Insurance. It’s a love, hate relationship…am I right? Half of the battle is choosing a provider and comparing rates which, is cumbersome and takes a lot of time and effort. The other half of the battle, is knowing that somehow you just got scammed.
Let me introduce Village startup, RateForce: a simple and reliable service with accurate rates and easy online purchasing, backed by personalized service when needed. Does that sound like a dream or what? The team and story behind the product will make you love it even more. Founder, Randy Luton has an incredible knack for problem solving and putting the humanity back into insurance.
Meet the Founder.
My name is Randy Luton and I’m originally from South Florida. As a young man, I was always very interested in computers and how programming could streamline so many aspects of our lives. When I turned 18, I was hired by Pacific Life to be a web development supervisor. I spent a couple years rising through the company and by the time I turned 20, I knew I wanted to start my own business. My first company was a subscription-based hosting/content management platform that allowed businesses to create a website and manage content through an online portal. After running that business for many years, I decided to get back into the insurance world which is when I founded RateForce.
What is RateForce and how did it come to be?
The idea behind RateForce was to develop a platform that could allow consumers to comparison shop for auto insurance online and actually purchase it during their search. After doing some market research, I found that insurance companies provided no pricing or a way to purchase online so, I started writing code and RateForce was born. In October of 2015, I raised some seed capital and since then, we’ve spent a lot of time working with insurance carriers to create a seamless experience where consumers can shop and get proof of insurance in minutes. We have also created kiosks that can be placed in auto dealerships allowing consumers to shop for their insurance while purchasing a new vehicle. We are still a startup, but we have grown from 2 states in January of 2017, to 41 states today, and have served over 1.2 million customers through our website.
What is the problem you are trying to solve and how?
The insurance industry is a slow adapter when it comes to technology which offers us the opportunity to integrate our platform on as many insurance carriers as possible. We provide customers with more options and a simpler experience during their purchase. We are now working to extend our platform to home, motorcycle, boat, RV, life, earthquake and many other verticals.
What is your favorite part about RateForce and your team?
We have collectively reacted to the need to scale rapidly and that has been an awesome experience. I have also enjoyed watching our AI technology improve with volume. It has allowed us to service over 100,000 customers per month which has forced my team to work together to solve bigger problems.
What has been the hardest thing as a CEO/Founder?
As the CEO of a fast-growing company, you must expect new challenges to arise daily, and even hourly. I learned early on to find solutions verses focusing just on the challenges. But, I think the most difficult thing for me has been understanding where to focus my energy each time an issue does arise.
What has been the best day with RateForce?
We’ve had so many little wins, due to my team’s hard work and consistent effort to improve our product, that it makes it hard to pick one “best day”. Last year, one agent sold over 1,000 policies in a month! On average (without using our software), one agent typically sells 100 policies per month. It was a big deal! This success shows how our software has truly changed the landscape of insurance sales.
What do you love most about being in the Village?
The Atlanta Tech Village is a wonderful place to work and we were blessed to have the opportunity to be here. The high energy of the Villagers really keeps us motivated and the Village Staff is very helpful and always willing to lend a hand when needed.
Any words of wisdom for other entrepreneurs (can be personal or professional or both)?
My recommendation to new entrepreneurs is to create a business plan. If your idea makes sense, then put your head down and bring it to life, no matter what it takes. Make sure to run your business as lean as possible and listen to your customers. Lastly, always be looking for ways to improve your business, increase growth and improve customer service.
And that my friend is what we call a game changer. RateForce, thanks for solving a huge problem and doing it well.