Bolt Solutions Acquires Online Aggregator Superior Access (SAIS)

Bolt Solutions Inc., which provides property/casualty insurance online distribution and comparative rating platforms, has acquired Austin, Texas based Superior Access Insurance Services Inc. (SAIS), which it says is the industry’s largest online insurance aggregator.

Founded in 1996 by independent agents, SAIS provides 2,100 retail agents with online comparative quotes from insurance carriers and wholesale brokers. The acquisition brings these additional 2,100 agents and brokers to the Bolt platform and provides all Bolt agents and customers with access to additional carriers and products. With SAIS, Bolt said it will be able to provide access to markets and products previously inaccessible to both independent and captive agents by tapping into SAIS’ more than 95 products and more than 50 insurers.

Bolt also acquires the SAIS technology and the SAIS office in Austin, Texas, which will complement Bolt’s current Hartford, Conn. office.

Terms were not disclosed.

Bolt currently provides more than 45, 000 small businesses and 6,000 registered users — agents, brokers, wholesalers and carriers– with online multi-carrier comparative rating services.

SAIS provides access to markets and rates for personal lines, commercial lines including workers’ compensation, and specialty lines including professional liability, directors and officers liability, employment practices liability, aviation and non-admitted homeowners.

Among SAIS’ carrier partners are MetLife, The Hartford, Safeco, Explorer, Unitrin, Travelers, Progressive, Commerce West, First American Specialty, Geovera, American Modern and Universal, Pacific Specialty, Philadelphia, Chartis, Employers, Zurich and Zenith.

Some of Bolt’s current carrier partners include Chubb, CNA, Guard Insurance Group, The Hanover Insurance Group, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual, ACE, Chartis, Hiscox and Zurich.

New York-based Bolt, formerly known as SeaPass Solutions Inc., is 53 percent owned by Internet Capital Group (ICG). Dean O’Hare, former chairman CEO of The Chubb Corp. is chairman of Bolt. Eric Gewirtzman, Bolt CEO, co-founded SeaPass Solutions in 2000 with Ari Katz, who serves as president of Bolt.

Walter Buckley, ICG’s CEO, in a conference call with analysts, called the deal a “strategic acquisition” that allows Bolt to offer an expanded and more “robust” offering for agents and brokers.

Bolt recently landed a 10-year, $45 million contract with Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state’s residual market. Bolt will provide the software for a clearinghouse connecting retail agents with private carriers for policies that must be shopped to the private market before being allowed into the Citizens starting Jan. 1, 2014.