How Smart People Work

Moving the Bar for an Entire Industry

Gadi Binness
Montclair- NJ US
January 5, 2005

What did you accomplish in 2004?
I launched a successful company,, that provides a great service to a truly under-served market -- selling convenient, affordable and comprehensive moving insurance to relocating households. By law, moving companies are prohibited from selling insurance; the valuation coverage they traditionally offer only pays 30 or 60 cents on the pound for loss or damage. Our technology allows customers to insure their belongings fully and conveniently, in a very short time, through a paperless online application. Our Web site went live on January 1,2004 and now draws 15,000 unique visitors a month. Weve grossed over a million dollars in less than one year.

How did you do it?
More than 20 years in the moving industry led me to the realization that there simply had to be abetter way for consumers to approach what is typically one of lifes most stressful events and for movers to deal with the time-consuming process of settling claims. We developed a proprietary application that allows customers to receive a quote, buy and download a policy at a competitive price from the nation's top insurance providers. At the same time we offered moving companies, which traditionally devote a considerable amount of resources to settling claims and managing insurance-related customer care, the opportunity to automate the insurance purchasing process and a cost-effective alternative to maintaining a claims department.

What were the major obstacles that you faced?
The biggest challenge was getting licensed in all 50 states so that we could sell moving insurance nationwide. I personally studied for and earned certification in every state. This was a major time commitment, but absolutely a necessary step. It took over two years and cost tens of thousands of dollars to complete. Developing the technology was another hurdle. Since the process of purchasing moving insurance was never automated before, we had to develop it from scratch. Halfway through the development process, my programmers quit, saying there was no way to build an application that could do what I was trying to do. Fortunately, I found replacements with better attitudes and solutions. Like many entrepreneurs, I ignored the naysayers who didnt think this idea would work, and took some pretty nerve-wracking steps to finance it, including running up nearly $100,000 in credit card debt. Money was indeed a major obstacle. Potential investors doubted the idea and refused to finance it, banks did not back me up and I barely got by with the help of friends and family loaning me the startup costs.

What was the result?
Our growth has been exponential: the number of policies sold has grown 608% since our first month; total earned premiums grew 1012% and the total declared value insured grew 1055%. is the first and only insurance agency to sell moving insurance online, but what we really sell is peace of mind and an antidote to the stress of household relocation. Weve improved the moving experience for thousands of people, and also for the 300 moving and storage companies nationwide that are registered as part of the network.Were very proud to partner with AAA New Jersey, offering our services to to their members.

What are your goals for 2005?
Im aiming for 300% revenue growth for for 2005. Obtaining a larger piece of the residential moving market the 44 million Americans who move each year is key to that goal. I feel confident about achieving the growth, and will continue to add affiliated moving companies. To fuel this kind of growth, Ill need to hire more professionals from both the insurance and the moving industries. Additionally, were looking to expand our service offerings, adding new features such as international moving policies.

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