Local startup Merlinio introduces MagicQuote app for finding car insurance quotes
Local startup company Merlinio Technologies LLC has introduced its mobile app designed to help people more quickly and easily get automobile insurance quotes.
The app, named MagicQuote, is now available for free in the Apple and Android stores, the company said this week.
“We are encouraged by what we have seen so far” in customer response, said Jonathan M. Ansell, Merlinio’s founder and chief executive officer.
The app has been available for about three weeks, but the company is just now starting to promote it.
The Richmond-based company has been working for more than a year on the app, which enables a user to scan his or her driver’s license, giving the company data to automatically complete insurance applications and generate price quotes from various insurers.
The company is targeting the app specifically at younger customers who often have trouble getting affordable car insurance. Online applications often require filling out lengthy questionnaires, Ansell said.
“We use technology and scanning to take that process down to three minutes,” said Ansell, who was president and CEO of World Access, a travel insurance company founded in New York in 1991 that later moved its headquarters to Henrico County and is now Allianz Worldwide Partners.
Merlinio will offer price comparisons from different auto insurance companies, a service that is already offered by some other companies, including Henrico County-based Compare.com.
Merlinio is promoting the app this week by participating in the Earth Day commemoration in Richmond. The company said it will plant a tree for each MagicQuote app user who gets a quote this week. The company expects to plant at least 1,000 trees, with the first ones being planted at Belle Isle in Richmond.
“We are trying to link a social cause that we have adopted into the fabric of Merlinio and MagicQuote,” Ansell said. “We know that 30 percent of greenhouse gases in America are the result of transportation. We wanted to find a way not just to give people the best coverage and best savings, but also help them offset their vehicle’s carbon footprint.”