Two Designers Launch Insurance Startup for Entrepreneurs

Business Insurance

Hannah Sullivan and Jade Sullivan recently launched an online commercial insurance agency for small businesses. Whether you’re a startup, freelancer, entrepreneur, small business owner, or anything in between, Pogo Insurance can help protect your endeavors.

How? Pogo compares insurance quotes from over 30 top commercial insurance providers to find its customers the right insurance plan for the best price. All it takes is one simple online questionnaire — and there are no hidden fees or extra costs for the service.

Hannah and Jade met at an innovation and branding master’s program at the VCU Brandcenter. But with the pair’s specialization in design, launching a business insurance startup doesn’t seem like a natural connection. However, Hannah’s father, Steve Love, has worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years and saw an opportunity to join forces with them while they were working in New York. His insurance expertise paired with their design and user experience skills is what brought Pogo to life.

Both Hannah and Jade learned about the entrepreneurial hustle from their parents. Steve has started multiple insurance companies throughout Hannah’s life — including agencies, brokerages, and specialty insurance products. Hannah’s mother is a clothing designer who has launched several clothing lines and currently makes custom clothing for musicians such as Felly, Upchurch, The Hollywood Vampires, and Alice Cooper. Jade grew up with a single mother who opened a restaurant, started a real estate investment business, and flipped a window tinting company in California.

“Growing up, the mentality was ‘work’. Do your own thing. Make your own way. I started a Christmas present wrapping operation in middle school and an art camp for kids in highschool,” Hannah explains. “And Jade used to work for herself as a video editor.”

But starting Pogo was still a greater challenge than either Hannah or Jade had anticipated. There were many moving parts, none of which they had experience handling. Because they have just recently launched the startup, the struggle of getting things going is still fresh. “We know how hard launching your own business is, because we’re doing it. Sometimes it feels like you’re swimming and there’s no way you’ll make it to the surface for more air,” Hannah explains. Jade follows with, “That’s why we’re so dedicated to making insurance as painless as possible for other startups.”

Entrepreneurs have many responsibilities. Handling clients, invoices, and deadlines can be stressful enough on its own. But attempting to understand the complexities of commercial insurance, like what types of coverage you need, or which insurance companies are the best for your business, can sometimes feel impossible.

“There’s simply too much to figure out when you’re an entrepreneur, and not enough time in the day. That’s why we want to take figuring out insurance off people’s plate. Let us worry about it — it’s what we do. That way, these self-employed business owners can do what they do best,” Jade says.

Hannah and Jade are just normal people, not longtime insurance agents with decades of experience (though, of course, they’ve hired these types of experts to work at Pogo). If they had never decided to tackle the insurance world, they’d probably still be creative freelancing. They would be Pogo’s audience, which is why they understand how to approach things in the easiest, and clearest, form. Jade believes that “being able to communicate with people in a way that’s approachable, but still informative, is key. And through carefully considered design and user experience, I think we’ve accomplished that.”

Their goal is to make insurance more accessible because stuffy terminology and unclear advice don’t help anyone. “Simplifying the information and the process — that’s what makes insurance more accessible. No one who comes to our site looking for protection is an insurance expert. So why would we speak in technical jargon, putting pressure on them to decipher it? We just want to make everything plain and simple,” says Hannah.

Jade lists a few quick points as to why business insurance is important for entrepreneurs:

1) It doesn’t matter how small an operation you are. If you’re accepting money for what you do, you’re a business. So business insurance is definitely something you should consider.

2) If you work from home, you might think your homeowners/renters insurance has got you covered. Wrong. Typically, that policy will only compensate you for up to $500 in business property damages. So good luck replacing even a smartphone! That’s why we recommend business property insurance.

3) Even if you have business property insurance, the protection ends after you’re 500 feet away from your business premises. So if you’re a photographer working outside your studio and your gear gets ruined, it’s not covered. To protect your work items on the go, you need inland marine insurance.

4) Clients can go ham on you for even the pettiest of reasons. They can literally sue you because they are “unhappy” with the results of your work. If you’re facing a lawsuit, legal defenses are often covered by your insurance policy.

5) Business insurance isn’t as expensive as you might think — especially if you’re a small operation.

Many of the larger insurance companies don’t choose to work with small businesses because they don’t think it’s worth the hassle. Why work for a small return, when you could work for a big return? Because of that, the little guys aren’t getting the help they need.

“That’s why we’re here. We want to help out the smaller, newer underdogs. Because they deserve to succeed. We can help them succeed by making sure their operations are protected from the start,” says Jade.

The team defines their brand as “not hard insurance”. Pogo may be new, but the team is made up of experts with 30+ years of industry experience. The experts work for you, not a commission. All quotes and advice are free.

Hannah and Jade look forward to helping the entrepreneurial community as they continue to roll out nationwide. The next phase for Pogo includes more technology, as well as industry-related packages and products.

To learn more about what types of insurance are best for entrepreneurs, click here.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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