For Brown & Brown, Acquiring CoverHound Accelerates Tech Modernization Efforts

Property/casualty insurance companies far and wide are considering whether to develop technology platforms in-house or modernize some other way. Brown & Brown chose an acquisition to get there.

The broker announced in November that it bought digital property/casualty insurance marketplace CoverHound, and CyberPolicy, a small business subsidiary. CoverHound’s technology and culture were two big reasons for the move, according to Steve Boyd, senior vice president of Technology, Innovation and Digital Strategy at Brown & Brown.

“Cultural fit is the most important criteria for us when evaluating an acquisition and we felt really good about the CoverHound team and are excited about the contributions they will continue to make going forward,” Boyd told Carrier Management. “The second is the technology itself, which will help us accelerate delivery of our digital agenda, thus allowing us to get new products and solutions into the marketplace sooner.”

Brown & Brown is one of the most active acquirers of insurance agencies and brokerages annually.

According to Boyd, Brown & Brown also saw the CoverHound purchase as a way to meet ever-evolving customer demands and needs.

“We recognize that customer preferences and expectations are constantly evolving due to advances in technology and digital experiences,” Boyd said. “CoverHound allows Brown & Brown to meet its customers where they are and provide them with the service and experience that they expect.”

CoverHound, which launched in early 2010 and raised more than $112 million in venture capital, and CyberPolicy significantly increased the number of policies sold entirely online and also developed the capability to digitally quote and bind multiple carriers and products into a single online transaction, the deal announcement noted. That was an accomplishment that Boyd said Brown & Brown paid close attention to.

“We’ve been following this space for some time now and believe that the CoverHound team had created a unique value proposition for digital buyers by simplifying the buying experience with their curated choice and product bundling capabilities,” Boyd said.

Once the deal closes, CoverHound will remain a standalone business under Florida-based Brown and Brown and it will keep its current name.

The platform will also become a big part of Brown & Brown itself.

“We anticipate that the platform will be deeply integrated throughout the organization, allowing us to continue to streamline the process of finding and placing coverage for existing retail customers — while at the same time making the insurance buying process easier and more efficient for customers who want a completely digital experience,” Boyd added.