Life insurance isn’t something that young, healthy people typically consider buying. It also isn’t always that accessible to those with lower income or easy to buy: It can mean a medical exam and lots of questions to determine the type of coverage and amount needed.
That’s a big part of why Latin America has one of the lowest insurance penetration rates at 1.3%. In addition, 15% of Latin American adults who can afford life insurance policies have one, compared to 52% of U.S. adults.
Miami-based Olé Life wants to change that. It joins others — for example, Equisoft, Turaco, and Acko — in bringing a digital-first approach to regions with low insurance penetration. Others like Mexico-based Minu are offering life insurance benefits via employers.
The full-stack insurance carrier is targeting Latin America’s growing middle class that may have previously been unable to obtain financial protection.
It provides life insurance through the web or a mobile app and has developed a digital underwriting methodology that doesn’t require a medical exam and can underwrite policies of up to $1 million, according to Olé Life co-founder and CEO Michael Carricarte, who has previously founded three other startups in the insurance space.
Here’s how: The platform taps into artificial intelligence to analyze decades’ worth of customer data in minutes to determine policy approval. Its technology also personalized the user experience and simplifies the buying process. In addition, business-to-business partners can embed quoting engines and APIs.
Carricarte formed Olé Life with his brothers, Andrew and Brian, and touts that they are second-generation insurance founders after their father, who was selling insurance in Latin America in the 1970s.
Olé Life currently has members in 30 countries and over 3,000 contracted advisors. In the past year, the company introduced “add-ons,” which are similar to “riders” that insurance agencies offer but that are more along the lines of lifestyle benefits, Carricarte said. One that he noted is unlike what competitors offer is “return on premium,” so, for example, if you pay $500 a year for 20 years and outlive your policy, you get all your money back, Carricarte said
In terms of growth, the company doubled its employees and has issued close to $1 billion in coverage in the past 16 months. Meanwhile, revenue in the first quarter of this year was 73% higher than the same quarter in 2022.
Now Olé Life wants to further advance its AI capabilities, grow its customer base through marketing and expand its number of agents to 5,000. It is doing that with a new $12 million Series A round of funding. Mundi Ventures and AV8 Ventures co-led the investment and was joined by Morro VC and other strategic investors. In total, the company has raised $17 million, including $7 million in previous rounds.
In addition, Carricarte plans to add more health-related and lifestyle add-ons and get into business-to-business opportunities, and the company will be licensed in Mexico and Brazil by the end of this year.
“We want to grow and go fast,” Carricarte said. “We want to work on product distribution and communication. Once we are licensed in these countries, we can really start scaling. Also, the B2B opportunity for us is going to be huge.”