Huddle: The bot-powered insurer saving Aussies time and money

By Tara McCabe ·

Polly, Genie, Xavier, Bee and Freud might sound like characters in a funky new cartoon, but they’re actually the names of very responsible bots, designed to help run fintech insurance company Huddle. Each bot specialises in a different task and together they work to make the whole insurance process quicker, easier to manage and less stressful.

Joint chief executive Jonathan Buck says that for the vast majority of people, the experience of taking out insurance and making claims can be a very stressful one. 

“What we’ve built at Huddle is technology that tries to solve a lot of the problems with insurance from both a customer’s perspective and an insurer’s perspective and the bots are the way that technology is brought to life,” he says.

The Australian fintech space has grown considerably in the past five years and looks like it will continue to grow in the coming decade. Huddle shares the space with other Aussie fintech insurers, including business insurer Evari Insure and on demand insurer Trov.

Huddle’s bot-powered claims process

If you’ve ever had to make a claim the traditional way, then you’ll know just how time-consuming it can be waiting around in phone queues, explaining your claim to multiple call centre representatives.

But all of this is changing, as the 2020 World Insurance Report released last week shows, more and more people are signing up to insurance policies online, regardless of age.

As a tech-focused insurer, Huddle is ahead of that curve. For example, you can lodge claims within Huddle’s app for the bot Genie to either review and approve, or flag for a human to look at.

Buck explains just how quick this process can be: “We had a windscreen claim a couple of weeks ago where the customer made the claim online. Genie checked it out and everything was approved instantly. Two and a half hours later someone from our operations centre called the customer to follow-up and the windscreen had already been fixed.”

To make a claim, you simply go onto the app, provide all the relevant information, upload images as evidence and review a summary of your claim. If it’s a claim that is within Genie’s remit, you could get a decision within minutes of submitting.

Fixed kilometre plan could be a lockdown money-saver 

Similar to other technology-driven companies such as 86 400 and Up, Huddle is able to save a bit of money on physical overhead costs, savings that can then be passed on to customers.

In fact, Huddle even has a bot (Xavier) solely designed to spot ways you could be saving money on your insurance, one of which could be with Huddle’s Fixed Kilometre Plan. Similar to a pay-as-you-drive policy, the fixed kilometre plan offers all the same cover as a normal car insurance policy but with a lower premium if you drive less than 15,000 kilometres in one year.

When you sign up to the policy, you select how many kilometres you usually drive throughout the year and the lower that number, the lower your premium will be. So, as Buck says, if you’re not using your car as often due to the COVID-19 lockdown or you have a second car that doesn’t get taken out for a spin much, you could save yourself some serious dollars on your insurance.

“Of course, if the lockdown starts to be relaxed over the next few weeks and months and you start driving more, then you can very easily just call us up or go online and increase your kilometre plan,” he says. “You don’t pay anymore when you increase it than you would have if you bought more kilometres at the beginning.”

The only thing to note with this plan is that you will have to provide Huddle with your odometer reading when you sign up, and again if you have to make a claim. This is so that Huddle can double check that you are still within your limit.

1% for the planet

Huddle even has a bot designed to measure the company’s impact on the world. Bee is responsible for stuff like keeping track of donations and reporting on how much carbon Huddle needs to offset.

As a B Corp certified company and an active participant in the 1% for the planet program, Huddle has a distinctly green focus. B Corp certified companies aim to balance purpose and profit. To achieve the certification, businesses are measured on their social and environmental performance.

Impressively, Huddle is the only Australian insurance company listed on environmental campaigner Market Forces’ website, that discloses that it does not invest in fossil fuels.

“Before Jason [Wilby] and I started the business, four or five years ago, what we knew was that we wanted to create a business that left a positive impact on the world,” Buck says.

As part of that positive impact, Huddle donates 1% of its yearly revenue to environmentally focused projects, charities and communities. Huddle even gives you the ability to have a say in where it sends its donations.

“Every time someone new buys a policy from Huddle, they get asked to choose what they’re most interested in helping, whether that be land, the sea animals or humanity,” Buck says.

Kanga cover

Lastly, Huddle’s wish to leave a positive impact on the world even extends to its insurance policy with the optional extra, ‘Kanga cover.’ With this optional benefit Huddle will repair your car, excess free, for the first animal collision you have each year.

Huddle did a report on the issue last year, revealing that over 90% of animal-related collisions in Australia are with kangaroos. Plus this optional benefit doesn’t just help the person whose car has been damaged, because each time someone buys the product, Huddle donates money to the Kangaroo Protection Co-operative.

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Tara McCabe
Tara McCabe
Money writer

Tara McCabe writes across all areas of personal finance here at Mozo from banking through to insurance. Tara is expert at practical money tips, showing readers ways to live richer and be socially conscious while doing it. She earned a BA (Hons) in English Literature from Canterbury Christ Church University.