Today’s the big day! At least for me. If you’re looking for a normal post, that will have to wait for next week. Today, hopefully you’ll all indulge me a bit.

I’ll make the backstory brief a) since many of you may not care b) because I don’t want to give too much away yet in a public forum and c) because I’d rather everyone makes it to the part where you find out how you can invest before you click away!

So, long story short, I think I have a better mousetrap for homeowners’ insurance. It’s partly about a better user experience. It’s partly about offering different types of product and it’s partly about offering unique services.

What’s It Called?

I mean, look up top! The name of the company is Informed. That’s about as much hint as I want to give right now about who we are, but you can surmise the name is correlated to the experience we expect to provide.

Informed means we want customers who are looking to make informed decisions about their insurance, rather than just chase the lowest price, and we will help them to become more informed. It also means we think informed consumers will value some of the unique things we can offer that other insurers won’t do.

I should also point out why we didn’t choose a goofy or whimsical name. Maybe that gets you a better valuation these days, I don’t know, but my old German teacher used to say “Der nomen ist die omen” which means essentially you are what you are called (“your name is your destiny” if I remember my translation).

We want customers to perceive us as a trusted advisor who helps them make the right decision. You don’t have to guess that when you hear our name. If that’s old school, so be it.

We are asking to protect people’s most important asset. People need to know we’re going to be there when they need us and that we stand for something more than a catchy name or mascot (although I have a pretty great idea for a mascot…stay tuned). Informed stands for something and it will hopefully make us stand out in the marketplace.

How Are You Different?

For one thing, we have a plan to be profitable. No, not on some made up metric that excludes a bunch of stuff. Real GAAP income profitable. Yes, it will take some time, but we think we can get there in five years. You will be able to value us on future earnings potential because the earnings grow meaningfully beyond year 5.

There’s no magic to how we get there. The business model was designed with one eye on the unit economics. We will not chase growth for growth’s sake. Remember the Progressive mantra of “grow as fast as you can at a 96 CR”? I’m not saying our number is 96 per se, but we will follow the same ethos. Grow as fast as you can subject to a profitability metric.

While I can tell you an immense amount of thought has gone into the strategy and structure of the company, nothing you will see is necessarily revolutionary. I am not making any bold claims that we have invented some new way of doing business. As you know, I tend to laugh at those (or skewer them in print!).

Rather, we are improving things that should have been improved a long time ago. Some of these, the large insurers haven’t done because of cultural inflexibility. Some, because they have legacy technology that makes it too hard to change. Others, because this industry is really bad at thinking about what customers care about.

What’s the difference between me and some other insuretechs who I tend to criticize? I’ve got a lot bigger library of insurance knowledge than the average founder, and, I like to think, I’m pretty good at knowing how to pull different things together in new and novel ways.

So, if you choose to work or invest with me, you’re essentially betting that the key to change in the industry isn’t just bringing some new idea to the table and hoping to figure out the right way to implement it as you go.

It’s figuring out which new ideas are feasible, how they’ve been tried before, why they didn’t work then, and what has changed that will allow them to work today. That’s what makes Informed different.

If you want to know the specifics on how we plan to do that, well, that leads directly to the next part of our program.

How You Can Get Involved

There are three main areas where I’m looking for people (or companies) to join the journey. First, I am kicking off fundraising today. More on that below. Second, I need partners within the insurance world for a number of roles. Again, more on that below. Finally, I am looking for people to join the company, which, you guessed it, you can learn more about below.

I will add one more category of people too, actually. If you don’t fit any of those first three, but you think you might know people who do, please reach out and let me know. I’m plenty happy to tell you more if it will help you steer me to someone useful.

The website I am using for pre-launch activities is You can go there to learn more or keep reading below to get more specifics about each area of interest.


So I am being very open minded for now about funding. As with my former career, I will let the market tell me what is best. That goes for the type of investor and the amount I will initially raise. I have scenarios where I start with a small raise and others where I can start much larger.

To get access to the teaser presentation go to or email at

There are four buckets of possible investor profiles and I am glad to talk with people in each of them.

  • Friends & Family/Angel
  • Small Private Equity or Family Office
  • Venture Capital
  • Strategic/Insurance Company

Friends and Family

Are you reading this blog? Good, you’re a potential friends and family investor. When I say F&F, I’m not so much talking about my brother in law as people in my network. If you know me and you express interest in learning more, I will send you a deck and we can talk about next steps.

