This November, Inman offers a deep dive into the world of proptech and the state of the startups that are building the future now. We’ll also debut a brand new coveted set of awards, Proptech All-Stars, celebrating the entrepreneurs, VCs, and visionaries in the field. It’s Proptech Month at Inman.
Florida is in the midst of a homeowners insurance crisis, and RESAAS is lending a hand. The ever-evolving technology services company is offering an “accessible, affordable and award-winning” home insurance plan, according to a Nov. 29 press release.
In a phone call with Inman, RESAAS CEO Tom Rossiter said the intent is as simple as wanting to help agents help their customers.
“If people can’t get insurance, they can’t move, and if they can’t move, agents don’t work,” Rossiter said.
The company is seemingly stepping outside of its comfort zone to help homebuyers in the Sunshine State surmount coverage hurdles, but, according to Rossiter, that’s not the case. They have no comfort zone.
He said he wants RESAAS to become a flexible, go-to business resource that fills gaps created by the current industry model, ranging from supplying COVID tests during the pandemic’s heyday to providing opportunities for securing individual health insurance and, now, home insurance for the disaster-ravaged Sunshine State.
When Rossiter calls RESAAS a “platform,” he doesn’t mean it from the technology perspective, as one would when talking about Inside Real Estate or Lone Wolf. While he wants to apply technology to better what his company offers, the ultimate goal is to react to the unmet needs of real estate agents.
Still, the company is recognized for its global referral software that connects agents across a broad swath of markets, helping agents help each other and manage interactions. Technology remains its heart.
The company is partnering with HUB International Insurance to offer insurance programs to Florida buyers through their agents.
“We are an industry platform that is pro-Agent. Primarily we help agents through brokerage-agnostic referrals,” Rossiter said. “But in times of need, given agents are 1099 contractors, we try to provide them options to help elsewhere in their business.”
HUB and RESAAS have been working together for some time, but only recently rolled out the Florida insurance program. Clients of RESAAS can access VIU by HUB, a digital brokerage platform designed to make the process of obtaining and servicing insurance more affordable and modern. It includes access to people-provided support, too.
“According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 275,666 people left Florida in 2022 — nearly 23,000 people every month,“ Newsweek said.
Inflation can’t be helping the relocation issue there, either. Florida has no income tax, only a sales tax, meaning rising prices of consumer goods become more noticeable and, to some extent, negate the benefits of not footing a paycheck tax.
More than 15 major carriers have left the state in the last year, Farmers being the most recent significant example. As a result, the Orlando Sentinel reported that about 100,000 policyholders in Florida will now have to find new insurance providers.
Remaining insurers in the state are faced with more demand than they can handle and virtually every homeowner in Florida is liable to be impacted, one Florida insurance agent told South Florida’s Local 10 News.
“Citizens Insurance, the company of last resort, was not designed to take on this many policies,” Dustyn Shroff told the station. “As a local insurance agent, we find out about these cancellations at the same time the homeowner does.”
Rossiter said in the press release that the crisis is measurably affecting Florida’s real estate economy.
“The impact on the broader real estate ecosystem is noticeable,” he said “RESAAS agents in Florida can now provide their past, present and even future clients with insurance solutions that will make a difference to each household.”
In addition to helping their clients, RESAAS agents earn referral fees for each client referred to a bound home insurance policy, according to the press release. Subscribers of RESAAS’ “Ultimate” tier earn a higher referral fee.