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From Songs to Dollars: How iPod Helps to Define Micro Insurance

Folded blue jeans on a white background, with money poking out of rear pocket and MIC Global M icon embroidered. "Embedded micro Insurance. $1,000 in your pocket." on right hand side.

There are many things that the late Steve Jobs will be remembered for. For us, one of his outstanding qualities was his innate ability to explain and market a product in a way that resonated with consumers. In this article, we reveal how his genius description of the original iPod shaped the way we think about our own micro insurance products.

Sell benefits, not features.

In 2001, at a small press event at Apple’s former Infinite Loop headquarters, Jobs revealed the first-generation iPod. Holding the gadget for the audience to see, he coolly explained “This amazing little device holds 1,000 songs and it goes right in my pocket”, casually slipping it back into his own pocket.

The iPod revolutionized the music industry overnight – becoming the must-have tech device of the early 2000’s – with Jobs’ simple explanation becoming the basis of its marketing campaign: 1,000 songs in your pocket.

Instantly, people knew what the iPod was about. Now, Apple could have marketed the iPod for what it was: The world’s first portable digital media player, 5GB hard drive, superfast Firewire connection, rechargeable lithium polymer battery… but to the average consumer that’s just tech jargon. Companies have a matter of seconds to make a first impression, so messaging is crucial – a more detailed explanation can come once a customer is engaged. When getting the attention of a potential customer, one way to make a solid first impression is to tell them how a product will benefit them – how it will make their life better.

For the iPod, those five words said it all. “1,000 songs” – that was comfortably more than the typical persons’ entire music library. “In your pocket” – it was small, portable, and easily accessible. People understood and proved it in their millions – by the time Apple retired the iPod line in 2022, it was estimated that they had sold 450 million devices.

Drawing inspiration.

Much like how the iPod transformed the music industry and how people experienced music on-the-go, micro insurance is revolutionizing the insurance industry and how people think about and access insurance.

Traditionally, personal insurance policies are applied for via a comprehensive in-person or online sign-up process, with successful applicants receiving documentation containing their policy certificate and details of how to make a claim. Likewise, the claims process itself can be documentation heavy, and slow to validate and pay out. Often these policies provide coverages measured in thousands – such as for health, life, home, and vehicle – with premiums paid monthly or annually. In some ways, conventional consumer insurance can be like the portable CD players of old – cumbersome, awkward to navigate, not particularly convenient, and people carried just a few discs at a time.

Which is where micro insurance comes in, offering an alternative to regular insurance. We could, and often do, describe our brand of digital reinsurance for what it is: digital embedded micro insurance products, underwritten in-house through our Lloyd’s Syndicate 5183 and MIC Re, partner driven global distribution, powerful API enabled straight through processing for claims and policy management. Within the insurance industry these terms are well understood, much like the iPod’s description above within the tech industry. But as an explanation of what we do for the everyday person, it’s not necessarily as easy to grasp.

So, inspired by Jobs’ simple words, we like to characterise micro insurance in a similar manner: $1,000 in your pocket.

Hear us out… “$1,000” – coverage levels ideal for typical everyday claims. “In your pocket” – readily accessible policies applied for at the point of sale, via platform and service partner mobile apps and websites, with straightforward, lightweight sign-up processes and claims paid rapidly. Combined, this makes the “$1,000 in your pocket” relevant to the customer.

Micro insurance. The next big thing.

Expanding on this statement in more detail, MIC Global’s micro insurance programs are designed to fill the protection gap that traditional insurers have allowed to develop. Providing coverages for tens or hundreds of dollars for everyday incidents – such as broken gadgets, breaks in income, warranties, travel disruption, and loss of income driven by an event – our digital reinsurance products allow our insurance and platform partners to help their customers in their time of need.

Our embedded micro insurance products are highly accessible through partner platform mobile apps, websites, and subscriptions. We work with our partners to integrate our products into their sales process and create simple, understandable application processes to ensure that their customers can get insured quickly without causing disruption to the partner’s business – in short we add trust and we add value. When a claim arises, customers have convenient access to their coverage direct from the platform they enrolled with. Claims are sent to MIC and can be processed in hours thanks to our AI-powered software, and monetary benefits can be paid to our insurance partners to help the platform’s customers just as quickly. Put simply, this is insurance in a box for our partners.

For example, we have recently partnered with a new neo bank to support their Income Protection product. Customers apply through the bank’s app and the benefit is embedded in the client’s subscription and services. When a subscribed customer needs to make use of the benefit, the system is ready to pay* and support them in their hour of need, putting a $1,000 in to their pocket in an instant.

With simple, relevant, and affordable micro insurance products available at the touch of a button, our partners’ customers have peace of mind that when life happens, they can rely on their protection solution to ensure they have cash in their pocket to get back on track.

Contact us to see how MIC Global can help your business benefit its customers and employees with an embedded micro insurance solution.

* 80% of claims turned around within 48 hours, May–Dec 2023.