Private Equity or Family Office

While this is probably too small for most private equity funds, if you can do smaller deals and can invest in startups, I think you’ll find the cash needs of Informed are a lot more appealing than the typical Insuretech, as I can show cumulative funding needed before Informed becomes self funding. It is not a black hole for cash.

I know family offices are doing more startups, so a) if anyone reading has one, reach out and b) I know many of you from the investment world have dealt with many family offices over the years and I’ll take any introductions.

Venture Capital

As a venture investment, this would fit into a pre-seed or seed raise for a pre-revenue company. If you participate that early, please reach out. I’m certainly willing to talk to other VC firms as well that typically come in later and start building relationships for the future or if you want to introduce me to other early stage VCs.

Insurance Companies

As you will see below, I am seeking strategic relationships with a number of insurers. I am very much open to expanding those relationships to incorporate an investment as well.


While Informed is seeking to change the industry, we are also looking to improve it. We don’t look at incumbents as the enemy. Rather, we are trying to lead the way to a better customer experience. One big mistake I feel insurers make is they try to convince the customer to buy what the insurer wants to sell, rather than the other way around.

We plan to change that. However, if we are really being true to that vision, that means we need to have an open platform because we realize our policy won’t be the best for every single customer. We are confident enough in our plans to believe we will win our fair share, but we plan to earn that, rather than mandate it by restricting choice.

So, among other things, we will be looking to appoint competing carriers to our platform. More on the other partnership needs below but, before this gets too lengthy…

To get access to the teaser presentation go to or email at

Personal Lines Carriers

As mentioned, we are looking for carriers to take agency appointments and compete with our captive carrier. We are also looking for carriers to sell auto and other products to our homeowners customers as well as excess carriers for home above our limit.

There are some new ways we will conduct business relative a traditional agency that may be of additional interest, but I’d rather describe those privately.

Fronting Capacity

We will obviously be looking for someone to front what we expect to initially write for our own balance sheet. This could be in conjunction with a strategic investor or it could be a pure fronting relationship.

Reinsurance Panelists

Clearly, we are going to have significant reinsurance needs in the early years, both quota share and cat. For those interested in the cat, I think you will find we will have a different profile than a typical homeowners book.


We will have lots of data and technology needs and I am very comfortable outsourcing significant pieces of it to those who have already created good solutions rather than reinvent the wheel myself. I certainly have a healthy list of providers I plan to contact, but, if you’re not sure if you’re on the list, feel free to find me first.

You can imagine we have needs across the spectrum from underwriting data to analytics to service, sales, claims, you name it. The basic theme I would suggest is, if your technology helps us serve our customer better, I want to know about it.


One of the goals of raising $ at this stage is to be able to bring on some permanent help. So, if you’ve been thinking about working for an insurance startup, please reach out at and I can give you a sense of where I need help.

My general philosophy is to find talented people and I will figure out a role for them. Thus, while I am probably most focused on finding executive level talent, I have needs across the experience and functional spectrum. What’s most important to me is finding people who buy in to what we’re trying to accomplish.

I should also mention I am very flexible on level of commitment. While full time is great, I am very comfortable with people who want to have a side gig and help on a project before deciding whether they are willing to commit full time. I’d rather have three outstanding part time people than one mediocre full time person.

Where do we have hiring needs? You can probably guess…technology, marketing, underwriting, actuarial, etc. To inquire, email me at

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, if you don’t think you directly fit one of the three groups above, you may well know someone who does. If so, reach out at to suggest an introduction.

If you read all this and you’re left feeling like you don’t really know what exactly I’m up to and you want to know more, well, that’s why you ask to see the presentation. Those who have already heard the pitch know I get excited about this and will talk your ear off. However, I’m not going to publish a document that lets others know all my plans in advance. Sorry about that!

What I can tell you is it will be different than what you’ve seen before from an insurer, both in its consumer focus and in how we go about providing a better product.

Hopefully, that is enough to entice you to take a look at the site and reach out to learn more. Thanks for your interest!

2 thoughts on “Introducing Informed Insurance”

  1. Good luck Ian. I look forward to seeing how you apply your knowledge and experience.

  2. FYI, for those who got this post directly from the subscription, there was a typo and a rather important one. Rather than defer the loss to future periods, I will take the adverse development upfront!

    The link to email for the investor deck went out as That is incorrect. The correct email is It has been updated in the post online, but if you only have the emailed version, it won’t work, so hopefully you will find your way to the comments!

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