InsWeb to Expand Online Agency Operations

InsWeb Corp announced planned expansion of its online insurance agency operations and implementation of a variety of cost-cutting measures.

Mark Guthrie, COO of InsWeb, was promoted to also serve as president of the company, in which capacity he will assist in guiding the company’s new initiatives, which include consolidation of corporate headquarters and agency operations, relocating them to Sacramento later in 2000. A staff reduction of approximately 40 percent is also expected within the next two quarters.

With respect to expansion of the company’s agency operations, chairman and CEO Hussein Enan expressed the belief that as strong as the company’s model is, it is weakened by too much dependence on lead-referral revenues. As a result, InsWeb initiated the rollout of its insurance agency capabilities last October. The company also developed fully automated online technology, introduced last quarter, which will contribute to the optimum efficiency of those operations. The new technology enables consumers to purchase auto insurance and receive proof of insurance within minutes without ever having to speak to an agency representative.

InsWeb indicated that it plans to aggressively push adoption of the new technology by its carriers.