Emily from City Central in conversation with Turner Messey for community over everything

#communityovereverything: Turner Massey

Hi there! I'm Emily with CityCentral and I'm here with Turner Massey.  Can you give me a brief description about SetMeUp Insurance? 

SetMeUp Renters Insurance was founded about three years ago. We use advanced underwriting data. So, say you have a multi- family property, we use data around fire sprinklers, RFID chips, 24-hour security, and basically any additional data that's on the open market.  We help lower your insurance rates anywhere from 5 to 30% lower than our competitors because we use this additional data. We sell any insurance really under the sun. From commercial business owners to a home, life, etcetera…But our primary product is the Renters. 

I have noticed that you have grown a lot what has been the most successful and just interesting part?

Really for me, it's a lot of its customer education. As somebody coming right out of school or you're moving, there's 100 different things to do and typically a lot of people don't like insurance. It's kind of scary. You only deal with it when you have a flood or have been T- boned at an intersection (Hopefully that's not the case). Our whole approach is how to utilize and educate the customer. A lot of people don't know that when they buy auto insurance and they leave the laptop in the car and the laptop gets stolen, they think that's covered under there auto insurance, right? But really, it's under their renter’s insurance or if it's covered by work, it's under a business owners policy. So, it's educating the consumer about, hey, this is your actual coverage. If you can file a claim file, do so, insurance is there to use it and a lot of people don't utilize it unless it's super necessary. The second part of our growth has really been expanding to other insurance services. So that's helping multifamily operators as well as third party firms that sell you packages. Your power, your water, your trash, your sewer. We are in 16 states at the moment with about 65,000 units. 

That’s awesome! I'm glad it's going well for you! Your company is unique in educating people on insurance, what would you say has been the most rewarding part of educating these people? 

 I say the most rewarding part is seeing people use the product that's intended to help them. Whether they buy renter's policy or an auto policy. It's typically your last resort, you only use it when you absolutely need to. And you're scared, you don't understand the limits, right? For us, it's the little things. It's like the claim I got last week, they got up to go to the bathroom at a Starbucks and somebody ran out the door with their laptop. They had just bought a new laptop. They went to the coffee store to sell their old laptop to somebody and the new one got stolen! So, seeing people use that coverage and we were able to pay them, and they could buy a new laptop. Around the education, it is seeing when they move in and they just paid their lease, and probably a month up front for a deposit and it is allowing people to maybe not have as big as a financial burden when we are able to lower their premiums. 

What would be some advice to people within your industry that are possibly looking to join you or expand their horizon and education themselves into your business?

Read what your signing! Whether it's on an app or online, you just click the terms of service. I'm not saying go through and read it with a fine-tooth comb…but read what you're buying. The second thing would just be to ask questions. If you don't understand something, just ask the question. No stupid questions! I'd say the other thing as far as, you know, joining or expanding is to ask for forgiveness later. Whether it's just to take the next indicated step, just keep on moving forward, whether it's right or wrong. A huge thing that I have for myself is you stay stagnant because you want to make a decision, just make the best decision in that moment, fix it later if it's wrong, but you're going to move a lot more quickly versus just sitting there.  

What would you say is the greatest personal or professional advice that you have ever received? 

The greatest personal or professional advice that I've received. Sounds kind of trite, but just never give up. This is something that I’m in the middle of the seed round right now and it's kind of weird showing, you know, we're cash flow positive. Just keep on moving forward, no matter what hurdles are in front of you

 I've seen you do that, you're like, I'm keeping on going. Um, okay, so is there anything that city Central can help you with this time? 

CityCentral has been great. It's my home away from home. I might be here more than I am home. It always helps me to talk to the community. Typically, when someone asks me an insurance question there's a lot of stuff I don't know. So, when I get approached with these hypotheticals like, all right, what if I left my water on would this, this, this, or this happen? Quite frankly, I have no clue with the very specific questions, but I will always learn!  And I love to learn, and that's something that is always fun, walking through those. Sometimes it's a challenge and for me it's being able to always learn and help that person learn. Typically, it's a question that I haven't been faced with but the next time you now already know the answer. So, ask questions, CityCentral. If you have any questions, my door's always open, just keep on going. 

It's been so good to talk to you!  I know we always chat, but it's cool to learn in depth what you do. Thank you!

Emily Burge
Emily Burge

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