AssureStart, a Seattle-based start-up direct company that sells small business insurance on the Internet, has opened for business in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Owned primarily by American Family Insurance, AssureStart opened in Texas in November 2013 and now is in three states. The company will serve the remaining U.S. states in the coming years.
AssureStart’s niche is small businesses (up to 25 employees) who prefer to shop for and buy business insurance online. Products are underwritten by an American Family Insurance subsidiary (Midvale Indemnity). AssureStart will initially provide businessowners policies (BOP) that meet the general liability insurance and property insurance coverage needs of small businesses. AssureStart will later expand to include workers compensation insurance and commercial automobile insurance policies.
Prior to forming AssureStart, CEO Mike LaRocco held leadership roles at Firemen’s Fund Insurance Co., Safeco, GEICO and Progressive. Mike holds a B.S. degree from The Ohio State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Tampa.
American Family Insurance offers auto insurance, homeowners insurance, life insurance, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. At the end of 2012, American Family reported policyholder equity of $6.1 billion, with assets of $17.9 billion. The company employs 7,000 people, and sells its products through 3,500 exclusive independent contractor agents.
Based in Seattle, AssureStart provides business owner’s insurance policies directly to small business owners with less than 25 employees via its website, www.assurestart.com, which features a proprietary, recommendation engine and the ability to bind coverage online and download a certificate of insurance. AssureStart serves as the managing general agent for policies underwritten by Midvale Indemnity Co., a subsidiary of Madison, Wis.-based American Family Insurance.