Starr Buys Stake in Small Business Insurtech CoverWallet

July 19, 2017

Starr Companies is now a minority shareholder in online small business insurance agency CoverWallet.

CoverWallet confirmed the deal that was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. No financial terms were disclosed.

Starr previously invested in CoverWallet’s Series A round, which also included Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, and Founder Collective.

Starr already also offers its small business products through the site, as do other insurers including Liberty Mutual, Travelers, CNA, Employers, Hamilton, Berkshire Hathaway (Guard), Atlas and Markel.

Starr also has its own online site called Starr Insure selling directly to small businesses.

CoverWallet said that the two firms will work together to develop new online products for small businesses.

“We wanted to team up with a technology leader, with strong data and design capabilities, to radically transform the customer experience when buying insurance,” said Maurice R. Greenberg, chairman of Starr Companies, in a statement. “With CoverWallet, we have found a partner that is innovative and ambitious with respect to online insurance.”

As part of the partnership, CoverWallet has also received additional funding from Starr Companies.

A May report from Willis Towers Watson highlighted the activity and potential for insurtech disruption in the small business insurance market. A number of large carriers have already made investments in the digital small business sector: Berkshire Hathaway (CoverHound, Biberk), Chubb (CoverHound), Hiscox (Next Insurance, CoverHound, Bunker), Liberty Mutual (Next Insurance, CoverHound), Markel (Next Insurance), and Munich Re (Slice, Next Insurance). Allstate has its own hi-tech business insurance quoting platform that makes it possible for small business owners to buy a policy in about five minutes.

Starr is not the only large insurer taking an ownership stake in a small business insurtech. AIG is acquiring Hamilton Insurance and its technology-driven small business site Attune for about $11 million, while Travelers is buying UK-based Simply Business from Aquiline Capital Partners for approximately $490 million.

Latest Comments

  • September 11, 2017 at 4:30 am
    anton daher says:
    starr insurance company is the worst I have ever seen they only take your money and if something happen they send u person to investigate with recorder to find out what happen... read more
  • July 19, 2017 at 2:03 pm
    Kevin Kerridge says:
    Another signal of the strategic positioning of incumbents to grasp and engage with the emerging digital opportunity - trying to figure out where the small business landscape i... read more
  • July 19, 2017 at 1:34 pm
    Agency says:
    One reason for these online insurance agencies popping up is because of Uber. Many have the thought, especially those not in the insurance industry, that if Uber can displace ... read more
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