Inspiration and Summary

Travel Insurance is a basic right that you need to fully enjoy a vacation. Our product revolutionizes the way consumers interact with travel insurance by making an app that is (1) accessible, (2) sexy (in terms of User Interface and Experience) and (3) even leverages the power of social networks to reinforce the importance/awareness of insurance.

We wanted to find ways to make insurance less cumbersome and more ubiquitous to get. Travel insurance isn't something a lot of people buy, so we were thinking about how to make it a social norm. We think the issue is the barriers to entry in long process to get insurance that is only needed for a week-long trip. To speed up the process, we decided to use the API to automate the way people can buy travel insurance. Since mobile phones are so prevalent, it's easy to just buy some while you're on the commute to work, so that's why we decided to build an app. Also as chatbots are becoming a trend, we wanted to find ways to automate rate inquiries with them, saving your company time. Lastly our product pushes the boundaries of creativity by incorporating the concept of friends and timeline stories within the app, in an attempt to grow the user-base through recommendations or sharing of successful insurance miracles in our timeline feature. Given more time, there are many possible extensions in this direction including targeted in-app/email recommendations for users' travel buddies, sharing promotional benefits and including aesthetically appealing travel photos in the timeline stories too.

What it does

First, we have users sign up, so we can store their personal information that your company needs from consumers. This alleviates the pain of typing in this information over and over again every time they want to get insurance since all of this is stored in their account. To get insurance, they go to the new screen and fill out some extra fields about their plans. They can also pay at the same time. This saves time for your company because it automates the process of getting insurance. There's also a history screen to check out past travel insurance policies that the consumers have bought.

Our chatbot provides an engaging and convenient interface for consumers can check out rates depending on the plan they choose, since many people are accustomed to texting on their phones. This AI chatbot feature also saves company resources as you don't need as much customer support for inquires.

The Friends Screen is a working prototype of a social proposition that leverages on the networking capabilities and connectedness of technology. There is admittedly much room for development on this screen, but it was our creative intent to explore this marketing strategy of moulding the experience of buying travel insurance into something social - something pleasurable you can share with friends in the form of wanderlust travel stories, something caring you can share with travel buddies you are concerned for as you recommend them your insurance plan, something influential you can share your insurance success stories on.

How we built it

We used React Native to create an iOS app using Javascript. Expo helped us build all the files and simulate it on our phones. We also used a couple libraries for UI elements like react-native-elements and a chatbot library called react-native-chatbot.

Challenges we ran into

Creating an app with a Mac and Windows led to some compatibility issues with packages, but eventually, after fixing a lot of dependencies by using different versions, we were finally able to render new changes from each other without having a huge mess of errors. Getting started with the Solartis API and Firebase was another obstacle we faced too as it was hard to connect them to our app. What we realized is that we just have to read the documentation more clearly since one little mistake like putting in the wrong token for the wrong API will throw things off.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

This is the first app we've created, so by getting something on TestFlight is an accomplishment for us. Also, creating the chatbot was a fun experience. We're also proud of our whole user system with Firebase.

What we learned

Definitely got a lot more experience in Javascript and React Native. We also learned how to work with firebase for user authentication and storage which is a valuable thing to know since this is a feature in a lot of applications. There was a steep learning curve, but it was one that taught us a lot about mobile development

Note for Testers

You may sign into our app with username: solartis@test.com, password: anniebpek to try out the social networking features on the Friends Screen, as this account has initialized friends' timeline stories.

What's next for Solartis Management App

We wanted to have a more social atmosphere that encourages people to get more insurance. It would be cool if we had share feature that nudges friends and says something like "Hey, we're protected by Solartis, do you want travel insurance too?" There could also be a trip planner that showcases vacations that you have with friends which could be something consumers will fondly look back on and remember that they should get travel insurance for their next trip.

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