INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
How COVID-19 Fostered the Auto Insurance Industry Revolution
Antonio Morales, CEO, and co-founder of Gocleer tells us about digital auto insurance which is revolutionizing the industry.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Antonio Morales: The times of COVID-19 have been like a roller coaster, with ups and downs. Personally, it has been a challenge for me and my family to have started a digital Start-Up at the beginning of the pandemic, coupled with a change of country in between. Well, we are all healthy, my wife and my three young children have adapted to living in Barcelona and seeing things in a positive way. Although I work remotely, since we are a 90% remote team, I have managed to balance family time and remote work without much problem.
Tell us about you, your career, and how you founded Gocleer.
Antonio Morales: It’s been more than 15 years since I’ve been involved in the insurtech sector, leading digital projects connected to transportation, insurance, and automotive sectors in several LATAM countries. I was CEO of Location World (CarSync), a company that specialized in developing telematics technology and fleet management solutions through the Internet of Things (IoT) for the automotive, transportation, security, logistics, and insurance industries. I was also the Growth Leader responsible for Waze for LATAM, a startup with the world’s leading unicorn status acquired by Google for $ 1.1B in 2013.
In terms of my formal education, I have an MBA in Business Administration from the IDE Business School in collaboration with the IESE of Spain, and I took part in several international programs at Harvard Business School, among others. As an entrepreneur, I’m supported by Endeavor, a global organization that selects and supports high-impact entrepreneurs to catalyze their long-term projection.
How does Gocleer innovate?
Antonio Morales: At Gocleer we have a diverse and agile team of people with experience in fintech, software development, artificial intelligence, telematics, digital product design, and data analytics focused on revolutionizing the insurance sector, which in Spain has not been as disruptive as other sectors.
Our long-term vision is based on changing the foundations of what we know as “car insurance”, that is, moving from a traditional approach focused “only in the car”, to a vision focused on “mobility activity”, that is, “human-centered”. This is because we see new behaviors and adoptions in the main cities worldwide, and cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, are not an exception. Moving from point A to point B is no longer something we do exclusively by car, now we combine trips using different transportation modes or services, which is known as “multimodality”. In this sense, we as urban commuters seek protection against risks, regardless of whether we move by car, scooter, bicycle, electric motorcycle, or personal mobility vehicle. Therefore, the transformation from “car-centered insurance” to “human-centered mobility insurance” is imminent, and that is the process that we have started to lead.
To achieve this vision we have focused on 3 main innovations for digital-first customers:
- As a digital broker, we offer an instant online quote that in less than four minutes allows the user to select personalized car insurance and pay for the service monthly, in a simple and easy way. We are including multimodality coverages like motorcycle, bicycle, and scooter insurance in the upcoming weeks.
- Our team is developing a mobile app where with a combination of smartphone sensors and powerful algorithms we can identify the mobility patterns and the journeys of our policyholders so we can personalize as much as possible our insurance plans and bundles. In this application, users can manage the insurance policy, make a claim, but above all, access a marketplace of personalized mobility coverage based on lifestyle.
- Because we promote alternative transportation modes and less usage of cars, we have created a reward program, based on monthly cashback of up to 30% of the annual insurance plan. This program has been designed to attract multimodal drivers, low mileage drivers, and eco-friendly drivers and also to contribute to the sustainable development of the planet.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?
Antonio Morales: Actually, Gocleer was founded in the middle of the pandemic. Mobility was one of the most affected sectors when the Spanish government implemented measures to control the outbreak, and that’s when Danae Vara, Ángel Casarrubios, and myself realized that there was a lot to be done in the mobility and insurance sector. While many sectors reinvented and digitized themselves more than ever in order to overcome the lockdown and social distancing that governments demanded, the insurance sector was lagging a bit behind. At that point, we realized that the insurance market had a lot on its plate in terms of adapting to increasingly changing consumer habits. Therefore, despite the pandemic and the context that was more complex than ever, we decided to pursue our business idea and we founded the company in the middle of a pandemic.
On the other hand, changes in mobility have been significant. Firstly, we have seen a decrease in the frequency of trips by cars and, therefore, a reduction in the frequency of accidents (+-30%). At the same time, we’ve seen the growth of trips considered “micro-mobility”, or last mile, which have doubled in several cities, not only due to the more and more general use of shared mobility systems but also due to the great demand for personal electric scooters, bicycles, and electric motorcycles during the pandemic. These segments have grown a lot since the outbreak of the pandemic, and, unfortunately, accidents as well.
Did you have to make difficult choices and what are the lessons learned?
Antonio Morales: In our case, being in a booming sector, for now, the difficult decisions have not been greater since we started at the beginning of the pandemic and remotely. We have tried to carry out the business development with measure, to grow according to our capabilities, and also to take advantage of the situation as much as possible, unlike other industries that are currently depressed.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Antonio Morales: We use different tools, both for collaborative work, such as Twist, Google Meet or Confluence, Docsend, etc. But, above all, we have focused on implementing work methodologies. In the end, applications and programs are useful if the organizational culture has been able to adopt methodologies. In this sense, we use some that we consider important such as Job to be Done, Value Proposition Design, Micro-traction, Domain-Driven Design, 100% Data-Driven, OKrs, among others.
We focus on our Culture Manifesto:
- Hire staff who want to change the world
- Promote a growth mindset (growth and learning)
- Egolessness. Show gratitude and humility
- Do more with less
- We focus on the long term
- Team and collaboration-oriented work culture
- Be thinker, but smart doer too
- Equity and diversity
- Deliver WOW through service and technology
- Make a positive social and environmental impact on your community
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Antonio Morales: There are other big incumbent auto insurance companies on their way to digitize their services, but Gocleer is the only one that gives its users an opportunity to have a 100% digital experience without having to install any additional hardware in the vehicles. However, the insurtech sector is hot, and we see a lot of innovations in different markets like Zego and Marshmallow in the UK, Prima in Italia, and Luko in France.
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