Insureon, an online insurance delivery platform for small business owners, said it has agreed to acquire Insurance Noodle, an online wholesale insurance broker, from Willis Group Holdings. The transaction is expected to close later this month.
With the acquisition, Insureon will exceed $100 million in total premium and give agents and brokers increased access to a larger portfolio of “A” rated insurance carriers, a proprietary technology platform and products covering more than 550 industry segments, according to the announcement.
“The combination of Insureon’s top-tier online strategy with Noodle’s geographically diverse network of brokers/agents is a key component of our long-term strategy for growth,” said Ted Devine, CEO of Insureon. “The acquisition reinforces the change that technology is enabling in the small commercial buying process.”
Edgar Bronfman, Jr., general partner of Accretive LLC, a private, New York-based investment firm and Insureon’s majority owner, said the partnership will mean a new level of support for Insurance Noodle’s network of independent and captive agents and brokers.
Dominic Casserley, CEO of Willis Group, said the transition is a natural next step for Insurance Noodle. “Insureon’s focused investment in IT enables the constant, incremental improvement that’s essential for both companies to remain responsive to the needs of small-business owners and competitive in the small commercial marketplace,” he said.
The companies said that Ralph Blust, president and CEO of Insurance Noodle, will remain president and oversee wholesale operations.
Upon transaction closing, the Insurance Noodle team will join Insureon in its Chicago offices in January 2014.
Insureon specializes in providing online comparative insurance quotes for the micro-business sector, which includes the self-employed and companies with 10 or fewer employees, through online insurance applications and, now with Insurance Noodle, wholesale brokerage services. The Hartford, Travelers, CNA, Philadelphia, Zurich, USLI, Hiscox, and ACE are among the insurers participating on Insureon.
Insureon was launched in 2000 to serve the small business market by TechInsurance Group LLC, which was formed in 1997 to sell insurance to small technology firms online.
Insurance Noodle pioneered the online quoting when it entered the industry in 2001. Broker Willis acquired Insurance Noddle in 2007 as part of its strategy to pursue the small business market. It has been the product delivery vehicle for Willis Commercial Network – North America, which serves small insurance agents and brokers who join the network. Carriers participating in Insurance Noodle incude The Hartford, CNA, Hanover, Foremost, Chartis, Travelers, USLI and Tapco.
Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC served as exclusive strategic and financial advisor to Insureon in the transaction.