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.
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