Madison, Wis.-based American Family Insurance is partnering with Seattle-based start-up, AssureStart, to sell small business insurance online to Texas businesses beginning in mid-November.
After launching in Texas, AssureStart plans to enter three more states – Maryland, Pennsylvania and Washington – in the near future.
“There is tremendous opportunity for directly distributing general liability insurance and property insurance to small business owners,” said Peter Gunder, an executive vice president at American Family. “AssureStart was developed with a strong sense of that specific market’s preferences.”
AssureStart offers products that meet the general liability insurance and property insurance coverage needs of small businesses, and will later expand its offerings to include workers’ compensation insurance and commercial automobile insurance policies. The new company is targeting small business operators who prefer to do business online and is not expected to significantly overlap with American Family’s commercial insurance sales.
The partnership with AssureStart is the latest step in the American Family Insurance Group’s geographic and risk diversification, according to the company’s announcement.
American Family purchased direct non-standard auto insurer Permanent General Companies in 2012 and is in the process of closing the sale on Homesite Group Inc., a leading direct response writer of homeowners insurance. Like The General and Homesite, AssureStart will operate as a separate entity and brand from American Family.
AssureStart serves as the managing general agent for policies underwritten by Midvale Indemnity Co., a new American Family company.
At the end of 2012, American Family reported policyholder equity of $6.1 billion, with assets of $17.9 billion. The company employs 7,000 people, and sells its products through 3,500 exclusive independent contractor agents.
Source: American Family Insurance
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