Students help to shake up car insurance industry

Two Northeastern students have played essential roles in helping one local startup disrupt the car insurance industry.

Using their skills in marketing and web development, respectively, Micaela Allen, SSH’17, and Eric Su, E’17, helped launch Insurify, an online marketplace based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, that seeks to simplify shopping for auto insurance by eliminating the need to talk with agents or deal with copious paperwork.

The pair started working at Insurify in January, just before the company launched.

As Insurify’s content marketing specialist, Allen, an English major, manages Insurify’s blog and writes articles on topics ranging from car safety to car insurance jargon.

“I have a lot of creative freedom and a lot of room to give the company a voice on the blog and social media,” Allen explained. “It’s interesting. I like taking topics that are usually complicated and compacting them and making them fun.”

As a full-stack developer, Su is responsible for helping power Evia, Insurify’s virtual insurance agent through which customers get insurance quotes simply by sending a picture of their cars or license plate numbers. “I’m working on the actual chat flow, getting it to recognize answers and building an interface for our side so we can fix problems if the chats stop,” Su said.

Su, a combined computer engineering and computer science major, first learned of Insurify at Northeastern’s On Fire To Hire Startup Expo, an event that brings dozens of hiring startups to campus. Having done co-ops at larger companies already, he was interested in delving into the startup ecosystem.

“It has been hectic but in a good way,” said Su. “Every week there might be a bug to fix, but it is also nice to have a project to build and develop.”

Tod Kiryazov, the director of product for Insurify and a Double Husky, said it was important to bring co-ops on board to develop a relationship with the university and give students an opportunity to work with a new venture.

“We want to have high-performing students work with our team and contribute to the company, and these two have definitely contributed,” said Kiryazov, MS’12, MBA’14. “We want to make sure the co-ops can work independently and we’ll provide them guidance when they need it.”