim Attia, CEO & Co-Founder, SliceTim Attia, CEO & Co-Founder
In late 2015, three insurance enthusiasts joined hands to create an insurtech company that would shift the power of buying and using insurance from the hands of large insurance organizations to that of customers. Despite spending a fair amount of time building back-end systems for insurance companies and later moving to the distribution of insurance, the trio failed to derive much value from both the jobs. This eventually led them to re-imagine insurance from bottom-up and thus followed the birth of Slice. “We follow a traditional startup model which is a strength in itself in that we can innovate by building the whole thing end-to-end faster than it would take to integrate it into an existing carrier system,” says Tim Attia, CEO and Co-Founder of Slice.

The team at Slice recognized that the on-demand economy was an open space in terms of a new kind of risk where one could switch from a person to a business and vice-versa at the tap of a button. “If we are to move into the digital world, we need to design new products and find innovative ways to price and underwrite them,” the CEO remarks. Hence, rather than focusing on insurance transactions, the team emphasizes on customer engagement whereby it can discover unique ways of selling insurance.

The traditional insurance process is lengthy where users fill an application, get a quote, bind it, issue an annual policy with endorsements, have a renewal, and lastly receive the first notice of losses, claims, and billing transactions. Slice matches this experience with the on-demand economy where there are only two transactions—register and buy.

Our hypothesis on hyperscale is that our partners can license our innovation as a turnkey digital insurer

When a customer registers, the firm underwrites them a registration and eliminates the application process for insurance. Over a point of time, the customer can buy the insurance only for the period when they need it. At present, Slice covers over $2 million in liability insurance offering full replacement cost to homeshare hosts. Furthermore, the firm tries to remove as much of the cost or expense as possible by extending its system to the cloud. It also leverages various existing open-source solutions and frameworks that are on the street. Of note, Slice went online in May this year in 13 states, now expanded to 30 states in the U.S.

However, a major challenge for the company is its difficulty to scale. If Slice proves during the scale phase by teaming up with some company and have their brand powered by Slice, it can license the platform to them. The partner, in turn, will be entitled to a whole operating model and platform alongside their business whereby they can handle the on-demand economy and be a digital insurer. That will be quicker to scale as the partner can mash up Slice’s innovation with another startup’s innovation, combining the two much faster than integrating them into the mother ship. “Our hypothesis on hyperscale is that our partners can license our innovation, which will have everything from product to pricing to technology, as a turnkey digital insurer,” Attia notes.

The next big thing for Slice will be to bring the platform to the market and license it for large carriers to be able to use it if they intend to go digital. In fact, the firm has already signed its first overseas contract with a large Asian carrier to extend its platform to Asia-Pacific. Meanwhile, the team is constantly upgrading the Slice platform and investing time on claims process, conducting a lot of AI-based work around behavioral psychology and fraud detection.