Meet the insurtech: Handdii | Digital Insurance
Originally founded in Australia in 2019, and later expanded to the United States in November of that year, the insurtech Handdii is designed to ease the frustrations surrounding small property insurance claims. Co-founders Christie Downs, CEO, and Kathryn Wood, COO, saw the opportunity for disruption in the often lengthy and cumbersome process of a property claim payout.
Wood, who has years of experience in the insurance industry, noticed that these small claims and repair processes are often surprisingly costly and complicated. Downs, who has 10 years of construction experience, notes that one reason for this is that many contractors often prefer to take on projects of larger claims for larger payout, rather than take on a smaller claim. Downs’ solution, however, was to enlist local contractors for the smaller jobs – she realized that local contractors would likely jump on the opportunity to work on smaller claims, especially in their own communities.
Downs and Wood saw this opportunity to simplify the claims process, but knew that insurance companies would have difficulty in managing a large supply chain of local contractors across the country.
“It’s hard for insurers to connect their customers with quality local contractors. That’s why we created Handdii, because technology, of course, can enable that,” says Downs. “We created a platform to connect the insurance company and the homeowner straight to these local contractors that can help out with the largest volume of claims, these claims are under $25,000 [which is] about 80% of property claims.”
Handdii’s three-sided smart tech, available through a mobile app, directly pairs local contractors with customers, for the insurer, when a customer has registered a small property claim. The tech enables contractors to video chat with the insurance company and directly upload photos of damages. Once a contractor has reviewed submitted damages, and after the insurer has reviewed coverage and confirmed payment from the customer, the contractor can immediately begin restoring the damaged property.
“We’re all about enabling the insurance claim process to be easy. And so what that can mean, too, is that there’s a number of integrations that are important with different estimating software platforms or claim systems. And so connecting the ecosystem to make that process easy for insurance companies is important,” Downs states.
Through Handdii’s storyboard, a digital central area available on the app, all three parties are able to connect via a three-way chat feature for direct communication and updates. The storyboard chat feature also functions as a transcript for the insurance company.
Downs says, “Our software connects all three parties. It connects the homeowner, the adjuster that’s on the claim, and the contractor. So all three parties have transparency, they know what’s going on, and there’s no one left in the dark, unsure of the process.”
Customers may also submit a rating of their contractors after repairs are completed, and a positive rating will reward the contractor with faster payment terms.
“In the industry, it can take up to 70 to 80 days until final payment is made. Whereas with Handdii, we’re actually returning the property back the way it was, everything’s over and done within 30 days,” explains Downs. “That’s a dramatic difference.”
The insurtech is currently operating in 16 U.S. states with plans to expand by the end of 2023.
“For Handdii, we want to be the most trustworthy repair network. [In] the industry and managed repair, our category, there’s opportunity for it to evolve to a new positive, inclusive level, so that everyone trusts one another,” adds Downs. “Historically, the different parties on a claim, the insurance company, the customer and contractor, might not trust one another. It’s unfortunate as the contractor has a really important role – they’re there in the customer’s home, returning the home and their lives back to normal. Handdii, as a central transparent point in the middle, can unify and align the parties as we help achieve success together.”