HiRoad and the story of insurance.

Insurance was a great idea.

“Wait, what?” you say. “You mean, great idea like the printing press, or penicillin, or indoor plumbing?The bean-counters, the forms, the fine print? That thing I mostly hope I just don’t have to deal with?”

Well, bear with us for a minute. Let’s go back in time a few thousand years. . . .

Insurance gave traders the confidence to travel on camels all across ancient Babylon, around 1,750 B.C. Around 1,000 B.C., the early insurance idea of the “general average” gave peace of mind to merchants sailing their cargoes from the Greek port of Rhodes. And the first modern insurance contract dates from Renaissance Italy, when Genoese sailors ventured across the Mediterranean from Istanbul to Gibraltar.

So ever since the first modern contract (Genoa, 1347 A.D.), and the first property insurance (London, 1681), insurance has been there to clean things up after the stuff hit the fan.

 

But there was always a challenge.

Insurance never had a way to recognize behavior, or to tell the difference between the careful and careless (until afterward, like when you had a crash). It was all about your past. So if you were out there, quietly trying to take the high road, to choose a little better, drive a little safer, what did you get for that from your insurance company?

 

The same rate as the person next to you.

And there’s the rub: insurance has always been about your past, but it needed to learn how to encourage you and reward your good trajectory for the future. Insurance was always there behind people, but it had to be smarter about looking ahead.

Protection is good, of course. But protection plus recognition and fairness? That’s way better. That’s something that regular people might even get excited about.

 

 

That’s why we’re here.

That’s why HiRoad is what it is: we’re here to address that challenge insurance has had since the days of sailing ships and camel caravans, of being able to recognize and reward the good people out there.

And by setting up our business this way, our goal isn’t just to pick up the pieces after something bad happens (which insurance has done for thousands of years, as we’ve covered). Our goal is to help fewer bad things happen in the first place, because more people have incentives to live smarter and drive safer.

So is reinventing insurance as exciting as, say, when people first discovered how to cook meat over fire? Maybe not. But we think we’ll be able to help a lot of people this way. We hope you’ll join us on the way up.