Over 100 million American workers have no insurance coverage for disabilities, critical illnesses, or paid parental leave. Given the high cost of medical care, a single injury or illness can devastate a family’s financial stability for many years.
Omaha-based Breeze Insurance, launched in 2019 by Colin Nabity and Cody Lynch, offers a user-friendly, affordable solution that can help families shop for policies that can help them get on their feet quickly when a medical situation keeps them out of work.
Refreshing a stale system
Nabity and Lynch both have years of experience in the insurance industry. From an insider perspective, they realized the system suffered from outdated technology, complex application and underwriting processes, and poor recognition of the value of income protection insurance. Half of American workers own life insurance but only 1/3 own disability insurance—despite the fact that a worker is three times more likely to be disabled than to die during their working years. They realized this was a great opportunity for a company like Breeze to publicize the value of disability insurance and make it more accessible to the public.(1)
Sailing through the application process
Breeze customers can enjoy a 100% online experience from the comfort of their homes or offices, without sales pitches or pressure to buy. After checking rates, they can complete a straightforward application in a matter of minutes, choosing from options of critical illness insurance or long-term or short-term disability insurance. With no credit check required, they’ll receive a decision instantly, and at times coverage can even start that same day. Breeze will recommend a base policy, but the customer is able to customize it for their own situation.
Customers have the option of paying their premiums monthly or annually. For applicants with more questions, a team of licensed customer advocates is available.
Breeze works not only with individuals but employers. Using a similar simple process, companies with 25 to 5,000 employees can set up employer-sponsored disability insurance or parental leave insurance for their workforce. Both programs reimburse employees up to $2,000 per week during the time they are out of work.
Policies sold by Breeze are underwritten by Assurity Life Insurance—a company that is 129 years old and rated Excellent by A.M. Best.
Location, Location, Location
The potential of Breeze has attracted the attention of investors. To date, the company has attracted $10 million in funding from Link Ventures, Fiat Ventures, M25, Invest Nebraska, and Northwestern Mutual Future Ventures.
CEO Colin Nabity considers the geographic location of the company to be a huge asset:
“Our Midwest location, specifically Omaha, is a huge part of who we are and who we want to be as a company. Omaha is surrounded by a large number of legacy insurance carriers as well as many IMOs and BGAs. For a rapidly growing company like Breeze, there is just so much insurance talent in this area spanning distribution, marketing, actuarial knowledge, and support. The low cost of living also enables us to do more with our financing relative to our coastal peers.”(2)
While Nabity anticipates the company having a nationwide impact and presence, he sees its Nebraska headquarters as a key part of the future success of the company.
A few drawbacks
Sometimes purchasing insurance through Breeze is, well, not exactly a breeze. To be eligible, applicants must have a consistent income history over the previous year, work at least 30 hours a week, not be on probation or have any pending bankruptcy charges. Breeze does not currently offer insurance in the state of New York.
It does not cover people with certain pre-existing medical conditions, including ALS, Bipolar disorder, Cancer (stage 2 or higher), Diabetes with insulin, drug or alcohol treatment within the previous 5 years, Parkinson’s, heart attack, Leukemia, or MS.