Borrowing ideas from some insurtech startups, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty has a new platform for brokers and their Main Street customers “from barber shops to bakeries and toy stores to tailor.”
The site, AllianzGo, promises U.S. brokers and policyholders some of the quick and simple processing features touted by new technology-oriented insurance start-ups focused on small commercial lines.
The site offers “instant premium indications” based on a just a few pieces of information. Policies are issued in minutes, paper-based underwriting is all but eliminated, and policyholders have the option to pay online. Brokers can generate portfolio reports and submit claims. Policyholders can also submit and track claims and access all of their own documents through the platform.
“Today’s commercial audience is tech-savvy and prefers to conduct research and transactions online. It is imperative for us to provide real-time and convenient products and services to meet these demands,” says Bill Scaldaferri, CEO and president of AGCS North America.
The site serves the small business segment operating in the business owners policy (BoP), commercial auto and workers’ compensation space in a range of industries, including retail, business services, offices, wholesale/distributors, commercial real estate, apartments and condominiums. AllianzGo is designed for businesses with up to $6 million in revenue per location and up to $10 million in total insured values per policy.
“We’re prioritizing customer needs by investing in the best technology and solutions available. With AllianzGo, standard submissions will not require underwriter referral, accelerating the entire issue process and ultimately saving our customers time and effort,” stated Atul Kulkarni, head of Small Commercial for AGCS North America.
Following the integration of the Fireman’s Fund Commercial Insurance business in 2015, AGCS expanded into the small and mid-corporate segments. Key programs include agribusiness, package & small business, casualty and property. According to the company, mid-corporate policies generated 13 percent of its global gross written premium in 2016 of €7.6 billion.
Commercial Lines Insurtech
The AllianzGo functionality is reminiscent of that of some tech-oriented insurance startups including Next Insurance, which sells to janitorial services, photographers and other classes of business, and Bunker, which is focused on independent contractors and small businesses.
Insurers including Chubb, Liberty Mutual and Hiscox have invested in some of these small commercial lines ventures.
In developing its own small business platform, Allianz is not alone among carriers looking to compete in the online space for small commercial accounts. Last October Allstate debuted a platform that it says makes it possible for small business owners to buy a policy in about five minutes. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. created Berkshire Hathaway Direct Insurance Co. to sell insurance directly to businesses. American International Group and Hamilton Insurance have Attune and Starr Companies has a digital platform selling direct to small businesses called Starr Insure and it has a stake in CoverWallet.
Travelers acquired Simply Business, a small business digital broker in the UK, for $490 million.
QBE North America has taken a different route. QBE is relying upon Arrowhead, a national insurance program manager and subsidiary of Brown & Brown Inc., for the technology to manage its small commercial business. The principals see their approach as an alternative to carriers having to invest more in their legacy technologies or rely on insurtech developments.
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