Commercial Lines Tech Startup Embroker Now Open for Business

By | October 11, 2016

Technology-inspired startup insurance broker Embroker, which bills itself as the first modern business insurance platform, has officially launched.

Embroker is a commercial lines platform that empowers — hence the name, Embroker — businesses of all sizes to manage, buy, analyze, compare and store all of their insurance information data in one place. They can also file and manage claims in the system.

The digital insurance brokerage promises insurance that is tailored to the needs of each business and says it has the resources and scale to serve a full range of commercial accounts. Embroker targets business that pay from $5,000 to more than $500,000 in premium. It can offer customers most commercial property and casualty coverages including workers’ compensation, errors & omissions/professional liability, cyber liability, directors & officers, employment practices, fiduciary liability, crime and commercial auto.

The company has partnered with more than 25 commercial carriers including Travelers, Hartford, CNA, Hanover, Liberty Mutual and Philadelphia and is licensed in all 50 states.

“You wouldn’t trust your marketing budget to someone that relies on paper forms, fax machines, and gut instinct. Isn’t it time to expect more from your insurance broker?” the firm’s web site asks.

Embroker offers its technology to businesses for free. It makes its money on commissions, not on the technology platform.

The company also has licensed insurance professionals for customers who want to speak with an insurance agent or risk advisor.

“There’s a massive opportunity for well-designed modern technology products to transform the world of commercial insurance, which is unsustainably inefficient,” said Matt Miller, founder and CEO of Embroker, in the announcement. “By automating manual processes and making costs and value transparent, we are saving companies time and money and making sure they end up with the coverage they need to match their actual risk. Insurance can be one of the biggest costs a business faces, so getting the right insurance coverage at the right price can have a huge impact on profitability.”

Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Chicago and Boston, Embroker’s leadership team formerly held key roles at companies including Aon, Marsh, Bain Capital, Google, eBay, Bank of America and Charles Schwab.

Since releasing the platform into a closed beta in January 2016, Embroker says it has on-boarded hundreds of companies and expects to grow more than 10 times in its first year.

Embroker also announced the appointments of Thomas Mangan, formerly CEO of United Benefits Advisors, as vice president of employee benefit operations, and Deanna Johnston, formerly associate general counsel litigation and coverage counsel at Fireman’s Fund Insurance, as general counsel and vice president of compliance and human resources.

Investors have given more than $14 million to fund the insurance broker. Embroker is backed by Canaan Partners, Fintech Collective, Nyca Partners, XL Innovate, Bee Partners, Vertical Venture Partners and 500 Startups.

Miller formerly served on the boards of Hub and Applied Systems. Prior to joining Hellman & Friedman in 2013, Miller worked at Bain Capital in Boston and Hong Kong and at Bain & Co. in New York.

Founder Miller says Embroker is not displacing or disrupting what commercial insurance brokers now do so much as it is supplementing and complementing their traditional methods—while giving small business customers who want it more information, convenience and control along the way.

“I prefer the term ‘massive improvement’ to ‘disruption,'” Miller, who learned about the insurance business while working with Hub and Applied Systems and while surveying small business owners about their insurance experience, told Insurance Journal in an interview earlier this year.

At last week’s InsureTech Connect Conference in Las Vegas, Miller participated in a panel on technology innovations targeting the commercial lines market and suggested he is in this venture for the long haul. He said that he believes insurance has always been a referral business and that companies with the best products and services eventually win but “it takes time to create something of value.”

He said one exciting challenge is to be able to serve businesses that are growing quickly and price these risks effectively.


Topics Agencies InsurTech Tech Commercial Lines Business Insurance Startups

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