Giant insurer Nationwide is partnering with an insurtech in an effort to speed up its product underwriting for commercial lines property/casualty agents.
The technology Nationwide is deploying was developed by Ohio-based Bold Penguin. The portal offers real time commercial risk analysis and rating.
Nationwide says the technology will provide its agents with a digital storefront that efficiently matches customers with appropriate coverage options. Bold Penguin’s technology enables quick building of user interfaces while keeping operations flexible, Nationwide added.
Nationwide announced in April 2018 that it would shift to an independent agency distribution model by 2020. Roughly 2,000 of its existing agents operating under the Nationwide brand have been given the opportunity to transition to the independent agency model, according to the company, which already has relationships with more than 10,000 independent agents across the U.S.
At the same time, the insurer says it is also committed to offering direct-to-consumer options for those who prefer doing business online or over the phone.
“We have listened to independent agents and clearly understand the need for ease and efficiency in transactions,” Mark Berven, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Property & Casualty, said in prepared remarks. “We are enabling technology to leverage data and digital capabilities to customize for agents and know this will help them grow their business.”
Product offerings will be based on Nationwide’s portfolio and its partners’ risk appetite. Coverage options in the digital platform will eventually include traditional business owners policies, general liability, professional liability, workers compensation and business auto, and excess and surplus. More rollouts within the system will come in 2019 and 2020, Nationwide said.
Nationwide said its alliance with Bold Penguin builds on an initiative announced in April involving expanded 24-hour access to more types of small businesses for its Commercial Digital Direct online commercial insurance platform. That system sells and services commercial insurance products digitally, delivering a quote online or over the phone in under 10 minutes. Also, an agent can be brought in to complete the transaction.
A Nationwide spokesperson said that its partnership with Bold Penguin will complement the Commercial Digital Direct platform.
“Bold Penguin’s digital technology enables matching of product solutions to best fit the protection needs of a business through a dynamic rules engine. The single entry interface is designed to speed up the underwriting process and provide a streamlined quote and bind experience,” the spokesperson said.
While Bold Penguin is known for its online marketplace portal for commercial lines property/casualty agents, it is also an “exchange” of sorts, Ilya Bodner, CEO, told Insurance Journal last year.
“Bold Penguin is an exchange where different agents, agencies, brokers, carriers, MGAs, insurtechs, whatever you call yourself, can come in and trade risks based on their desired appetite,” Bodner said.
Bodner started his own career as a captive insurance agent.
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